Low back pain affects thousands of people every year. This debilitating ailment leads to weakness, dysfunction, and sensation changes throughout the spine and lower body. Worse yet, low back pain can make it hard to assume any position. Even just standing with low back pain can be excruciating!
Piriformis syndrome is one common condition that is categorized under the umbrella of low back pain. This disorder specifically involves irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle.
Have you been experiencing shooting pain, numbness, or weakness in your leg accompanied by back and hip pain? If so, this article on piriformis syndrome and the role your chiropractor can play in assuaging the symptoms of the disorder is for you!
Understanding The Piriformis Muscle
Piriformis syndrome is named for the muscle most closely involved with the disorder.
The piriformis muscle is a taught band of tissue that lies across the buttocks, deep underneath the large gluteus maximus muscle on both sides of the body.
This muscle is critically important because the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, knifes directly through the middle of the piriformis muscle belly. In piriformis muscles that aren’t inflamed or excessively tight, this isn’t an issue. But when the piriformis “pinches” the sciatic nerve due to tightness, numerous problems can result.
Piriformis Syndrome Symptoms
As was hinted at earlier, piriformis syndrome is a type of sciatica, which is a type of low back pain that specifically involves the sciatic nerve.
Symptoms of piriformis syndrome can include any or all of the following:
- Dull, achy, or sharp pain in the hip and buttocks region.
- Weakness in the affected leg.
- Tingling and numbness throughout the sciatic nerve distribution.
- Foot drop or foot slap.
Getting an accurate diagnosis of piriformis syndrome is critical to ensure that you receive prompt and appropriate treatment for your issues!
How is Piriformis Syndrome Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of piriformis syndrome is usually arrived at when the clinician rules out any other likely conditions and obtains a positive finding on key tests concerning the piriformis muscle.
Usually, piriformis syndrome can be diagnosed without the use of an x-ray or MRI machine. By simply positioning and stretching the patient’s leg and hip, the clinician can usually reproduce the symptoms of the condition. From there, treatment can begin.
How is Piriformis Syndrome Treated?
Treatment for piriformis syndrome progresses much like treatment for any other orthopedic condition: strengthening any identified weak muscles and stretching any identified tight tissues.
Therefore, there are a number of exercises that can help to alleviate the symptoms of piriformis syndrome. Piriformis stretches can be performed in a seated, lying down, and even standing position, depending on what works best for you.
But exercise isn’t the only trick that helps with piriformis syndrome.
In fact, chiropractic care can go a long way towards alleviating symptoms of this disorder.
Chiropractic Care and Piriformis Syndrome
Chiropractors are concerned with keeping the spine in perfect alignment. They do so by performing treatments that correct any imbalances found in the spinal segments. These treatments, known as adjustments, provide immediate and long-lasting relief to low back pain sufferers of all types.
For people with piriformis syndrome specifically, chiropractic adjustments can help to loosen up any tight tissues that may be restricting the sciatic nerve so that the patient can return to living a pain-free life.
Are you experiencing piriformis syndrome, sciatica, or any type of low back pain? There is hope for you! Your friendly, Plano chiropractor at Keystone Chiropractic is here to help. Our expert team is ready to get you on our schedule and to get you feeling better. Book your appointment today!