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By: Dr. Donna A. Pontoriero, Chiropractor

The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttock. It reaches from the pelvis (sacrum) to the upper part of the thigh-bone (femur).

There are times when this muscle goes into spasm. The cause is often relating to the spine or sacroiliac joints, or from overuse. If the muscle is in spasm it can cause neurological symptoms such as pain, numbness, pins and needles, tingling and weakness due to compression of the nerve. This is called piriformis syndrome.

Referred pain pattern from the piriformis muscle is felt down the leg in a path along the sciatic nerve. It is therefore often mistaken for sciatica. This can be a very painful condition and for some people is very disabling. Fortunately, for the majority, chiropractic treatment is very effective.

As with all orthopedic problems, rest and exercise modification is important to ensure a quick recovery.

The chiropractic treatment is aimed at restoring the function of the pelvic and spinal joints, which is often the cause.

A pronated foot (fallen arch) may cause rotation of the leg, which can put extra strain on the muscle. This can be addressed through foot orthotics and specific exercises for the feet. This is followed by trigger point therapy, massage, stretching and strengthening exercises. Your chiropractor will offer postural and ergonomic advice, as well as core muscle exercises, to help prevent future problems.

The prognosis for piriformis syndrome is normally good. Once the underlying problems and symptoms have been addressed, you can usually resume your normal activities.

Please contact our office if you would like further evaluation on your condition.

Dr. Donna Pontoriero can be reached at 299 Franklin Ave, Nutley NJ 07110, 973-235-9393.