What causes Piriformis Pain and Sciatica
Piriformis pain can cause a literal “pain in the rear”, but the good news is that it is quite treatable, but only when diagnosed correctly! In fact, Piriformis pain can often be mistaken for other problems coming from the hip or back. We wanted to go over something that we get asked about a lot, in fact, probably every single day–that is: “what is the piriformis muscle and how can I fix the pain?”
So what is the piriformis muscle, and how does it affect me? Most people who are suffering from piriformis related symptoms will complain of symptoms with running or walking, sitting for long periods of time, tightness of their hips, and even some numbness or tingling in their glutes and legs.
They may have even given up and just accepted that they will have to live with the pain forever (or live on pain pills). We are here to tell you there is HOPE! We routinely see clients with this painful problem and are experts at solving it.
We are going to take a deep dive into that piriformis, literally and figuratively. Before we go too deep, watch this video to learn a bit more about the piriformis and how it can affect you:
What is the Piriformis?
The piriformis muscle is a fan shaped muscle that attaches to the big bone on the outside of our hip called the greater trochanter as well as to the front portion of our sacrum, or the tail/sit bone. It is responsible for turning our hip outwards, much like when you sit in the “figure 4” position with your ankle over your other knee.
One problem that can arise with this piriformis muscle is that it can spasm and cause a literal pain in the butt, which we refer to as a trigger point– it’s like a local spasm. The piriformis may also just get tight and will restrict our hip movements, mainly our ability to turn our leg out and sit in that “figure 4” position.
Another source of pain may be from a nerve condition (not to be confused with trochanteric bursitis), which is an anatomic variation of the path of the sciatic nerve.The sciatic nerve is composed of two parts, and in some people, one (or both) of the parts of the sciatic nerve run through the muscle itself, which can cause problems such as pain, tingling, and discomfort in the low back, glutes, and down into the back of the leg (just like sciatica).
However, in the absence of piriformis syndrome, issues such as tightness, spasms, or other problems of the piriformis muscle may cause irritation of the sciatic nerve as both live near one another.
Skilled assessment from one of our hip and low back specialists is crucial in determining if your piriformis is driving your symptoms, and specific treatments our specialists recommend will likely change your symptoms for the better, and get you back to running, walking, working, and doing all the other activities you love!
How to get help for Piriformis Pain and Spasm
If you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms related to piriformis syndrome or back pain that may be associated with the piriformis, please contact us! We are piriformis syndrome specialists who are determined to get you back to doing the activities you love!
- If you would like tips on how to help your current back symptoms, feel free to download our free eBook here titled 9 Ways to End Back Pain Without Taking Pain Pills
- If you would like to read how others have recovered from piriformis syndrome and low back pain using our unique treatment methods, click here.
- If you would like more information on back pain and piriformis syndrome and what to do to help it, feel free to browse our YouTube video selection here.
- If you feel like your back pain IS NOT due to piriformis syndrome but still want to learn more, check out our other blog posts here about other sources of low back pain.
If you have any questions about this and want to learn how we can help, feel free to reach out to us at 316-558-8808 or fill out this webform. We still like to talk to people on the phone!
And as always, we like to keep people in Wichita, KS (as well as Andover, Maize, Derby, and Goddard) mobile, active, and off pain pills, so if you need any help, please feel free to Contact us.
Yours in health,
The Bodyworx Physical Therapy and Concussion Center Team