Piriformis is a muscle located in the hip region. Let’s see the causes and the subsequent symptoms followed by the treatment measures to cure this painful condition.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve which runs across from the lower back (hip region) through the back of the legs and feet and is mainly responsible for sensation in these parts. Piriformis is a type of muscle located in the hip region which can lead to compression of the sciatic nerve causing piriformis syndrome. This syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder closely associated with sciatica (inflammation of the sciatic nerves) and also referred to as pseudosciatica, wallet sciatica, and hip socket neuropathy.
There is no evident proof as to why this muscle causes compression. It is said to have resulted due to spasms or swelling of the piriformis muscle and sometimes stiffness of the sacriolic joints. The pain is mainly towards one side, though it could affect both the sides as well. Let’s see the symptoms and treatment as well. The treatment includes proper exercises and stretches along with some painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs consumption.
The symptoms of piriformis syndrome are very similar to those of sciatica but the pain is very evident near the buttocks region.
- Numbness of legs or feet and buttocks
- Tingling sensation in legs and back
- Pins and needles pricking sensation in the lower back or legs
- Burning sensation in the lower back or buttocks
- Pain in the legs, lower back and particularly the pelvic region
- Pain in sitting
Exercises are very important as far as curing piriformis syndrome is concerned. The exercises basically include strengthening both the muscles in the back and the abdomen with abdominal crunches, curl downs and back extensions. Piriformis syndrome stretches are the best since they target the hip muscles which have become tense and are not as flexible as they should have been. The hamstring stretching exercises are the most common stretches recommended by doctors for pain relief.
The back stretches particularly target the lower back of the body where most of the sciatic nerves are concentrated and thus help reduce the pain. Simple thigh and leg stretches can help as well. Another highly recommended stretching exercise is the Piriformis muscle stretching exercise since the sciatica nerve runs along (or behind) this muscle. All these exercises can be easily performed at home as they don’t require any expensive equipment. However, the actual treatment exercises depend on the cause of pain. Let’s take a look at some common exercises.
Sit in a chair with a straight back. Keep your left ankle on your right knee and bend forward and hold yourself in that position for few seconds. Repeat the same for the other leg too. This will improve flexibility of your hip muscles and give relief. This is the most recommended exercise by the doctor.
In a standing position, bend each leg side ways, one at a time, keeping them 2 feet apart. Stretch as much as you can. These are effective for the leg pain as well as buttock pain relief.
Sit on the floor with feet together, toes matching and your back straight. Keep your hands on your knees and try to press your knees closer to the floor. This will create a stretch in the lower thigh region.
Lie down on a mattress and bend your knees. Try to pull them as closer to chest as much you can. Hold them in that position for quite some time until stretched properly.
Keep the painful knee below the trunk of your body and extend the other leg straight back behind the trunk. Lean forward so that a stretch is felt and hold on in that position for quite some time. This one gives pain relief for the buttocks.
Lie down on the floor. Keep the affected leg crossed over the other one and pull it outwards so that a stretch is felt. Hold that position.
So after having known the symptoms, causes and treatment, you don’t need to worry. Piriformis syndrome exercises prove effective on a long-term basis so you need to continue with these and take rest simultaneously. I hope these exercises will help you get pain relief.