Piriformis Syndrome

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis Syndrome is when the piriformis muscle irritates or pinches the scaitic nerve which then leads to pain. Usually the pain starts from around the buttocks and follows along the sciatic nerve down the leg, ending at around the ankle. Although it’s sometimes called sciatica for simplification, it differs in name and in treatment because it specifically deals with the Piriformis muscle.

Diagnosis of Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome Diagnosis has multiple stages. The first and foremost, doctor physical examination, which can sometime differ from doctor to doctor. Some doctors may just ask where it hurts and follow up with more specific questions. Other doctors may use a more physical method, they may follow the pain and touch multiple points and ask if hurts, they may also bend and flex your body or leg around, this is also called the Pace, and the FAIR (flexion, adduction, internal rotation) movements. This is usually done to purposly cause irritation in the sciatic nerve, and gives the doctor better understanding of the issue.

The next possible step that a doctor may take to diagnose Piriformis Syndrome is an x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, and or EMG. These types of tools and techniques are used to both try to find the affected area and to rule out other possible reasons for similar pain.

After the doctor excludes all other possible issues and believes it’s Piriformis Syndrome they may suggest to do a magnetic resonance neurography, which is a technique that actually finds where the nerve is being pinched by the Piriformis muscle. This type of scan can also determin if the patient has a split sciatic nerve or a split Piriformis muscle, which helps the doctor to determine the exact areas that are being affected. This type of scan is difficult to get most insurance companies to pay for it as they find it “investigational/not medically necessary”.

Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome

The first thing I have to say is if you are experiencing pain go see a doctor and get checked out, once the doctor helps you determing what the problem is, it’s your decision on what to do and how to deal with the issue at hand. If you suffer from Piriformis Syndrome the good news is that in most cases surgery is not neccessary. Piriformis Syndrome is a problem that lies in a muscle and not a herniated disc. Mild techniques start with stretches and mild workouts, such as walks, swimming, cycling, or rowing. If your looking for more specific instructions like I was, I highly recommend these to products I purchased during my research to cure my sciatica.

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