What is piriformis syndrome?

One of the main problems that a lot of people face following car wrecks is issues in their lumbar region and hips. This isn’t always a broken bone or life threatening injury, but sometimes something more subtle such as an unnatural muscular imbalance. Piriformis syndrome is a common issue that some people get after an accident, while others develop it on their own.

Piriformis syndrome is an irritation of the Sciatic nerve that branches from the lumbar spine, traveling through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. The irritation and pain that piriformis syndrome causes is uncomfortable and can sometimes be unbearable. It is a radiating pain that can turn into numbness that travels specifically in the legs.

The issue ignites from a contraction of the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region of the leg. This over-contraction occurs from being very tight, trauma to the area, or even overuse which puts pressure on the nerve. The primary signs and symptoms of Piriformis syndrome are:

  • Numbness in the buttocks
  • Numbness in the lower back
  • Pain in the hip or buttocks
  • Pain going down the legs or in the feet.

Treatments can vary from stretching and flexibility training, to physical therapy, medications and even injections. The worst case scenario is surgery.