Piriformis syndrome is a rather uncommon disorder. It is a neuromuscular disorder which is the result of your piriformis muscle compressing your sciatic nerve. This muscle is flat muscle, which is like a band that sits in your buttocks near the top of your hip joint. It stabilizes your hip joint and will lift your thigh and rotate it from your body. It is an important muscle which allows you to walk, shift weight from one foot to the other, and maintain your balance. It is also heavily used in sports—basically anything that involves the hips and legs relies on this muscle.
Your sciatic nerve is a long and thick nerve that runs down your lower back and down your leg, where it reaches your foot and branches into smaller nerves.
You will start to notice pain and tingling in your buttocks with piriformis syndrome. It may be severe and extend down your sciatic nerve. The pain is the result of your piriformis muscle compressing your sciatic nerve as it does when you are running or sitting. The pain may also be severe when you are sitting for a long period of time or climbing stairs.
There is no real test for piriformis syndrome. A diagnosis is often made via the report of your symptoms and a physical exam which requires you to do a variety of movements which might cause pain from the piriformis muscle alone. Your doctor may require an MRI to rule out other issues such as a slipped disc.
If your pain is exacerbated by certain activities it is recommended that you avoid those activities. You can relieve the pain with ice and heat. A doctor may also suggest exercises or stretches which reduce compression on your sciatic nerve. You can take anti-inflammatory medications as well.
It is often caused by repeatedly doing sports or movements that stress your piriformis muscle. You can prevent it by avoiding exercising or running on uneven surfaces. Be sure to warm up gradually before you begin your activities and retain good posture at all times. If the pain increases, then stop the activity and rest until it goes away.
Consult a Medical Practitioner
There are many instances where pain becomes unbearable. If this is the case or your pain continues to worsen it may be in your best interest to consult a medical practitioner. If your pain persists and medication and other therapies only offer temporary relief or the pain comes back more often or is more severe you will want to consult your medical practitioner.
A doctor can not only help you by diagnosing the source of your pain but may be able to offer medications which are better suited to target the source of the pain. They may be able to suggest therapies and alternative treatment methods or provide you with a necessary surgery.
Doctors should be consulted immediately if your back pain has progressed in such a manner that you have lost control over your bowels. The best pain management doctors Chicago has to offer are at PPS. The Chicago pain center has some of the best pain specialist Chicago has.