Suffering from Piriformis Syndrome?
Cynthia Luo, RMT - Registered Massage Therapist
Piriformis Syndrome is a neuromuscular condition. It is the compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle in the buttock and hip area, causing pain with possible tingling or numbness sensations.
Signs & Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome
The condition presents itself more for women than men, the ratio is 6:1, and is more common between the ages of 40 to 50 years old. It could exist intermittently or present chronically.
The most common symptom: Pain in the buttock or hip area; tenderness can be felt with applied pressure
Lower back pain can be caused by piriformis syndrome
Possible pain with numbness or tingling at the buttock which could radiate/shoot down to the back of the thigh, lower leg and even the foot along the sciatic nerve
The onset can be sudden with trauma or gradually onset over several months
Mostly it occurs on one side, but it is possible on both sides of the buttocks or lower limbs
Sitting or walking for a long time can trigger or worsen the condition
It could affect regular activities like walking, sitting and sleeping when it gets serious
The Cause of Piriformis Syndrome
The tension or tightness of the piriformis muscle
Trigger points in the piriformis muscle
Spasm in the piriformis muscle or surrounding structure like hip or sacroiliac joint
Direct trauma, swelling and inflammation in the piriformis muscle, like falling down on the buttock or a motor vehicle accident
Pregnancy with increased body weight
Sitting or driving for a long time or over active life/work style such as walking, running, cycling, repeated bending & lifting, etc. for long periods of time
The Ways to Prevent/Release Piriformis Syndrome
Therapeutic Massage has been proven to be an effective way in releasing the condition.
It provides great benefit by relaxing the tense soft tissue areas, using a variety of massage techniques
By manipulating the soft tissues, it is very efficient in reducing pain, muscle spasm, discomfort and stress
It helps to detox the muscles by improving blood and oxygen circulation
Recommendation: one session or many treatments may be required depending on how serious the condition is, the length of the condition, different life/work styles, different responses to the massage treatment by individuals, etc.
What Can Patients do to Prevent or Release the Condition?
Stop or have breaks during prolonged sitting or driving
Stop, reduce or modify the activities that can cause or trigger the condition, such as hiking, walking, running, cycling, squatting, etc. for a long period of time
Stretching the piriformis and buttocks muscles
Wear loose pants
Avoid placing your cell phone or wallet in the back pocket of your pants
Visit your favourite Registered Massage Therapist!