Sometimes, a pain in the rear is more than just a turn of phrase. Our buttocks contain nerves and muscles just like every other part of the body, and like every other part of the body, they can become irritated, swollen, or painful. One such common condition that develops around the buttocks is piriformis syndrome. While piriformis syndrome can cause significant pain and discomfort, we can effectively treat it once diagnosed.
The Piriformis Muscle
Piriformis syndrome is a condition involving the piriformis muscle, which is a small muscle located deep in the buttocks behind the gluteus maximus. The piriformis muscle begins at the lower spine and connects to the upper surface of each thighbone.
It helps rotate the hips and turn the legs and feet outward. It runs diagonally, and the sciatic nerve runs vertically directly below it.
Piriformis Syndrome and Its Causes
Piriformis syndrome develops when the piriformis muscle spasms and irritates the nearby sciatic nerves, causing pain, numbness, and tingling down the back of the legs and into the feet.
While the exact causes of piriformis syndrome are unknown, some suspected reasons include:
- Muscle spasms in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation of the piriformis muscle itself or of a nearby structure such as the sacroiliac joint or hip
- Muscle tightening in response to injury or spasm
- Swelling of the piriformis muscle because of injury or spasm
- Bleeding in the area around the piriformis muscle.
- Any combination of the above problems can affect the piriformis muscle and may affect the adjacent sciatic nerve.
Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome
The most common symptom of piriformis syndrome is acute tenderness in the buttock and sciatica-like pain running down the back of the thigh, calf, and foot. Typical piriformis syndrome symptoms may also include:
- Pain when walking up stairs or inclines
- Increased pain after prolonged sitting, walking, or running
- Reduced range of motion of the hip joint
Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome
Depending on the nature and severity of the pain and discomfort, we can minimize the symptoms of piriformis syndrome using a variety of non-invasive treatments. These can include:
- Ice packs and ice massage
- Heat therapy
- Medications for sciatica pain, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Piriformis steroid injections
Unexplained Pain and Discomfort In The Posterior? Schedule an Appointment at OrthoMiami Today.
As an all-inclusive orthopedic facility, OrthoMiami is truly a one-stop shop for all orthopedic and sports medicine issues, including piriformis syndrome. Patients can get their essential imaging, required treatment, and critical follow-up care, including physical therapy, all in one convenient office. The OrthoMiami team always welcomes new patients and can generally schedule new patient appointments within a couple of days.
Please contact us today at (305) 596-2828 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting you.