Are you suffering from buttock or leg pain? numbness or pins and needles into the back of the leg? If so then you may be suffering from piriformis syndrome. For such a small muscle the piriformis can be quite the pain in the butt, if not managed well. The piriformis muscle lies deep to your gluteal muscles from your sacrum (at the bottom of your spine) to the greater trochanter (hip bone) of your femur. It allows you to externally rotate your leg (roll your leg out), as well abduction when your hip is flexed (move your legs apart).
The main issue that arises in regards to the piriformis is its proximity to the sciatic nerve. As a result it can often irritate the sciatic nerve causing buttock and leg pain, along with numbness and or pins and needles.
Symptoms you may experience
A dull ache in your buttock
Pain when walking, or even weight bearing, stair climbing or walking on an incline or changing direction
Pain increases with prolonged sitting
Decrease in range of movement at the hip
Referred pain into the back of the thigh, calf or foot
Sports that piriformis issues may be more common in are running, cycling, horse riding, ice hockey and other skating disciplines, also squash and weight training, especially during one legged exercises such as lunging.
Horse riding in particular can cause the piriformis to become tight and short as the hip is worked in prolonged external rotation increasing the risk of sciatic nerve impingement. Ice hockey also encourages repetitive external hip rotation in the push off phase of skating, as a result the piriformis is being asked to work hard in a shortened position increasing the chances of impingement.
You should also be aware of other conditions that may have similar symptoms to piriformis syndrome such as;
A hamsting injury
Lower back disc pain, facet joint issues or discogenic pain syndrome
All the above are treatable by our team so if in doubt pop in to get a diagnosis
How to reduce the risk of Piriformis Syndrome
Invest in a hard ball such as a lacross ball which you can purchase from Pea Green Physio and we can show you the best ways of releasing that stubborn piriformis with stretching and foam rollering.
Regular stretching sessions such as yoga, in particular the ‘pigeon’ yoga position is ideal for releasing the piriformis. and always stretch after sporting activities
Don’t let it get bad, the first sign of any tightness get on that ball or come into Pea Green Physio.
What Pea Green Physio can do?
At Pea Green we have a highly experienced team of Physiotherapists, Sports Therapists and Sports Massage Therapists on hand, that can effectively treat and manage piriformis syndrome. We are here to assess fully and correctly diagnose the cause of your buttock, leg pain and/or pins needles or numbness, we can differentiate between sciatica, a hamstring strain or tear and piriformis syndrome.
The following treatments could help you
Deep tissue massage
Trigger point therapy
Soft tissue release
Muscle energy techniques
Acupuncture or Dry Needling
Stretching and strengthening exercises
by Pollyanna Fitzgerald
Please don’t hesitate to give Pea Green Physio a call to book an appointment and get to the root of your pain.
We offer a 15 minute ‘Check Up’ for only £20. To assess, diagnose and we’ll give advise and some exercises to do at home.
Call 01869241411 to book, or email: [email protected].
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