ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME

What is it?

Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that develops due to irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve near the piriformis muscle in the gluteal (bottom) area. The piriformis muscle runs from the sacrum to the outer part of the hip and travels across the sciatic notch (where the sciatic nerve travels through). It is here where the muscle and nerve are in close proximity to each other, hence why the nerve can become irritated and cause sciatic pain radiating down the back of the leg, in to the calf or foot. A Physiotherapy Assessment can determine if the cause of pain down the leg is in fact piriformis syndrome or another problem such as a low back disc bulge.

What are the causes of piriformis syndrome?

  • Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation in the piriformis muscle itself, or irritation of a nearby structure such as the sacroiliac joint or hip joint
  • Tightening of the muscle, in response to injury or spasm or an alignment issue (e.g. a leg length discrepancy or a spinal scoliosis)
  • Swelling of the piriformis muscle, due to injury or spasm
  • Bleeding in the area of the piriformis muscle.

Sometimes, the reason is unknown.

Treatment

Physiotherapy can help to address the cause and the symptoms of piriformis syndrome. For example, treatment to address the symptoms may include releasing or stretching the piriformis muscle itself or using acupuncture for example.

The cause also needs to be addressed. For example, if there is leg length discrepancy, an orthotic may be required to address the imbalance. Deep core stability and hip strengthening exercise to stabilise the hip, pelvis and spine may also be required.

Usually Physiotherapy helps to resolve the symptoms fully. Only in rare cases do people require other interventions such as surgery.

To arrange a home visit and get your rehab started ASAP, email us at office@silverphysio.co.uk or telephone: 020 3637 8988.