What is piriformis syndrome?
The sciatic nerve is just beneath the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve can be compressed/irritated by the piriformis muscle. In turn, this can cause pain, tingling, numbness and pins and needles along the back of the leg and in to the foot.
So the piriformis muscle can cause pins and needles in your legs. But where is this muscle?
The piriformis muscle is located in the buttock region, deep to the gluteus maximus muscle (big bum muscle). It runs in a diagonal direction. It is attached to both the front of your sacrum (at the bottom of the spine and the upper portion of the thigh bone. Therefore it plays an important role in hip movement. Specifically, turning the leg and foot outwards.
What causes piriformis syndrome?
Although the exact cause of piriformis syndrome is unknown there are a few suspected causes:
Sacroiliac joint irritation causing piriformis muscle spasms.
Irritation of the piriformis muscle, causing it to spasm.
Injury to the piriformis muscle cause tightening of the muscle.
Injury to the piriformis muscle cause swelling of the muscle.
Bleeding in the piriformis muscle area.
What are the signs and symptoms of piriformis syndrome?
Despite there being no single diagnostic test for piriformis syndrome, the patient’s symptoms and physical exam can lead to a diagnosis.
Common symptoms of piriformis syndrome include:
Pain, pins and needle, numbness or weakness in the back of the thigh, calf or foot.
A dull ache, pain, tingling or numbness in the gluteal region.
Pain that is aggravated by walking up stairs or inclines.
A reduced range at the hip joint.
An increase in pain after prolonged sitting.
Pain may be increased by a practitioner applying pressure to the piriformis muscle.
How is piriformis syndrome diagnosed?
Ruling out other conditions that are a likely cause of the patient’s symptoms, as well as a thorough assessment of their medical history, a physical examination
and diagnostic testing is a common route in the diagnosis of piriformis syndrome.
A thank you note.
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