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Piriformis Syndrome Physiotherapy: Symptoms & Treatment

Piriformis Syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttock, compresses the sciatic nerve, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in the hip, buttock, and leg. Treatment for Piriformis Syndrome usually involves a combination of stretching exercises, manual therapy, and postural correction to alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence.

As with all injuries, this information is simply a guide, and it is always best to check in with a Physiotherapist or Athletic Therapist to have a personalized assessment and hear recommendations for what you and your body may specifically need.

Piriformis syndrome can be a real pain in the butt, both literally and figuratively. It affects many people, causing discomfort and limiting their daily activities. But fear not, because physiotherapy can be a highly effective treatment option for this condition. In this article, we'll explore piriformis syndrome, its symptoms, and how physiotherapy can help alleviate the pain and get you moving again.

Anatomy of the Piriformis Muscle

The piriformis muscle originates from the front of the sacrum and attaches to the top of the femur. Its primary function is to help rotate the hip outward and provide stability to the pelvis during movement. The sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body, runs directly beneath or through the piriformis muscle. If the piriformis muscle becomes tight or inflamed, it can compress the sciatic nerve, causing the symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder caused by the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is a small, deep muscle in the buttock region that helps rotate the hip and stabilize the pelvis. Factors that can contribute to the development of piriformis syndrome include muscle spasms, muscle imbalances, or direct trauma to the muscle.

The primary symptom of piriformis syndrome is pain in the buttock region, which can sometimes radiate down the back of the leg. This pain can be aggravated by sitting for long periods, climbing stairs, or performing activities that require hip rotation. Other symptoms may include tingling, numbness, or weakness in the affected leg.

Diagnosis of Piriformis Syndrome

Diagnosing piriformis syndrome can be challenging, as its symptoms are similar to other conditions, such as lumbar disc herniation or spinal stenosis. A thorough clinical examination, including a patient's history and physical examination, is necessary to rule out other potential causes of pain. Specific tests, such as the F.A.I.R. (Flexion, Adduction, and Internal Rotation) test, can be performed to assess the piriformis muscle's involvement in causing symptoms.

The Importance of Physiotherapy in Treating Piriformis Syndrome

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in the management and treatment of piriformis syndrome. It focuses on reducing inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms while improving flexibility, strength, and overall function. Physiotherapists use a combination of hands-on techniques and exercises to address the underlying causes of piriformis syndrome and prevent its recurrence.

Contact Us For Help

Inertia Physio+ offers Kanata and Stittsville exceptional Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy and Registered Massage Therapy with private treatment rooms, one on one care, a maximum of two patients per hour and treatment focused on the evidence-based practices of manual and exercise therapy. Don’t suffer any longer.  If you have pain or injury, our Kanata and Stittsville Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy, and Registered Massage Therapy team is here to help you get back to living pain-free life and activities.  Please reach out to us at (613) 672-2200 or for an appointment today! You are also welcome to book online. We also offer direct billing on Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy services whenever your plan allows.


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