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What You Need to Know: Piriformis Syndrome

By Sara Butler

Piriformis syndrome is something many people can suffer from but don’t know why – they just know they have a pain in their backside. Yes, that piriformis syndrome can be a literal pain in the butt. Here’s what can cause piriformis syndrome, what you can do about it, and how your chiropractor may be able to help!

What Piriformis Syndrome Is

If you suffer from piriformis syndrome you may have the following symptoms:

  • Low back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain in the buttocks
  • Pain in the hip
  • Sciatica

The piriformis muscle connects your tailbone to your thigh bone, and if it’s too tight or too short it can irritate your sciatic nerve, causing pain. Sciatica can be very intense and very uncomfortable; if you have sciatica because of your piriformis muscle then you may not be able to find relief in any position. In fact, sitting will probably make your pain much worse because when you sit you’re sitting right on your piriformis muscle.

The Cause of Piriformis Syndrome

This syndrome is caused by a muscle that is too short and tight, and that can be caused in a few different ways. Joint dysfunctions, subluxations, poor posture and sitting for hours at a time can all contribute to the development of piriformis syndrome.

What Can You Do?

Stretching regularly is going to be your best defense in this battle. The supine piriformis stretch and a yoga position called the pigeon are going to be the best weapons in your arsenal to stretch this muscle and help from becoming too tight.

If subluxations are the cause of your piriformis problems, then a visit to your chiropractor can help. Subluxations hamper the proper movement of the joints, causing irritation of the nerves and dysfunction of the joints. Your chiropractor can focus on the sacroiliac joints that connect your sacrum to your pelvis. If there is a subluxation present in this joint it can cause problems for you when walking, sitting and even bending. If this joint is locked up with a subluxation, it will cause the muscles around it to work harder – and one of those muscles is the piriformis. Release the joint and you’re helping release your piriformis too!

Between visits to your chiropractor, you can use ice therapy at home to help reduce inflammation, and stretching will help, too.

If you suspect you have piriformis syndrome, discuss it with your chiropractor during your next adjustment at The Joint Chiropractic.

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