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Sciatic Pain and Piriformis Syndrome

Since Piriformis syndrome is a pain in the sciatic nerve, sciatic pain and Piriformis Syndrome are fairly similar diseases. Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which piriformis muscle irritates sciatic nerve, causing severe pain in back which can then spread to the back of leg and eventually to the foot. Mostly this disease is common in women and in some cases among athletes such as marathon walkers and runners.

While learning about sciatic pain and Piriformis Syndrome on internet, you may come across the information about the piriformis muscle. It is a small muscle positioned deep in the back, behind gluteus maximums. The piriformis muscle begins at the lower backbone and links to the upper surface of each thighbone. It works to help in turning the hip and runs with the sciatic nerve running vertically straight under it.

The pain of piriformis syndrome can increase if the piriformis muscle is stretched or if it puts pressure on sciatic nerve, which lies just below it. The stress on sciatic nerve can give rise to low back pain or pain that spreads out in the rear and along the leg. Generally, this pain is similar to sciatic pain. Although piriformis syndrome cannot cause actual sciatic pain, it can generate soreness, numbness or itchy with the sciatic nerve that runs along the back of the leg into the foot.

If you are suffering from sciatic pain and Piriformis Syndrome, your orthopedist will advise you to perform some of the stretching exercises to get rid of it:

  • Stretching the piriformis muscle is one of the most helpful exercises to get rid of the pain along the sciatic nerve and you can do it in several dissimilar poses.
  • A number of exercises can be done to reduce the painful symptoms of sciatic nerve.
  • The stretching exercises can help you to boost your hamstring muscles, piriformis muscles and hip extensor muscle.

The diagnosis of Piriformis syndrome is usually based on the signs and some laboratory tests. There are no specific tests to confirm the diagnosis perfectly. However, MRI, X-rays or nerve condition tests may be essential if the pain is severe. These tests are also helpful to rule out the possibility of other diseases.

The physical therapy can help break the series of spasm and soreness with several stretching exercises. Sometimes, physical therapy can be aided with local painkillers or by giving steroid injections directly to the affected area. Generally, there is no need of surgery for treating Piriformis. However, surgery is the sole alternative left to the patient after all conventional care techniques have been used in vain.

If you are suffering from Piriformis syndrome, you should avoid bicycling, running or doing activities that can cause pain. If your pain is aggravated due to sitting, standing up immediately, then you may change your sitting position if you are unable to stand up. In this way, you can try one of the physical therapies to get rid of sciatic pain and Piriformis Syndrome. However, physical therapy should only be practiced under the guidance of an expert trainer.


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