Piriformis Syndrome - All You Need to Know
Posted on 16th August 2022 at 15:21
There are several reasons why you might need to book a massage. Muscular pain is usually the reason, although determining the cause isn't always that simple. The reason for the massage can help you pick whether you need a deep tissue massage or a sports massage.
Piriformis Syndrome (PS) is a real pain in the bum (literally!). You may have been diagnosed with it or have come to that conclusion on your own based on the symptoms. If you have only consulted Dr Google, it is essential that you seek a professional diagnosis before seeking treatment.
But what is Piriformis Syndrome and can massage help it?
The piriformis is one of six lateral hip rotators
The Piriformis muscle can be found just below the gluteus maximus (your bottom) and is essential to almost every hip motion.
Its primary function is to prevent hip dislocation and to allow for lateral rotation of the thigh. The sciatic nerves begin in the lumbar spine, descend through the glutes (near to the piriformis muscle), and then branch into smaller neurons that feed the lower leg and foot. However, in 25% of people, the nerve passes through the piriformis muscle itself.
Now you know why overusing this muscle, like in intense workouts or sitting for lengthy periods of time, can lead to nerve compression, discomfort, and even weakness.
Piriformis Syndrome: What Is It?
Piriformis Syndrome is essentially a pain in the buttocks. Chronic hip and buttock discomfort is a symptom of this neuromuscular disorder. When the piriformis muscle (found in the buttock area) spasms, it can lead to a painful condition known as piriformis syndrome. The nearby sciatic nerve may be pinched or irritated.
As a result, you'll feel discomfort all the way down your rear leg and into your foot. As a result, you may have symptoms comparable to sciatica.
Is it Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome?
As the symptoms of both conditions are so similar, piriformis syndrome is often misdiagnosed as sciatica. Sciatica is caused by a disc dysfunction pushing on the nerve, whereas Piriformis Syndrome is caused by a pressure of the sciatic nerve, resulting in discomfort and/or dysfunction in the area.
What can help improve Piriformis Syndrome?
The muscular spasm or tightness that causes Piriformis Syndrome can be relieved by the soft tissue massage techniques often used in sports massage. There are a lot of things you can do to successfully ease the condition, and sports massage is one of them.
Consider if you can stop doing the action that might be causing it. Determining what you believe or feel to be the root source of the issue can help prevent it. Many times, a gut feeling will lead you in the right direction, but it's always smart to double-check with an expert just in case.
Apply heat to the affected region to relieve muscular tension. A warm bath, hot water bottle, or heat packs can alleviate muscular soreness.
Although pain relievers can assist with mobility, we don't advise using them regularly. Painkillers dull the pain, but they don't get to the bottom of the problem. (Get it?) Rather than covering up the problem, we'd rather find out what's causing it and fix it.
The most effective treatment for Piriformis Syndrome, in our opinion, is a mix of sports massage to relax the tight tissue of the entire area (not just the piriformis muscle) and a set of home exercises a therapist may offer you.
It's possible you'll need to see a doctor if the problem persists or if there are other contributing factors.
Sports massage can help Piriformis Syndrome
We have found the following massage techniques to be very helpful in alleviating the discomfort and difficulties associated with Piriformis Syndrome.
Deep tissue massage is a standard massage method that effectively treats Piriformis Syndrome. Deep tissue massage relaxes the lumbar, quadriceps, hamstrings, all gluteal muscles, and, of course, the piriformis.
Soft tissue release (STR) is a type of assisted stretching that focuses on the muscle fibres to break up adhesions, scar tissue, and realign the tissues.
Trigger point treatment (TPT) is also particularly successful at relaxing the neurological system, allowing the muscle to 'reset' to normal function.
Strengthening exercises are also important in restoring Piriformis and adjacent muscle function. To prevent one set of muscles from overworking and throwing everything off kilter, it's important to perform strengthening exercises to ensure that all muscles are doing their job.
If you want to go back to normal as fast as possible after a massage, your therapist should do an evaluation and go through a programme with you to do at home in between sessions.
Need some assistance?
Piriformis Syndrome is a common condition that we treat at our offices. The good news is that sports massage (combined with exercises) can help to alleviate the problem.
Schedule a massage with us now, and we'll assess your unique needs and create a plan of action to bring you back to peak performance as soon as possible.
Share this post: