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6 Facts About Piriformis Syndrome

By    |   Thursday, 17 Mar 2016 03:02 PM

Piriformis syndrome is a pain in the butt — literally.

When the piriformis muscle, which is located behind the gluteus maximus, spasms, it can cause pain and is diagnosed as piriformis syndrome, according to Spine-Health. Pain can also spread down the legs, as well.

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The muscle begins at the lower spine and connects to the thighbone. Its function is to help turn the hip, leg, and foot, Spine-Health notes.

Here are some facts to note about piriformis syndrome:

1. Its cause is unknown.

While the direct reason for the disease remains unknown, spasms are suspected to be the result of irritation of, injury to, or bleeding in the piriformis muscle, according to Spine-Health.

2. It may spread down the leg.

Due to the piriformis muscle’s close proximity to the sciatic nerve, spasms can irritate this nerve and cause pain, numbness, and tingling in other parts of the body below the waist, Spine-Health explains. For this reason, many of the symptoms are similar to diskogenic sciatica, Medscape adds.

In 15 percent of people, the sciatic nerve actually travels through the piriformis muscle, which makes these people more likely to experience problems with piriformis syndrome, says Runners Connect.

3. Its effects can appear in different ways.

The pain usually occurs in the region of the muscle, around the buttocks and femur. Certain activities can make it worse, such as sitting for too long, Runners Connect states. Typically, the pain occurs during the “stance” position when a person runs; this is when the foot is down.

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4. Stretching can help avoid the syndrome.

Becoming too aggressive can lead to worse pain in the piriformis, says Runners Connect reports. Elongating the time spent stretching may be able to help some patients. Different lengths of time following when pain is originally caught in the body around the piriformis muscle can also affect what sorts of exercises and stretches an individual does.

5. Its diagnosis is controversial.

The syndrome’s diagnosis is clinical, and there are no scientific tests to be able to confirm, support, or deny such clinical findings, Medscape reports.

Tests, including MRIs and CT scans, can look for other diseases that are causing a patient's symptoms, such as a herniated disc. If such examinations come back negative, piriformis syndrome may be considered as a diganosis.

6. Treatment piriformis typically depends on patient response to physical exercise.

Most doctors will recommend stretches and exercises to treat piriformis syndrome. Some physicians may even suggest physical therapy.

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Piriformis syndrome is a pain in the butt - literally. When the piriformis muscle, which is located behind the gluteus maximus, spasms, it can cause pain and is diagnosed as piriformis syndrome.
piriformis syndrome, facts
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2016-02-17
Thursday, 17 Mar 2016 03:02 PM
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