Sciatica symptoms are often associated with piriformis syndrome

Pain from a pinched nerve or sciatica is often associated with a condition known as piriformis syndrome. Simply stated, piriformis syndrome is a condition where the piriformis muscle becomes irritable. And, because of its close approximation to the sciatic nerve, sciatica symptoms can ensue.

The purpose of this article is to give the reader a little more detail as to the causes, treatment, and prevention of piriformis syndrome.

What Is Piriformis Syndrome And How Can I Treat It?

Piriformis syndrome is a common condition whose clinical presentation is often mistaken with disc herniation and/or spinal stenosis. The symptoms of piriformis syndrome include pain in the buttocks and, often times, sciatic nerve pain.

The piriformis is a small muscle situated deep in the buttocks that runs from the sacrum (tailbone) to the hip. The piriformis, along with 5 other small muscles deep in the buttocks functions to externally rotate the hip (toes pointing outward). Because of its position in the buttocks, the piriformis lies in close proximity to the sciatic nerve and its branches. In about 10% of the population, the sciatic nerve will actually run directly through the muscle itself.

If the muscle becomes injured or irritated, it will have a tendency to contract resulting in a considerable increase in its diameter. This increase in diameter can cause the adjacent branches of the sciatic nerve to become compromised, resulting in irritation and inflammation of the nerve itself, and creating a resultant sciatic nerve pain.

Piriformis muscle syndrome can, therefore, be described as an inflammatory response of branches of the sciatic nerve caused by pressure of an irritated or injured piriformis muscle.

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome
Piriformis syndrome is typically characterized by a persistent lower back pain that extends into the buttocks, down the back of the thigh, over the outside portion of the knee, and down the outside portion of the lower leg to the top of the foot. In severe cases the patient will complain of pain during sitting or squatting activities.

Another common finding associated with piriformis syndrome is the “positive piriformis sign”. A positive piriformis sign is characterized by a persistent external rotation of the leg that can be visualized when the patient is lying flat on their back and the foot on the side of symptoms points outward.
Sensitivity to direct pressure of the buttocks on the affected side is another finding associated with piriformis syndrome. Complaints of buttocks pain with sitting is often reported and is especially tender to touch by physical examination. (Read full article here)

Here’s a treatment video published by Spine Universe for piriformis syndrome:

Instructions (Watch the video here)

  • Lay on your back.
  • Gently pull one knee towards your chest, using your hands to hold your leg in the stretch.
  • Hold 10 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your low back and hip.
  • Switch legs and pull your other knee towards your chest, again holding 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 3-5 times with each leg.
  • Bring both legs to your chest, holding 10 seconds and repeating 3-5 times.

These are basically generic exercises that are not specific enough to, in my opinion, treat the condition appropriately. If I can generate enough interest, I’d like to show you a very nice video that has helped thousands of people effectively treat piriformis syndrome. Simply leave a coment below expressing your desire to learn more.

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