Woman experiencing lower back pain
Woman experiencing lower back pain

Experiencing lower body pain? It could be piriformis syndrome

It might sound like a mouthful (and it is), but this disorder is one that still affects Aussies right across the country. Usually including the hip, hamstring and buttocks, (and sciatic discomfort), Piriformis Syndrome shows up as pain throughout these areas.

The disorder often appears when the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed by the muscle called the piriformis. Because the piriformis is located deep within your buttocks, it can cause pain that’s often referred to as ‘pseudo sciatica’. Why? Because the condition is often confused with the discomfort that stems from a disc bulge in your lower back. Because of all of this, it can be tricky to identify.

Okay, but what is the piriformis muscle?

You’ll find this muscle around the base of your spine (the sacrum), and inserts into the greater trochanter of the femur. When you stand up, your piriformis muscle plays two different roles: it’s both the lateral hip rotator muscle and also the medial hip rotator. This is because of its orientation, and the nature of it can be complex to understand.

However, that all being said, this muscle plays a big role in discomfort that forms around this area of the body. Luckily, there are a few key signs to look out for.

The symptoms of piriformis syndrome

  • You may walk with your feet turned out because the muscle is shortening
  • Pain may be a result of overusing your hip – usually through walking or sitting down for too long
  • You may sit lopsided with your sore buttock, to avoid pain.
  • The pain usually forms in only one buttock, but you may experience referral discomfort down the back of your leg.

How is piriformis syndrome treated?

In some cases, pain relievers are issued to manage pain, and often in conjunction with muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatories. However, effective treatment features physical therapy, specific exercises and other remedial methods. For example, your medical practitioner may advise you to seek our services relating to:

  • Body adjustments
  • Exercises to increase the mobility of your sacroiliac joints
  • Applying heat
  • Acupuncture
  • Strengthening your hips
  • Physical exercises to stretch these muscles, and more.

In some cases, however, the condition may be beyond the treatment of a physical therapist. In these circumstances, you may be directed to undergo surgery (as a last resort), or injections.

Get relief now

If you are currently experiencing any of the above symptoms, we recommend getting in touch with our team to book an appointment now. We will assess your current circumstances and advise you with credible, accurate and caring advice towards the right treatment option for you.

Call now on 03 9873 3333 to get started, or to have any questions you may have answered.