Are you experiencing pain in the buttocks? You might be suffering from piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a small muscle situated deep into the buttocks near the top of the hip and is essential in stabilizing the hip in every motion. Newtown piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle spasms cause pain in your buttocks. A piriformis muscle spasm might also exert pressure on the sciatic nerve causing tingling, pain, or numbness in the leg, buttocks, and foot. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for piriformis syndrome. Here is an exclusive look at everything you need to know about piriformis syndrome.
How Does Piriformis Syndrome Feel Like?
Although many factors can contribute to piriformis syndrome, the exact cause is still unknown. Some common causes of the condition include muscle tightening, spasms, swelling, or bleeding of the piriformis muscle because of a traumatic injury or irritation. The main symptom of piriformis syndrome is tingling or pain in the buttocks. The pain is usually severe when running, walking, or sitting for a long time.
What Are the Best Treatment Options for Piriformis Syndrome?
Immediately you experience pain in your buttocks, lie down on your stomach comfortably and apply some ice on the area for around twenty minutes. If possible, have someone massage the painful area with an ice cube gently for around ten minutes. Repeat this after every three to four hours.
Alternatively, you can relieve piriformis syndrome pain by alternating cold with heat. Lie on your stomach and place the heating pad on the area for about twenty minutes.
Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can help relieve pain and swelling.
Based on your symptom severity, your doctor might administer an injection to your piriformis muscle. The injection consists of a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic to help relieve the pain and spasm. In severe cases, your provider might recommend Botox injection. A Botox injection helps to relax the Botox muscle and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Electrotherapy is another alternative treatment for piriformis syndrome. It involves electrical stimulation with an interferential current stimulator or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit to decrease piriformis muscle spasm and decrease pain.
Physical Therapy and Stretching
One of the best treatments for piriformis syndrome is progressive muscle stretching. Your doctor might recommend stretching exercises that help to relax your piriformis, hip muscles, and hamstring. Stretching, physical therapy, and deep massages can decrease muscle spasms and improve blood flow.
If other conservative options are ineffective, your doctor might recommend surgery as the last solution. The surgery is aimed at cutting the piriformis to relieve pain.
How Can You Prevent Piriformis Syndrome?
Maintaining a good posture and proper form during workouts is essential in preventing piriformis syndrome. Always warm up before engaging in intense physical activity and gradually increase your workout intensity. You should also avoid exercising or running on uneven ground or hills. If you have any pain, give yourself rest until the pain goes away.
Ultimately, piriformis syndrome happens when the piriformis muscle exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve. The condition causes numbness, pain, and tingling in your hip, butt, or upper leg. Most of these episodes go away in a few weeks or days with simple treatments and rest. However, you should talk to your healthcare provider if the symptoms last more than a few weeks or if an injury caused the pain.