The piriformis muscle, a small muscle located deep in the buttocks, plays the important role of rotating the legs outwards. Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle becomes too tight, compressing the sciatic nerve that runs through the buttocks. Characterized by symptoms of pain, tenderness, and occasionally, numbness around the area of the buttocks, piriformis syndrome symptoms may also expand down an individual’s leg including the calf.
Piriformis syndrome can be caused by several reasons but there are two frequently notable causes for the condition. First, sitting for extended periods of time can cause the piriformis muscle to tighten. Second, an accident resulting in direct injury such as a fall or a sports-related injury can damage the piriformis muscle. Trauma to this muscle in the buttocks can cause the surrounding tissue to become inflamed and swollen, leading to compression and possible irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Muscle spasms can also cause piriformis syndrome. Usually starting as a muscle strain, a muscle spasm can occur abruptly and cause pain. However, the source of muscle spasms can frequently be unknown.
An individual who’s previously experienced piriformis syndrome can often continue periodically feeling symptoms after exercising or sitting for prolonged periods of time without stretching the muscles. Regardless of the initial cause, being aware of your treatment options for piriformis syndrome is essential towards alleviating the painful symptoms and healing the condition.
Over the counter or prescribed medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxers, are frequently used by individuals to decrease the pain from piriformis syndrome. A doctor can also inject medication directly into the piriformis muscle to improve the condition.
Heat therapy can also relieve tightness in the piriformis muscle and help heal the entire region. Applying heat is a common way to relax and loosen tight muscles. Individuals with piriformis syndrome can find relief from their painful symptoms by regularly applying heat directly to the affected area. Although, it’s essential to avoid treating any muscle with heat if there’s a probability that the muscle may be torn.
Participating in physical activity or sports can be beneficial towards treating piriformis syndrome. Because the condition is caused by muscle tightness, an appropriate exercise routine can help loosen the surrounding muscles and ultimately relieve the symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome. A medical specialist can recommend a proper set of exercises in order to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the body. Building strong muscles can reduce the risk of developing complications as a result of an injury or condition.
Chiropractic care also offers effective results towards treating piriformis syndrome. Through the use of chiropractic adjustments and manual manipulations focused around the spine and pelvis as well as the joints of the area, a chiropractor may gradually loosen up the surrounding muscles and help heal the affected region. Chiropractic treatment can be used on its own or together with the above treatment options to provide a faster recovery and promote healing. Chiropractic care is an effective type of treatment for piriformis syndrome because it helps heal the condition naturally by increasing the blood flow in the area. Once the condition has improved or healed, its essential to prevent further injury. Stretching properly before any form of physical activity, taking regular breaks from prolonged sitting, and maintaining a proper spinal alignment can increase an individual’s chances of living free of piriformis syndrome and its symptoms in the long run.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.elpasochiropractorblog.com
Piriformis syndrome, caused by muscle stiffness or irritation of the surrounding tissues of the piriformis muscle, can benefit greatly from chiropractive treatment. Although often treated through the use of medications, a chiropractor can naturally adjust and manipulate the spine or joints to loosen the tight muscles of the region and increase blood flow in order to heal the condition. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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Injury, Trauma & Spinal Rehabilitation Specialist