Facts on Piriformis Syndrome:
*based on a a review article in Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA)*
- The Piriformis muscle acts chiefly as a hip rotator that rests over the sciatic nerve and in some cases the sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle belly. Any trauma, inflammation or increase size of this muscle can be lead to a piriformis syndrome.
- Most common in females and patients between 40 to 50 years old
- Physical Therapy can be effective in the treatment of Piriformis syndrome especially soon after onset
- Symptoms include: pain sitting > 20min, pain with bowel movements, pain from sacrum to glutes to back of thigh, numbness in foot, abdominal/groin pain, weakness only in one of the lower extremities (right or left)
- Causes are either severe direct trauma to muscle or repetitive activities that compress muscle “wallet” syndrome
- Typically presents with hip and buttock pain especially after sitting for greater than 20 minutes
- Diagnosis made via medical history and a clinical evaluation; xrays and MRI not as heplful
- Typically have weakness in musculature that receive nerve supply below the piriformis muscle
- Early diagnosis key to successful treatment of Piriformis Syndrome
- EMG testing assists in differentiating lumbar versus piriformis syndrome especially during active tests of Piriformis syndrome
Typically, if a clear diagnosis has not been made between a lumbar disorder or piriformis syndrome I first treat the lumbar spine based on the higher probability especially if my sacroiliac clearing tests are also negative. At Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation our paramus and ridgewood physical therapists specialize in differentiating the causes of your complex spinal and pelvic disorders.
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus, NJ provides spine, orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Paramus, Westwood and Bergen County region. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.