Have you heard of piriformis syndrome or sciatica? Maybe you believe you have one or both? Hi, I’m Dr. Kevin Sarich, a chiropractor in Hilliard, Ohio, who specializes in the treatment of both. I’m going to explain the most often causes and solutions for you today.
Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms or compresses on the sciatica nerve causing “Pain in the Buttocks”.
The piriformis muscle is a very important one, it stabilizes the hip joint and allows you to lift and rotate the thigh away from the body (external rotator of the hip). Without your piriformis muscle you couldn’t walk straight, it helps you shift weight from one foot to another and maintain balance.
The sciatic nerve runs underneath the piriformis muscle (see picture above). The compression of the piriformis muscle on the sciatica nerve causes all the symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome.
What does piriformis syndrome feel like? (The Symptoms)
Piriformis syndrome symptoms include pain, tingling, or numbness in the buttocks and down the leg, which may worsen after sitting for a long time, climbing stairs, walking, or running.
It can also cause pain in the lower back, groin, perineum, buttock, and hip. But the most common symptoms are a pain in the lower back and/or pain that radiates to the buttocks and down the leg and up to the knee.
How do I know if I have piriformis syndrome or sciatica?
Your Hilliard chiropractor will perform a series of tests that involve you moving the hips and legs to identify where the pain occurs. If it is in the lower back and buttocks only, it may be piriformis syndrome. If the pain is in the lower extremity, it is likely sciatica.
So if your pain travels from your lower back/glute all the way down into your feet or toes, it’s most likely NOT caused by piriformis syndrome. If it is true sciatica pain then the pain shoots all the way down the leg, past the knee cap.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is inflammation of the sciatica nerve. The sciatic nerve is actually 5 different nerves (L4-S3) that come together to form the largest nerve in your body.
The sciatic nerves branch from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Each human has 2 sciatic nerves, a left and a right one.
Chiropractic: An effective treatment for both Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica.
Both Piriformis syndrome and sciatica are very painful conditions, they can be very disabling. Fortunately, for the majority of people, chiropractic treatment is very effective in treating them. However, an accurate diagnosis and a customized plan is always the key to successful treatment.
Structural alignment issues inside the spine or pelvis are a leading cause of both problems. Disc herniations/bulges in the lower back most often cause true sciatica, and incorrect tone of muscles in the glute or hips is the leading cause of piriformis syndrome.
If you believe you have piriformis syndrome and or sciatica. I recommend you schedule a new patient consultation. Let us see what we can do for you.