Piriformis syndrome

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The piriformis syndrome is believed to develop if the piriformis muscle and tendon are taut where the sciatic nerve is crushed. This can lead to a drop in the flow of blood to the nerve which results to irritation.

What are the usual signs?

The common indications of piriformis syndrome include:

  • Hip pain especially in the buttocks
  • Sensations strikingly resembling an electric shock down the rear part of the inferior extremity
  • Numbness in the lower region of the extremity
  • Soreness after evident pressure or weight on the piriformis muscle that often triggers discomfort when seated on hard chairs

Even today, there are no precise tests that can precisely diagnose the condition. Most doctors will utilize MRIs and nerve conduction tests, but these often yield normal results.

Piriformis syndrome
Hip pain especially in the buttocks.

Since piriformis syndrome is hard to identify, there are cases where it is misdiagnosed.

Management of piriformis syndrome

The treatment for piriformis syndrome is usually general and can be considered as a difficult condition to fully recover from.

Some of the suggested treatment options include:

  • Adequate rest – this involves avoidance of activities that triggers the symptoms for a few weeks
  • Anti-inflammatory medications – works by reducing the inflammation around the tendon
  • Physical therapy – this involves stretching and strengthening of the hip rotator muscles
  • Deep massage
  • Cortisone shots – an injector into the site of the piriformis tendon can help reduce the swelling and inflammation

In uncommon cases, surgical intervention might be carried out to loosen the piriformis tendon which is called as piriformis release. The procedure is generally suggested if simple measures were used for up to 6 months and if other common causes of pain have been assessed.

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