Piriformis Syndrome is a condition that remains a mystery in the medical community, often eluding clear diagnosis due to its similarity to other conditions like sciatica. 

The piriformis muscle, nestled deep in the buttocks, plays a crucial role in our ability to move our hips, legs, and feet. When this muscle becomes tight or spasms, it can irritate the sciatic nerve that runs beneath it, leading to an array of discomforting symptoms. 

So, how do you know if you’re experiencing piriformis syndrome or something else? Here are the top signs it might be your piriformis.

1. Sciatica-like Pain in the Buttocks

One of the hallmark signs of piriformis syndrome is a sciatica-like pain that originates in the buttocks. Unlike traditional sciatica, which usually stems from spinal issues like herniated discs, the discomfort in piriformis syndrome is due to the piriformis muscle itself. The pain can range from mild to severe and might increase with sitting for long periods.

2. Pain That Extends Down the Leg

The irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle can cause pain that radiates down the back of the leg, sometimes even reaching the foot. This symptom mimics sciatica, making piriformis syndrome tricky to diagnose without a thorough examination.

3. Numbness or Tingling in the Leg

Along with pain, individuals with piriformis syndrome may experience a numbness or tingling sensation along the leg, following the path of the sciatic nerve. This can be particularly noticeable when sitting or standing in a certain position for too long.

4. Increased Pain with Activity

Activities that involve the piriformis muscle, such as running, climbing stairs, or sitting in a car for an extended period, can exacerbate the pain. This increase in discomfort is a telltale sign of piriformis syndrome, as the muscle is being put under additional strain.

5. Difficulty Sitting Comfortably

Since the piriformis muscle is engaged when we sit, individuals with this syndrome often find it challenging to find a comfortable sitting position. The pain can make long periods of sitting, such as driving or working at a desk, particularly difficult.

6. Pain When Applying Pressure

Applying pressure to the area of the piriformis muscle, such as when sitting on hard surfaces or lying down on one side, can trigger or increase pain. This symptom is indicative of the muscle’s involvement in the discomfort.

7. Limited Range of Hip Motion

Piriformis syndrome can lead to a decreased range of motion in the hip joint. You might notice difficulty in performing actions that require hip movement, such as walking or shifting from sitting to standing.

8. Pain During Bowel Movements

In some cases, the act of having a bowel movement can provoke pain if the piriformis muscle is involved. This is due to the muscle’s location and its potential impact on surrounding nerves and tissues.

Discover Chiropractic Care

Treatments for piriformis syndrome often include physical therapy, targeted stretches, and exercises that focus on relieving muscle tightness and strengthening the surrounding muscles. Chiropractic care can further help ensure this situation doesn’t happen again. In some cases, medical treatments such as injections or medication may be recommended.

If you suspect you’re experiencing signs of piriformis syndrome, your Montrose chiropractor is here to help. Our team at New Life Chiropractic is committed to your overall well-being and happiness. Contact us today to get started.