One common cause of pain in the backside (deep in the buttock) is Piriformis Syndrome. This can be accompanied with pain radiating down the leg. Piriformis Syndrome is named after the piriformis muscle, which is located in the lower part of the spine (sacrum), connects to the thigh bone (femur), and assists in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. This muscle is susceptible to injury from a slip and fall, hip arthritis, or a difference in leg length. Such situations can cause cramping and spasm to develop in the piriformis muscle, thereby pinching the sciatic nerve - causing inflammation and pain.
Muscle spasms and/or contraction of the piriformis muscle itself can lead to pain along the back of the thigh, down to the knee, causing a possible loss of sensation or numbness and tingling in the sole of the foot. Radiating pain down the leg from the sciatic nerve irritation (Sciatica) can result from different causes, one of which is Piriformis Syndrome. Chiropractic Care may assist people with this complaint.
Who Does This Affect?
People who spend long hours sitting are prone to this syndrome, especially with poor posture. It can be from sitting at a desk, in front of a computer, riding in a car or truck for long periods of time, and sitting on a wallet.
Many athletes are prone to piriformis syndrome. The athlete’s cause is primarily due to improper stretching and warm-up exercises as well as overuse during activity. In this case it is most likely that the piriformis muscle is irritated and usually in spasm.
What Causes Piriformis Syndrome?
The primary cause is due to tightness and contracture of the piriformis muscle. This can result from extensive walking, running, prolonged sitting and trauma. Misalignments in one or more of the following: pelvis, lumbar spine, sacrum and hip joint(s) are possible causes of the piriformis muscle being shortened and not allowing for the smooth movement of the sciatic nerve during leg motion.
Improper alignment of the sacroiliac joints is a common contributing factor, which can lead to neuromuscular dysfunction causing weakness in other muscles of the area.
Some contributing factors in piriformis muscle spasm can be varied such as:
● Climbing stairs, performing squats, cycling
● Excessive fast walking or running without proper warm up and stretching
● Prolonged sitting (desk, car, plane)
Many variables can hinder your successful recovery:
● Poor posture
● Job limitations
● Improper exercise
Stretching of the gluteal muscles as well as stretching of the piriformis muscles is highly recommended.
The primary goal of chiropractic is to locate and correct the cause of your problem
Chiropractic Care can assist you with:
● Relevant adjustments to the spine, pelvis, sacrum as well as hip may be required to relieve the pressure from the nerve being trapped from the piriformis muscle.
● Recommending the proper exercises and stretches to perform.
We may also suggest some form of muscle therapy to the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region in order to assist in relaxing these muscles.
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