Piriformis Syndrome is a common disorder that occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed by the piriformis muscle leading to numbness, tingling and pain in the buttocks and along the path of the sciatic nerve descending down into the lower thigh and eventually the leg. So where's the piriformis muscle? The piriformis muscle is a pyramidal, flat shaped muscle located in our pelvis region. Its main function is to rotate our hip muscles, together with many other muscles. The sciatic nerve traverses the piriformis muscle, dividing it into two. It's possible that spasm or trauma to the piriformis muscle can cause Piriformis Syndrome.
The Syndrome can sometimes be caused by overuse of the piriformis muscle, or some kind of trauma. Acute trauma is normally associated with Piriformis Syndrome; a strong blow to buttocks region can lead to wounding of the surrounding muscles which may affect the sciatic nerve causing this disorder.
Common symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome include pain in the buttocks region, plus the posterior section of the upper and lower leg. The pain normally increases as one performances physical activities such as swimming, running, riding a bicycle, walking long distances, etc.
There are several other symptoms:
• Numbness in foot
• Pain when standing
• Pain when squatting
• Pain during normal bowel movement
• Pain when sitting or lying down longer than thirty minutes, etc.
Stretching is one of the most important things to consider when dealing with Piriformis Syndrome. Stretching should be controlled and done with care, so it would be a good idea to consult a chiropractor or physical therapist, in order to have a proper routine. It is also advisable to include strengthening work outs for the piriformis and other muscles surrounding it. A work out regimen targeting hip abductor muscles group and gluteus medius can reduce the pain within one or two weeks.
To keep the tendons and muscles supple and flexible, it is essential to undertake a structural stretching routine. Flexible tendons and muscles are vital in prevention of sprain or strain injuries. When the tendons and muscle are supple and flexible, they can move and work without being over-stretched. But if the tendons and muscles are tight or stiff, it's quite easy for them to be pressed beyond their normal range of movement. When this happens, sprains, missing muscles and strains occur.
People suffering from Piriformis Syndrome can also get relief from rest and ice. Rest and ice can be helpful especially in the beginning stages of the syndrome. Ice can help reduce swelling and consequently decrease the pain, and resting can actually aid in natural growth of new muscle.