Piriformis syndrome is defined as pressure on the nerves of the lower back. 

It is often diagnosed with sciatica, a pain that originates in the lower backside and goes down one or both legs.

Piriformis Syndrome – What Are The Factors Inducing The Piriformis Syndrome?

It is caused by irritation or pressure on the nerves of the lower backside, which is termed piriformis syndrome.

Piriformis Syndrome - What Are The Factors Inducing The Piriformis Syndrome?

Anatomy of piriformis syndrome:

The piriformis muscle runs from the sacrum, the triangular bone in the pelvis region between two hip bones.

This muscle runs across the sciatic nerve, up to the femur, the long bone in our thighs.

The piriformis muscle helps in the movement of the thighs, spasm on this muscle puts pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain, which is defined as piriformis syndrome.

Symptoms of piriformis syndrome:

The main symptom of piriformis syndrome is sciatica pain. However, there is often uneasiness felt in other parts of the body, which is termed as referred pain.

Other symptoms of piriformis syndrome include difficulty in sitting, numbness in the lower backside that runs through legs, tender feeling on the lower backside, pain while sitting for a prolonged period of time, pain in the lower backside any activity.

In serious cases of piriformis syndrome, disability in doing everyday tasks is observed, including sitting at the computer, driving, or doing any household tasks.

What are the factors inducing the condition:

The piriformis muscle is exerted every day as we walk, turn or move our body up or down. The muscle injury can occur if there is too much or too little activity of the piriformis.

However, some common factors behind the condition are overuse of the muscle caused by too much exercise, running, sitting for a prolonged period of time, lifting of the weight, of excessive climbing of stairs.

Injuries of the piriformis can often affect the sciatic nerves; factors that can induce such damage include sudden fall or movement of hips, getting hit during sports, accidents, or a wound in the muscle caused by penetration.

Who is more susceptible to the condition?

Individuals who sit every day for extended hours are susceptible to develop the condition. This can include anybody who sits at a desk or in front of the television for long hours.

Those who are involved in vigorous lower body activities are also at risk of getting affected.

Individuals who have a history of piriformis syndrome in the past are also susceptible to recurrence of the condition after muscle injuries.

How to diagnose piriformis syndrome:

It is advisable to consult a physician if pain and discomfort are experienced in the lower parts of the body for a long time.

Such pain can be persistent or periodic, which also needs medical attention.

Medical history and any recent activity like sudden fall or sports injury that might have caused the condition should be discussed with doctors.

Physical examinations followed by CT Scans, MRI, and assessing different kinds of moves are key to diagnose the condition.

It further helps the doctor to rule out possibilities of ruptured disc or arthritis that might be inducing the condition

Treatment for piriformis syndrome:

The piriformis syndrome usually doesn’t have any extended treatment. It gets better with rest and avoiding any strenuous physical activity.

However, alternating with ice and heat compress near the affected muscle can ease out the symptoms.

Over-the-counter pain managing medicine like ibuprofen and naproxen can also alleviate the pain.

These measures are enough to deal with the pain and discomfort of piriformis syndrome, but in case of acute conditions, physiotherapy may provide some help.

How to prevent the painful condition?

Regular exercise in moderation can help avert the situation, as that helps in strengthening the muscle and thus prevent muscle injury.

The other advisories aimed at preventing the condition is warming and stretching up prior to any vigorous exercise, gradually ramp up the intensity of the exercises, avoid running on uneven surfaces or across hilly terrain, and getting up to move frequently so that one is not staying in sitting or lying position for a prolonged period of time.

Key takeaway:

Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition. It is not easy to diagnose or identify. However, it can be managed with rest and appropriate therapy.

It is important to stay active, but it is equally important to undertake stretching and to warm up before starting off with exercises, which will ensure the wellbeing of the lower backside and the legs during exercises.