The Piriformis Muscle and Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is unfortunately very common for people of all ages, with data pointing to the fact that around 1 in 3 people will suffer from lower back pain in some form or another. There are many different reasons why people suffer from lower back pain, though some of the more common reasons include: injury, weight, and genetic conditions. Some people suffering from lower back pain will experience nothing other than a little discomfort, which will eventually subside. Others, however, will experience more severe, longer-lasting pain, that just will not seem to go. If your back pain is showing no signs of subsiding, it could be due to a condition called piriformis syndrome. In this article, we’ll be looking at the piriformis muscle and lower back pain.
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a relatively painful condition which is caused when a person’s piriformis muscle begins to spasm and contract. This muscle is located just above the buttocks, and when it does spasm, it causes pain and discomfort of varying degrees, in the buttocks and the lower back region. It can also cause the sciatic nerve to become irritated, which in turn can lead to sciatica.
What Causes Piriformis Syndrome?
There are many factors which are thought to contribute towards piriformis syndrome, though in reality the exact cause is not yet known. Despite this, however, experts suspect that some of the following are contributing factors:
- Injury or spasm in the area causing the piriformis muscle to tighten or become inflamed
- Bleeding, either internally or externally, around the piriformis muscle
- The muscle itself suffering from spasms due to irritation or injury
What are the Main Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome?
If you suspect your back pain is caused by the piriformis muscle, it’s important that you get a clear and precise diagnosis. Commonly you will likely experience a dull ache or pain in or around the buttocks and down the leg, very similarly to how sciatica might affect people. To help make a diagnosis, however, here’s a list of a few common symptoms and side effects to be aware of:
- Limited range of motion in the hips
- Pain and discomfort when walking at an incline
- Pain/dull ache in the buttocks
- Pain and/or discomfort after prolonged periods of sitting
How is it Treated?
If you suspect you are suffering with piriformis syndrome, it’s important that you make an appointment and see your chiropractor. They will then make a diagnosis and will be able to perform a series of stretches and physical therapy exercises to help alleviate any pain and discomfort.
For more information, contact Holly Springs Chiropractors at 919-924-0108.