Jumat, 29 Maret 2013

Having a pain in your ass-couldn't be Sciatica

Not feeling good about you because finally decided to clean out the garage, but you are so sore the next day you can move-especially in your ass muscles? Many patients see us for emergency treatment this time of year because they made something out of the ordinary, such as: play golf; garage cleaning; raking leaves; or camping and sleeping with a rock under them. And now they are experiencing pain in the butt.

Many times these patients come in thinking I have sciatica. What they are actually experiencing is called piriformis syndrome. This joint muscle injury can result from repetitive movements and over use of your piriformis muscle. Pain is often felt in gluteal muscles first, with subsequent referred pain in the legs. This is commonly mistaken for sciatica.

What is piriformis syndrome?

The piriformis is a muscle that originates at the base of the spine and you put at the top of the thigh bone (femur). The sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle. If the muscle becomes tight, often from overuse, can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause pain that may radiate down the leg. Piriformis Syndrome often imitates the sciatica, the difference is the source of the pain.

Every muscle that is used repeatedly in need a chance to recover. Imagine what happens to your piriformis muscle every time swing golf club. The repetitive swinging motion and sudden muscle pulls, that eventually begins to spasm. When the piriformis muscle begins to spasm will pull the hip bone causing the hip to become misaligned.


The treatment for piriformis syndrome is to seek chiropractic treatment for misaligned hip and a physio/masseur for trigger point therapy and stretching.

Self treatment for piriformis syndrome is to use a tennis ball or golf (a cold one is better) on your hip or butt area. Sit on the floor and put your weight on the golf ball. Move the ball until the ball is in the place where it hurts most. If it’s sore and it hurts while you’re sitting on the golf ball is doing a great job! Toxins tend to accumulate in the muscles tight and put pressure on this area to relieve toxins, and also breaks the pain-spasm-pain cycle.

Other tips: avoid using heat, use ice and taking ibuprofen if you need it. Visit your local chiropractor or physiotherapist to help break the cycle of pain-spasm-pain.


Regular stretching and strengthening are the best ways to prevent the piriformis syndrome. This muscle rarely gets stretched, so often a simple routine of stretching works wonders.

Stretch before doing any repetitive activities such as golf, raking leaves, play tennis or doing extra chores around the House such as cleaning out the garage. Heat the piriformis muscle by running in place, stretching the muscle, and getting chiropractic adjustments.

To stretch the piriformis muscle right:

Lay on your back, bend your knees and cross your right leg over your left so that your right ankle rests on his left knee in a figure 4. Bring the left leg toward your chest by bending at the hip. Reach through and grab your left thigh to help pull the chest.

Sit on the floor with your legs extended out. Place your right knee on the left leg. Place your left arm on the right leg, twisting torso and pushing the right knee of the left leg.

Hold both stretches for 30 seconds, repeat five times on the painful side. If you extend alone does not help, check with your chiropractor or a physical therapist.

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