Piriformis Syndrome versus Sciatica Animation
Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular conditionwhere the piriformis muscle one of the deep gluteal muscles presses on and compressesthe sciatic nerve causing pain, tingling and numbness in the buttock area and down thepath of sciatic nerve to the thigh and leg. Sciatic nerve runs UNDER the piriformis muscleand may be irritated when the muscle is too tight or shortened due to spasms. Piriformissyndrome is to be differentiated from sciatica which shows similar symptoms but has differentcauses. Diagnosis is commonly done by EXCLUSION ofsciatica. Because sciatica usually associates with compression of sciatic nerve roots bya herniated disc, sciatic symptoms in the
ABSENCE of spinal disc herniation are indicativeof piriformis syndrome. Causes and risk factors of piriformis syndromeinclude: Anatomical abnormality of the nervemusclerelation. Some people are more likely to get piriformis syndrome than others. Tightness or spasm of the piriformis muscle due to overuse injury. This commonly happensin sport activities that put pressure on the piriformis muscle such as bicycling, runningwithout proper stretching, or any activity that involves repeated movements of the legsperformed in sitting position. Treatment options include: Stretching exercises, massage, avoidance
of causative activities. Antiinflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants for relief of symptoms. Physical therapy that strengthens the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and biceps femorisis usually recommended to reduce strain on the piriformis muscle.