Piriformis Syndrome – Introduction
It is important to rule out piriformis syndrome because this neuromuscular disorder causes sciatica and sciatica is often caused by a herniated disc or bulging disc. Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder that is caused by a compressed or pinched sciatic nerve. Symptoms include pain, tingling, and numbness in the buttocks and in areas where the sciatic nerve exists. This syndrome is caused by overuse, strain, or other anatomical problems.
Piriformis Syndrome – Diagnosis
Piriformis Syndrome is hard to diagnose on your own and it is commonly diagnosed by seeing a physician and talking over your symptoms. Generally, if you have no issues with your lower back and just the mid-rear and leg only then it is in fact piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle can also be exacerbated with prolonged sitting and, pain when walking up and down stairs or walking up other inclines, or with excessive walking.
Diagnosing piriformis syndrome includes CT scans, ultrasound, and a MIR scan. Sometimes a insurance company may not consider a MRI a medically necessary tool.
Piriformis Syndrome – Causes
Overuse injury’s occur in rowing and bicycling sports. Runners are also susceptible to developing this disorder. The sciatic nerve is not the only nerve that can be pinched by a strained piriformis muscle. The pudendal nerve can be effected. The pundendal nerve helps control the muscles of the bladder and bowels. Numbness, tingling, and other pain in the groin area can lead to loss of control in bladder.
Inactive glute muscles and tight hip flexors may speed up the development of this muscular disorder. It is important to keep flexibility up to par, especially with athletes in bicyling sports, to prevent this problem as it can heavily limit performance. Simply stretching and increasing flexibility will will treat this medical condition.
Piriformis Syndrome – Treatment Options
Conservative treatment for piriformis syndrome includes stretching exercises, massages, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, rest, and avoidance of activities such as rowing, bicycling, and running. Sometimes physical therapy is recommended if the piriformis muscle and surrounding muscles such as the hip flexor are really tight. Ultrasound may also help relieve pain.
Failure to solve this condition with conservative methods will prompt the use of local anesthetics, BOTOX, or corticosteroids. Sometimes a combination of all three of those is advised. Surgery is almost never recommended and the prognosis for this injury is usually always good.