Piriformis Syndrome - Buttocks Pain and Treatment

Piriformis Syndrome is described by most as a pain that is in the buttocks and radiates down. Piriformis Syndrome is one of the causes of sciatica. This can also cause gluteal pain. Piriformis Syndrome rarely results in surgery most individuals can manage pain with physical therapy.

It is really not known why the piriformis muscle sometimes starts to irritate the sciatic nerve. It is sometimes caused by a running injury or a fall. If the result of running injury you should consult your physician as to when you can resume exercise.

Before treatment a complete history and physical exam should be performed. Your physician should inquire about your daily activities. They may ask what causes the pain to worsen or get better Blood work may be drawn to rule out other ailments. X-ray is commonly ordered of both the lower back and pelvis. This can tell how much damage has been done.

Anti-inflammatory medicines are normally prescribed to treat gluteal pain. This includes medicines such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These medicines can be hard on patient's stomach so if you have ulcers or any conditions like that you should really disclose to your physician so they can prescribe medicine appropriate for you. Anti-inflammatory will decrease the inflammation which decreases the gluteal pain (pain in the lower back) and sciatic pain. Physical therapy will play a big role in recovery. Plan on visiting the physical therapist at least twice a week. They will prescribe exercises such as stretching to relieve irritation to the sciatic nerve.

When all else fails surgery maybe the only option. This is normally done outpatient. In some cases an overnight stay maybe required. A small incision about three inches long is made in the buttock The muscle gluteus maximus the largest buttock muscle is separated so surgeon can view the piriformis muscle. The surgeon will cut the piriformis tendon to release the tendon.

After surgery you can expect 4 to 6 weeks of physical therapy. Your therapist will use heat or ice, electrical stimulation, massage, and ultrasound. Exercise will be prescribed which will intensify with each therapy section. The idea is to get you back to pre-pain condition. Expect that total recovery time may take as long as 3 months this varies from person to person.

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