With the right chiropractic treatment, the prognosis for piriformis syndrome is usually quite good. This is because your Orange County chiropractor works to address the underlying problem and does not just treat the symptoms you are experiencing. Relieving the underlying cause allows this syndrome to fully heal so that you can return to full activity.
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is probably not something you hear about often, but it can be a real pain in the backside, literally. This condition occurs when the buttock muscle called the piriformis goes into spasm and cause intense pain. This muscle may also cause more pain that can radiate down into the leg on the affected side by irritating the sciatic nerve.
Experts are unsure about exactly what causes this syndrome, but the suspected causes are:
- Piriformis muscle spasm due to irritation of the muscle
- Swelling of the muscle due to spasm or injury
- Muscle tightening due to spasm or injury
- Bleeding in the area of the muscle
- Irritation of structures that are close to the muscle like the hip or sacroiliac joint
Tenderness in the buttock area that comes on suddenly is the most common symptom. If there is also a problem with the sciatic nerve, pain may radiate down into the calf, foot and back of your thigh. Other symptoms can include:
- The buttock has a dull ache that may be constant
- When taking inclines or the stairs, pain can worsen
- Reduced hip joint range of motion
- Prolonged sitting causes the pain to increase
Chiropractic Care Options for Piriformis Syndrome
The first thing your chiropractor will do is work to determine the underlying cause of this syndrome and determine if there is also irritation of the sciatic nerve. This allows him or her to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will work specifically for you.
One issue that may be an underlying cause is one leg being shorter than the other. In this case, your chiropractor will recommend orthotics to help balance the length of your legs. This offers posture correction to alleviate the extra stress and irritation on the piriformis muscle.
Muscle tightness can benefit from trigger point therapy because this targets the specific areas of the muscle that are tight. The goal is to break up any adhesions to loosen the piriformis muscle. This will also alleviate any spasms.
Other treatments may include:
- Strengthening and stretching: When this muscle is in good shape, it is less prone to injury and irritation. Your chiropractor will help you through a variety of exercises and stretches.
- Massage: Using massage therapy on this muscle can help to break up adhesions and loosen it.
- Heat and ice: These work to dull the pain.
Piriformis syndrome can cause a number of problems and make it hard to keep up with your normal daily tasks. We at Wellness Choice understand the pain and discomfort and we will help you to regain your normal activity level so that you can keep up with your busy life.