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Piriformis Syndrome (Low Back) treatment guide

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Guide Overview

A brief summary of what you'll find inside our treatment guide.

Definition

Piriformis Syndrome is a chronic condition, which means that it often develops over a long period. It’s often mistaken or misdiagnosed as a herniated (‘slipped’) disc, as the symptoms are very similar.

Causes (Aetiology)

Piriformis Syndrome is caused when muscles in the buttocks compress and irritate the sciatic nerve during repetitive movement or exercise. Pain then causes a protective guarding and tightening of the muscle fibres which in turn makes the condition worse.

Signs and symptoms

Piriformis Syndrome often feels better with rest and a little pain relief but without effective rehabilitation, it always comes back when returning to normal activity, sport or exercise.

Symptoms include:

  • Dull ‘toothache’ type pain into the lower back and buttock
  • Sharp ‘burning’ pain when the affected buttock muscle is pressed
  • Pain often refers to the back of the thigh but not down the leg
  • Pain which is worse during or after sitting

Acute phase management

Most people fail in their treatment of Piriformis Syndrome because they are unable to identify the cause of their pain. Once the source has been identified, effective steps can be taken to manage the symptoms.

Our treatment guide will help you to identify what’s causing your pain and create the right conditions to begin effective rehabilitation.

Post-acute phase management

Post-acute phase rehabilitation involves the staged introduction of isometric, concentric and eccentric muscle stretches, scar tissue removal, and proprioceptive exercises to decompress the affected tissues and nerve roots.

Condition-specific exercises will help you achieve a full, pain-free range of movement to stop the symptoms coming back.

Prognosis

Piriformis Syndrome responds well to self-treatment and conservative care; although recovery times are dependent on the severity of the condition.

Our treatment guide provides comprehensive tips and advice to achieve a full recovery in the shortest possible time.

Complications

If you follow the treatment guide correctly and are diligent with the rehabilitation programme, then complications are unlikely.

However, without correct rehabilitation, there may be intermittent flare-ups and debilitating pain into the buttock and down the back of the thigh.

Periodic stretching and joint mobilisation to lengthen the muscles and reduce compression of the sciatic nerve are some of the techniques contained in our clinically proven treatment guide to help prevent reoccurrence. 

Start today and fast track your recovery!

Our guides contain all the latest clinical advice for musculoskeletal healthcare.

You can save hundreds of pounds or dollars on expensive physical therapy by treating the condition simply and effectively at home.

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