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Piriformis Syndrome

Mystical Piriformis Syndrome is another ‘pain in the bum’! But why is it labelled as ‘mystical’? Well, the reason is, there’s some controversy about whether or not it actually exists… However, what we know is that, we’ve seen so many patients suffering from some or all of the suspect symptoms, (which include dull aches in the buttocks, pain down the back of the thighs, calves and feet, pain after prolonged sitting and pain when walking up the stairs) that, whether it exists or not, by treating piriformis ‘symptoms’ within a package of other treatment techniques, we see fantastic results in eliminating them.

Piriformis is one of a number of little muscles that live deep in the buttocks under all of the gluteal muscles. They are hugely important muscles in creating stability around the pelvis… enabling us to do all the crazy things that we do! Problems arise due to how these muscles sit – either right over the top of the sciatic nerve or in some people through the middle of the sciatic nerve. It is thought that if they get tight, they can irritate the sciatic nerve, resulting in buttock pain and radiating leg pain. We know that releasing off tight piriformis and deep hip rotators is only half of the problem solved. In most cases, the reason these muscles get tight is that they are trying their best to provide stability to the pelvis but they (and the glute muscles) are not strong enough to do it, so they tighten up as a second best option. And, the other half of the problem that we need to solve is glute and deep hip rotator strength. But wait… there’s more! Strength is only half of this battle; we need to make sure they are firing up at the right time when you’re doing normal movements like walking, lunging and squatting (don’t think these movements are just for gym goers we use them all the time like when you empty the dish washer…).

So does piriformis syndrome exist? Who knows? What we do know is if you have a ‘pain in the bum’, we have all of the answers to help get rid of it for good!



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