Piriformis Syndrome: Why A Medical Opinion Needs To Be Sought

Piriformis Syndrome: Why A Medical Opinion Needs To Be Sought


Piriformis syndrome is a condition that causes pain in the buttock area, we well as in the hip and sometimes down the back of the upper part of the leg. This is due to the piriformis muscle which is tightened or has sustained an injury.


Piriformis syndrome is often experienced by serious walkers, runners and joggers, simply because the piriformis has been forced to undergo an activity (walking or running etc) over and over again, without being adequately warmed up, or given time to recover. Or it my be that a person is moving the wrong way and with bad posture, which can cause the piriformis to contract. Often the muscle will react by getting tighter and when the piriformis muscle tightens, you really can feel it!


The pain is caused simply by the muscle being so tight and the fact that the muscle is tight means that it isn’t getting its usual blood flow. In turn this leads to the muscle taking longer to recover, so the pain continues.


However, the condition can conversely be caused by sitting for long periods of time, such as at a computer or even driving for a long time, without adequate breaks. This results in the piriformis muscle becoming sore and irritated and thus painful.


Beware Self Help Remedies


Although there are some massage exercises and some general stretching exercises that can be undertaken to loosen the tightening of the piriformis muscle, treatment of any trigger points and indeed overall treatment needs to be carried out by a pain consultant, who will ensure that expert physiotherapy and treatment can be carried out.


The difficulty with ‘self diagnosing’ a condition such as piriformis syndrome and then choosing to use tools such as the internet to elicit self help treatments, is that the diagnosis of piriformis syndrome needs to be carried out by an expert. There are other conditions that may cause similar symptoms and these need to be investigated and then ruled out if they are not the cause of pain. These include potentially grave conditions such as disease within the spine or even very severe hanstring tendonitis. Thus it is important that an expert opinion is sought, rather than relying on the results from a search engine on the internet.


Self help exercises need to be advised by healthcare professionals, since trigger points are already highly sensitive and irritated. Inappropriate massage techniques may further irritate the trigger points, making recovery that much longer.


Trigger Points:


Trigger points are often referred to with regard to piriformis syndrome but what are they? Well a trigger point is a part of the muscle/soft tissue that is extremely irritated and when touched or subjected to any compression will feel very tender and quite painful.


The irritation is caused by the muscle being used over and over, without adequate recovery time. So there is a part of the muscle that acts as a way of triggering pain, so it is referred to as a ‘trigger point’.


The Importance Of Physiotherapy


An expert physiotherapist will be best advised to go through specific massage techniques and exercises that are specific to you and your condition. They will be able to give you tailor made advice, that will ensure that your recovery process is as swift as possible and that there is no danger of exacerbating an already painful condition.







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