piriformis syndrome westwood

Piriformis Syndrome: A Common Cause of Sciatica

Do you know your piriformis muscle?

The piriformis is small but powerful, a muscle located deep within the buttock that connects between the lower spine and the beginning of the femur. It’s function is to assist in rotation of the hip, but the piriformis is more well known for the problems it causes than for the way it assists your day to day movement. The problem is location: it just happens to sit right on top of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the human body . In fact, in some people’s bodies, the nerve runs directly through the muscle. This sets up a scenario for impingement on the sciatic nerve. 

Piriformis syndrome is nerve impingement at its finest

Piriformis syndrome refers to dysfunction of the piriformis muscle, whether due to tightness, spasm or swelling. When the piriformis muscle becomes overly tight due to injury or spasms, it impinges upon the sciatic nerve which runs underneath it, creating the classic symptoms of sciatica including pain, numbing and tingling in the buttocks and legs. This illustrates why it is important to determine the cause of your sciatic nerve pain. Once we determine that your sciatic nerve pain is caused by dysfunction in the piriformis muscle, there are steps we can take.

Treating piriformis syndrome in Westwood

We work to identify what is causing the tightness in your piriformis and thus the nerve impingement that is causing your sciatic nerve pain. From here we work on ensuring that spinal alignment is maintained through the base of the spine, and improve circulation to the injured piriformis muscle. If you are interested in leaving piriformis pain behind, give our office in Westwood a call to schedule an appointment today. 

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