Piriformis Syndrome Treatment Orange County
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that causes pain to radiate from the buttocks to the back of the thigh and sometimes down the to the lower leg. It is caused by abnormally tight piriformis muscles putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. It is often misdiagnosed as sciatica or nerve root irritation from a herniated disc.
What Causes Piriformis Syndrome?
The piriformis muscle can be strained posturally from excessive sitting, especially if the leg is held in an awkward position for a long time or repeatedly. It can occur from a fall onto the buttocks or from exertion like athletics or work involving forceful twisting and bending movements of the trunk and legs.
How Do I Know if I Have Piriformis Syndrome?
Of course it is best to be checked by your chiropractor or medical physician, but you can do a self check at home. First locate the muscle by standing up and allowing your arm to hang at your side. Your wrist should be at about the level of your hip. Feel for your hip bone, you can move your leg up and down to locate the bone. Once you find the bone, slide your hand back towards your buttocks muscles. In the center of your buttock at the level of the hip bone is the center of the piriformis muscle. Now press your fingers, thumb or knuckles deep into the muscle. If you have local tenderness AND pain, numbness or tingling radiates down your leg mimicking the pain you’ve been feeling, it is a positive sign for piriformis syndrome.
Now that you have a good idea that you do have the problem, find a doctor who is experienced in the treatment of piriformis syndrome for confirmation and the proper treatment. It is important to make sure you do not have a herniated disc or other problem that looks like a piriformis issue.
Piriformis Syndrome Treatment
I have found great success with the following treatment program:
Deep moist heat to the area to maximize blood flow
Inferential electrical stimulation to relieve spasm and inflammation of the muscle
Deep goading of the muscle by hand
Post-isometric stretching of the piriformis muscle
Pelvis, sacrum and lower back adjustments as needed
Ice and Cold laser therapy
I have seen many cases that were resistant to treatment by physical therapists and/or other chiropractors, respond quickly to this approach. How often and how many treatments are needed is based on the individual, but it can often be relieved in a couple of weeks and less than 10 visits. Of course some cases may be tougher and take longer.