When you come to a certain age, the thought of having a Piriformis syndrome treatment often comes to mind. It seems that the pain you constantly feel in your buttock or hip area makes you feel that you’re a bit veering towards the old age road. Having that pain take over your daily activities is a very difficult thing to endure.
You don’t have the energy to laugh hard anymore because the pain might be provoked. You can’t even enjoy the company of family and friends because of how you feel. Having Piriformis syndrome is tough since you have to get to know your condition well so that you and your doctor may be able to do something about it.
What You Should Know First?
It is common for Piriformis syndrome to just seemingly occur. There are physicians that cannot diagnose the syndrome until it is too debilitating to tolerate. The Piriformis muscle goes at the back of the hip joint. It’s a much smaller muscle along the thigh and hip regions. It helps in the hip joint’s external rotation. This muscle, together with its tendon, has close relationships with the sciatic nerve, which supplies the sensory and motor function of the lower extremities.
What Causes it?
Many experts think that the Piriformis tendon may be holding on to the sciatic nerve. This action then irritates the nerve. Another theory is that the Piriformis muscle and tendon may already be too tight that the sciatic nerve is continuously being constricted or choked. This leads to the decrease in blood flow and tissue oxygenation. The pressure itself may also be irritating the nerve.
Piriformis syndrome treatment is meant to treat that deep pain in the buttocks. This may be caused by problems in the spine such as tendonitis, spinal stenosis and herniated discs. If any of the given conditions are rules out, then the diagnosis for Piriformis syndrome is given. This is when the discussion about Piriformis syndrome treatment is discussed thoroughly.
Piriformis Syndrome Treatment Practices
The treatment for Piriformis Syndrome is a general thing. It includes physical therapy, deep massage, rest and anti-inflammatory medications. There are certain cases where the patients have to undergo surgery just to have the Piriformis muscle or tendon loosened up if the other treatments don’t work anymore. But here are some of the non-invasive treatments that you may try to consider:
Cold helps in the relief of pain and inflammation. The moment the pain starts, lie on your stomach comfortably. Then place an ice pack on the affected area for 20 minutes. Repeat this method every 2 or 4 hours. You could combine this with massage. Ice could be applied directly but it should only be for 8 or 10 minutes to prevent ice burns.
You could alternately apply heat with the cold treatment. Just be in the same position as with the ice treatment and place the hot pack on the affected area for 20 minutes. Remove the hot pack after such time because any longer than 20 minutes will lead to burns.
It’s a given that Piriformis pain is accompanied by inflammation. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) like Naproxen or Ibuprofen may be helpful in lowering the intensity of pain and inflammation. Even though it is a temporary solution it will help you big time.
The following injections are given to patients with severe Piriformis pain:
This is a cocktail of corticosteroids and anesthetics that is introduced intramuscularly via the Piriformis muscle. The effect would be a dramatic decrease in pain and spasms. This is administered so that progress can happen during physical therapy.
If the pain is already resistant to the Piriformis injection, then botulinum toxin will be injected. This weakens the Piriformis muscle, helping it relax to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
TENS therapy or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy is the process of applying electrical stimulation on the patient’s buttock area. IFC or interferential current stimulator could also be used to lessen the muscle spasms and stop the pain due to Piriformis syndrome.
Stretching the hip extensors and hamstrings could help eliminate the pain so that the person may be able to regain his or her normal ROM (range of motion). Here are some of the recommended stretches for the Piriformis syndrome:
- Lie flat on your back, with your feet flat touching the floor, knees bent. Pull your right knee to your chest and then with your left hand pull it towards your left shoulder. Hold the position and repeat on the other side.
- Lie flat on your back, with your feet flat touching the floor. Place your right leg on your left knee. Then pull your left thigh towards your chest. Hold the position and repeat on the other side.
- Sit on a chair and position another one in front of you. Place a heel on the chair in front then lean towards it. Hold the position when you feel a stretch at the back of your thigh.
- Lie on your back, both legs straight. With a towel, pull a straightened leg up and hold the stretch.
Deep massage and ROM exercises are very helpful in relieving the pain and tension in the Piriformis muscle. A licensed physical therapist should perform these methods on you so that you will get the best results.
Pain is a difficult enemy to face and endure. It makes you feel disabled or even old because you can’t do the things other people can at their age. If you have any kind of pain in the hip and buttock areas, you have to consult your doctor immediately. It should be noted that the pain you’re experiencing could be any condition related to the spine. Once you have finally confirmed that it really is Piriformis syndrome then you have to step up to the plate and discuss Piriformis syndrome treatment with your doctor.