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  • Writer's pictureKaye Cheong

How to relieve Piriformis Syndrome? by Physio Jesse Hannah

What is Piriformis Syndrome (PS)?

PS is commonly reported as "pain in the butt" as the pain commonly starts from the buttocks and radiates down the leg to the foot.

It is usually due to prolonged compression or contraction of the piriformis muscle pinching the sciatic nerve that passes through the muscle fibers.

Where is the Piriformis muscle located?

Your piriformis muscle originates mostly from your sacrum (base of spine) and inserts on the greater trochanter of the femur (outer thigh bone).

In the standing position, your piriformis muscle helps rotate the hip outwards. When the hip is flexed, the muscle helps rotate the hip inwards.

Apart from the primary function mentioned above, piriformis muscle also has other function such as rotating the hip outwards, bringing the hip sideways away from the body, and backward extension.

What are the symptoms of PS?

  • A dull ache, tingling, numbness, intermittent pain, in the buttock

  • Pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot (sciatica)

  • Pain when walking up stairs or during inclination

  • Buttock and leg pain which increases after prolonged sitting

  • Reduced range of motion of the hip joint

Causes of PS:

  • overuse from excessive exercise

  • running and other repetitive activities involving the legs

  • sitting for extended periods

  • lifting heavy objects

  • extensive stair climbing

Injuries can also damage the muscle and cause it to press down on the sciatic nerve. Typical piriformis injury causes include:

  • a sudden twist of the hip

  • a bad fall

  • a direct hit during sports

  • a vehicle accident

  • a penetration wound that reaches the muscle

Think you have Piriformis Syndrome? Let us help you!

Our safe and non-invasive protocol for treatment include:

  • Pelvis and spine re-alignment to decompress the muscle.

  • Joint mobilisation to restore normal joint mobility, the range of motion and function.

  • Soft tissue manipulation or electrotherapy to help decrease pain and spasm in your piriformis and increase blood flow plus soft tissue extensibility.

  • Stretching program for muscle length and flexibility

  • Deep core stability and hip strengthening exercise to stabilise your hip, pelvis and spine.

  • Taping

  • Foot orthotics or exercises, if indicated by your physiotherapist or podiatrist, to help restore foot and leg alignment.

Call us today to find out how you can feel better today.

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