Piriformis Syndrome & Sciatica
Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
How Do I Know I Have Piriformis Syndrome
If you have pain, numbness and/or tingling in your lower back, and it radiates down your leg (possibly even as far as to your feet), you may be suffering from piriformis syndrome (PS). But then again, you may not. Piriformis syndrome and sciatica have many of the same symptoms, so they can be difficult to distinguish from one another – even for doctors. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself about piriformis syndrome, so you can talk to your doctor and know for sure whether your sciatica is just sciatica, or if it’s piriformis syndrome.
Piriformis syndrome sounds like it might be worse than sciatica; the name is certainly more technical. But it’s usually easier to treat. If your problems are piriformis-related, you might be able to find relief with some simple at-home stretching. So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and figure out whether your pain, tingling and numbness are being caused by piriformis syndrome.
Evaluate when the pain starts. With PS, the pain usually starts after you’ve used the piriformis muscle, which is located at the top of your buttocks right next to your hip bone. So, if the pain usually starts after climbing stairs or performing some sort of lower-body exercise, you might be dealing with piriformis syndrome.
Can you sit for long periods? People with piriformis syndrome usually have trouble sitting for long stretches of time. The most common complaint is numbness that goes from the piriformis muscle down through part of the leg. If you find yourself needing to take frequent breaks from your desk job because of numbness, tingling or pain, you might be dealing with piriformis syndrome.
Find the piriformis muscle and apply pressure. As mentioned above, the muscle is located in the upper part of your buttocks, right next to your hip bone. Find the spot and apply pressure, or get someone to do it for you. If you can induce the problems you get when sitting for long periods or walking up stairs, you probably have piriformis syndrome.
Visit the doctor. Talk to him or her about all of your symptoms, and discuss how you think you may have piriformis syndrome. Your doctor will likely order some tests to rule out sciatica. Sciatica occurs with disc degeneration or herniation, and both of those things are easily identifiable on CT scans or MRIs. Just keep in mind that you may have piriformis syndrome along with sciatica, and that’s a more difficult diagnosis to make.
Since piriformis syndrome is a muscle-related issue (the muscle applies pressure to the sciatic nerve), it can usually be treated without surgical intervention. All you need to do is target the piriformis muscle when you stretch, and you do need to stretch every day. Our patented Piri-Stretcher® was created to help people with this syndrome stretch the right muscle every time, so no effort is wasted and you can be on the road to recovery at a faster rate.
A Healthy Approach
Stretching the Pain Away with the Piri-Stretcher®
Doesn’t it always seem like it hits at the most inopportune times? You could be rushing off to get your kids to school on time or about to take your turn at bat, and bam! Piriformis pain arrives and makes itself known. It may be subtle at first, but you know in a few minutes it could be debilitating. It’s time to pop some pain killers and get on with your day, right? Well, that’s probably right for many people, but those who use the Piri-Stretcher on a regular basis have a bit of a different outlook.
The Piri-Stretcher® is used to treat both piriformis syndrome and sciatica in adults. The bottom line is that stretching helps piriformis syndrome, and the Piri-Stretcher® helps target your efforts to the muscle that needs work. It is an easy-to-use and effective solution that can be used in the convenience of your own home to isolate and stretch that problem muscle.
Studies have shown that stretching is effective for treating piriformis syndrome. Conservative treatments are often all that’s needed to get sufferers up and running like new again.
Here are some treatments that have proven to be effective against piriformis syndrome:
TENS – Or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a process by which medical professionals stimulate the muscle with an electric current.
Eliminating negative habits – If you sit for long periods of time or exercise intensely without stretching first, you need to start taking better care of your muscles. Pain or not, you need to stretch your muscles more often – especially the piriformis muscle.
Muscle stretching – This is what the Piri-Stretcher® is all about. It’s easy to perform stretches at home, but you’d be surprised how difficult it can be to get a good stretch in your piriformis muscle. That’s why we designed the product; to help people target that muscle and get better without surgery.
Local massage – Massage relaxes the muscles, so it only makes sense that it would help in treatment of piriformis syndrome.
If your piriformis syndrome is manageable, you may want to consider muscle stretching, local massage and eliminating the habits that are causing you pain. Many people opt to avoid TENS as it is the least natural way to treat the problem. Stretching is one of the most important things you can do to treat piriformis syndrome, but you should also look at other options to include in your treatment routine. For example, daily use of the Piri-Stretcher® along with a weekly massage may boost your efforts. Evaluate all options to create a plan that works for you.