A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little bit about the piriformis muscle. This week, we’re going to discuss piriformis syndrome, a pathology of the piriformis muscle that causes compression of the sciatica nerve.
Cause of Piriformis Syndrome (Revord, 2012)
The cause of piriformis syndrome is not known for sure, but there are a couple of suspected causes.
- Tightness or swelling in the piriformis muscle due to injury
- Muscle spasm in the piriformis
- Irritation or injury to surrounding boney or muscular structures
Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome (Revord, 2012)
- Dull ache in buttock
- Pain, tingling, or numbness along sciatica nerve
- Limited range of motion in hip
- Pain in buttock, posterior thigh, calf, and foot when walking up stairs
- Worsened symptoms after prolonged sitting
Can Massage Be a Treatment?
Typical treatment for piriformis syndrome include stretching and strengthening exercise, rest, and icing. Receiving massage can assist in relaxing the piriformis muscle, reducing tightness and muscle spasms. It can also reduce pain in the muscle. If piriformis syndrome is caused by injury, massage can increase blood flow to the area which provides the nutrients required to heal.
It is important to understand that this blog is not meant to be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any pathology. Please always follow the advice of your primary care physician.
Revord, J. What is Piriformis Syndrome?. [Internet]. Spine-healt.com, Deerfield, IL 60015. [Updated 2012 Sep 14]. [Accessed 2017 Apr 18]. Available from: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/what-piriformis-syndrome