Many athletes know all too well the pain, tingling, numbness or even spasms in the back of the leg and near the buttock area known as Piriformis Syndrome. But this condition is not just limited to athletes as there are a number of causes. In addition, the piriformis muscle can irritate the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, and cause pain in the back, back of the leg and all the way down into the foot as well. However, as with other sports injury and chronic pain conditions, there is relief available without the aid of medications. Chiropractic neurology is a perfect choice for patients suffering with Piriformis Syndrome and this post will take a closer look at the syndrome and treatment.
The little piriformis muscle is small but mighty. It sits deep in the buttock behind the gluteus maximus and connects the lower spine to the top of each thighbone. This muscle assists in rotating the hip and turning the leg and foot outward. In most people, the sciatic nerve runs vertically directly beneath the piriformis muscle, although in some people the nerve can actually run through the muscle.
While the diagnosis for piriformis syndrome has been controversial and the exact cause hard to determine, it is generally thought that there is a tightening of the piriformis muscle and its tendon, which causes the sciatic nerve to become pinched, decreasing the blood flow to the nerve and irritating nerve endings. Some common signs that a person may be experiencing piriformis syndrome include:
- Pain behind the hip and buttocks
- Shock like pains in the lower extremities
- Numbness in the lower extremities
- Tenderness with pressure on the piriformis, often associated with sitting on hard chairs or surfaces
Since piriformis is rather difficult to diagnose, in the past, traditional treatment options have been quite general; medications, rest, physical therapy and cortisone injections are all normal course of treatment. However, today patients are finding faster relief without the use of drugs or injection therapy through a treatment plan based in Chiropractic Neurology.
Piriformis Syndrome typically has a good prognosis with proper care that should begin with finding the underlying cause of the pain. Your Chiropractic Neurologist will conduct an in office exam to seek the root of the problem. Malfunction of the spinal joints and the pelvic area are often where the Piriformis Syndrome begins and restoring the proper function to those areas is vital to quick recovery. As with many sports or other injury, massage, stretching and strengthening exercises and trigger point therapies are often part of the treatment as well. In addition to restoring the balance between the brain and nervous system, these are all treatments that your Chiropractic Neurologist in an expert in and can explain how they can be applied to your specific case. As with any medical condition, the causes and symptoms are unique to each patient and it is important to have a doctor who understands the need for personalized care that uncovers the underlying cause of the pain.
If you are experiencing pain and traditional methods have failed or you are searching for a non-invasive, drug-free and fast-acting course of treatment, Chiropractic Neurology may very well be the answer. Please contact Dr. Marc Ellis and his team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today to schedule a consultation.