Do you have piriformis syndrome? With this condition, swelling, muscle spasms, scar tissue, or trauma causes your piriformis muscle to put pressure on your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs through your low back and down each of your legs, which is where your symptoms of pain and numbness are felt, often just on one side of your body.
The symptoms of piriformis syndrome are similar to, but subtly different from, those of sciatica, another condition involving compression of your sciatic nerve.
At Performance Pain & Sports Medicine, Dr. Matthias Wiederholz, Dr. Suzanne Manzi, and our team of experts offer comprehensive care and treatment for new and existing patients affected by piriformis syndrome and other hip and groin conditions. Find us at locations in Houston and League City, Texas, and Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Here are some of the treatments and therapies that effectively relieve symptoms of piriformis syndrome.
1. Rest and recuperation
Often, piriformis syndrome resolves on its own after a few days or weeks. Resting for a few days to allow piriformis muscle swelling to go down may be key to resolving your condition.
In some cases, you may notice that your pain symptoms relate to certain sitting positions or types of physical activities. If so, avoiding these triggers for a short time can help your symptoms resolve.
2. Heat and icing therapy
Pain from piriformis syndrome can be addressed non-pharmaceutically at home with heat or icing therapy. Try both approaches and find out which works best for you.
You can use heat therapy to help your piriformis muscle relax. Use a heating pad on your hips and buttocks, or soak the area in a hot bath.
For icing therapy, apply an ice pack to the area for 15 minutes at a time several times a day. Icing therapy can reduce swelling and inflammation.
3. Physical therapy to relieve sciatic nerve compression
With the right targeted exercises and stretches, you may be able to take pressure off your sciatic nerve, relieving the symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome.
Your goal is to thoroughly stretch out and strengthen your piriformis muscle. Actions like lying on your back and bringing one knee to your chest for 5-30 seconds can target this area of your body.
Therapeutic massage may also help relieve your pain and restore range of motion in your lower body.
Exercising regularly, and paying attention to your posture and spinal alignment when sitting and standing, can help you avoid piriformis syndrome flare-ups in the future.
4. Medication management
Your provider at Performance Pain & Sports Medicine can recommend or prescribe medication to manage your pain levels, relax muscles involved in your piriformis syndrome, and reduce inflammation in your body. These may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Injections with a corticosteroid or anesthetic
- Botox® injections
Medication management should only be temporary, until your underlying condition improves.
Surgical treatment is only very rarely needed for piriformis syndrome. The above strategies are almost always effective in addressing your symptoms of lower body pain and numbness within a few days or weeks. However, the condition can recur.
For the support you need to deal with piriformis syndrome symptoms, contact our team at Performance Pain & Sports Medicine today. Call our location most convenient to you to schedule an appointment, or book online with our easy-to-use scheduling tool.