We’ve all felt it at some point…that awful ache and tingling in the buttocks and lower back. Sometimes it shoots right down your leg to behind the knee. If you suffer from Piriformis Syndrome, you understand better than any of us what a struggle it can be!
We’re going to take a quick look at what causes this syndrome, and I’ll share some personal solutions that can help bring relief to your struggle.
First, what is the Piriformis muscle?
The piriformis muscle is part of the deep six lateral rotators of the hip, originating from your sacrum (the triangular bone below your spine) across your buttocks and pelvis, and attaching to the femur (thigh bone). Because the piriformis is used so much, it can become easily inflamed through regular activities like walking, bending, and even sitting for long periods.
What’s the Difference Between Piriformis Syndrome and Sciatica?
Piriformis Syndrome can be tricky, and it’s often misdiagnosed. The symptoms mimic those of sciatica, which is similar but usually more severe. When the Piriformis muscle becomes strained or inflamed, it irritates the sciatic nerve. Cue that painful ache in your buttocks and that tingling down your leg. With dedicated massage therapy and specific stretching, this condition can be controlled and the pain can be minimized.
Sciatica is actually a symptom that describes the pain and numbness caused from a compressed sciatic nerve, usually from irritation at the lumbar disc. This pain can be caused by multiple different sources, but what makes Sciatica different from Piriformis Syndrome is that it that sciatica involves a disc issue and piriformis syndrome is inflammation of the piriformis muscle, which then irritates the sciatic nerve. When a spinal disc expands (becomes herniated) and presses directly on the sciatic nerve, that’s when sciatica occurs. The two conditions feel very similar, and can actually coexist.
Massage for Piriformis Syndrome
If you know you have one of these painful lower back conditions, I can offer assistance through highly focused massage therapy. Massaging the Piriformis muscle will not have any lasting benefits; in fact, it may cause more irritation. So rather than just treating the symptom (applying pressure where it hurts), I focus on the specific areas that are causing the referred pain in your back.
After your session, I’ll set you up with some exercise and stretching techniques that will help to strengthen and support this muscle group.
Preliminary assessment for Sciatica
While I can work with sciatica patients in a way that reduces pain and inflammation, the issue is not primarily muscular; it’s a spinal condition that cannot be cured through massage. I’m not qualified to diagnose sciatica, or any condition for that matter, but I can do an assessment based on my training. From there, I can help you understand your options and advise you in the proper direction to take concerning medical treatment.
Massage for Piriformis Syndrome in NH
Have you been suffering in silence from lower back or butt pain? Don’t keep it to yourself anymore! I’m happy to work with you to bring relief from the awful symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome. Contact me today to talk about your concern, and let’s tackle this thing together!