Why would people in these jobs experience Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica more than others? What are the symptoms? AND most importantly, what can be done about it?
Can You Guess Which Jobs Made the List?
With at least 31 million Americans suffering from back pain at any given time, nearly everyone knows someone who is affected. Add pain in the buttocks and pain radiating down through the legs, it can be excruciating!
Law enforcement/firefighter/public services
Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and folks who work in the public services often suffer from Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome. This is due to repetitive motion and prolonged sitting. From patrolling in cars to racing to the scene of an emergency to carrying heavy loads and climbing stairs, our public service men and women not only put themselves in harm's way, but also subject their bodies to significant wear and tear. This includes the lower back, hamstrings, and piriformis muscles.
Working from 9 to 5 (or longer!) takes its toll on the lower back and buttocks. For office administrators, prolonged sitting is one of the top factors for aggravating pain associated with Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome. Poor chair ergonomics and improper posture are contributing factors, too. Remember to take walking breaks every hour or two, stretch during the day, and maybe try a standing work-desk for a portion of the week. There are great products out there that travel well like the Miracle Stretch Piri-Stretcher® for help stretching the piriformis muscle and the Stand Steady Ergonomic Standing Desk. Small changes can make a big difference.
Truck and Delivery Drivers
The long haul can lead to some serious back and buttocks issues. Prolonged sitting can create a tight piriformis muscle which can in turn compress the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the lower back, buttocks, and radiating down the legs. Make sure seats are adjusted for proper posture, stop and walk every hour or two, stretch, and be sure to remove your wallet from your back pocket.
Customer Service & Call Center Respresentatives
Similar to office administrators, customer service and call center representatives spend an extended amount of time sitting. (Travel agents, too!) When the body is sedentary, and in a repeated position daily, it is easy for lower back and hip issues to develop. Remember to try to align posture properly with eyes forward so that the neck isn't hanging down, and shoulders back. Try to be mindful not to tense the neck. Don't forget walking and stretching breaks, too!
Get the Joy in Driving Back
The feeling of a tight knot, low back, or buttocks pain can make driving and sitting for extended periods no fun. Get the joy back, check out the Miracle Stretch® Piri-Stretcher® home therapy tool.The Piri-Stretcher® is easy to use at home or on the road for targeted, effective stretching of the piriformis muscle to release pressure from the sciatic nerve and relieve pain.
Teachers and Educators
Here's a math fact! Out of 640 muscles in the body, there's one tiny pear shaped muscle, the piriformis, that can wreak havoc on the sciatic nerve causing low back, buttocks, and radiating leg pain associated with Sciatica, Piriformis Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain. Teachers and educators who are sitting at a desk every day can aggravate the piriformis, which makes it tight and compresses the sciatic nerve. Try an epsom salt bath, massage, and stretching to gently relax the muscle for relief of pain.
From operating tractors and heavy machinery to constantly bending down and picking up loads, farmers commonly experience Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica. This goes for horseback riding, too, which requires hip rotation and repeated muscle use. Gentle stretching, massage, and physical therapy are good ways to help.
Construction workers often carry heavy loads which can contribute to all kinds of back pain. Try to bend at the knees, use both hands when lifting, and try to pivot with ease when turning instead of throwing or making jerking motions. Another big thing to pay attention to is what you eat. When you're working long hours, it is easy to opt for fatty, fried foods. The problem with these beyond contributing to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, is that they can cause inflammation. Inflammation can aggravate chronic pain. Try to incorporate fresh veggies, fruit, and nuts. It's not easy when you're working so hard and hungry, but if you weave it in - even a couple times a week - that can help.
There are a range of positions within manufacturing, from welding to assembly workers to body shops - bending and moving in the same motion repeatedly can lead to low back, buttocks, and leg pain. Repeated motion of the hip and leg muscles can lead to Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome. Especially when dealing with heavy lifting and twisting, it's important to consult with your doctor to check for Sciatica caused by a herniated disc. Other causes could include a tight piriformis muscle compressing the sciatic nerve.
Nurses run the gamut in terms of lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy loads. In addition to bending, standing, and walking throughout the day - often times for long, extended hours. At the end of a long day or an evening shift, a throbbing back or sore buttocks isn't too welcomed. (well, it never is - but especially then!) That aching feeling of a tight knot in the buttocks or pain radiating down the legs - these are signs of Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica.
Programmers, developers, analysts - all are more susceptible to Piriformis Syndrome. Yes, it's easy to get absorbed in code and not move for hours at a time...multiply those hours by the years you've spent (or plan to spend) in a job and that is a lot of time sitting! Try to move. Take breaks. Stretch. (And don't stack folders and files on your neck like this guy!)
Piri-Stretcher® Home Therapy Tool for Relief of Piriformis Syndrome
The Miracle Stretch® Piri-Stretcher® home therapy tool is designed to help relieve low back, buttocks, and radiating leg pain associated with Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica. It's easy to use at home or on the go. Do the things you want to do again. Learn more.