The great majority of individuals will not likely deal with what is called Piriformis Syndrome (also called PS). A general definition about PS from WebMD notes that it is:
“an uncommon neuromuscular disorder that is caused when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. This muscle is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. This enables us to walk, shift our weight from one foot to another, and maintain balance. It is also used in sports that involve lifting and rotating the thighs — in short, in almost every motion of the hips and legs.”
Due to the musculature being targeted by PS, a person’s general way of being and moving is affected in a major way. Moreover, if an individual happens to be very active, their lifestyle is drastically impacted.
Even with the fairly significant toll that Piriformis Syndrome can have on someone, there are treatment options that can be done in the privacy of one’s home. Here are a few to note:
1. Yoga – Various yoga poses can help add strength to your core, lower back, hips, and backside area while relaxing & supporting the piriformis muscle. Yoga can also help develop good posture, which can help reduce inflammation and pain along the sciatic nerve.
2. Osteopathic Adjustments – Osteopathic manipulative treatments have been shown to restore normal range of motion of the hip and decrease pain.
3. Rest & Recovery – This seems like a regular mantra had by all people who are physically active, but it is always surprising how little time is taken to allow the body to ‘cool down’ after activity, regardless of how strenuous is may seem. Always stretch and warm up properly when exercising so as to avoid injury. Regardless of how physically active you get, allow for more rest between exercises.
4. Making General Lifestyle Changes – Being older, stress that tenses muscles, carrying too much weight, sitting too long, smoking, and eating a low-nutrient diet all increase inflammation, which makes it harder to heal from injuries and increases pain and swelling.
5. Make Adjustments to the Way You Sleep – As is the case with yoga and exercise helping, in the long run, with posture, those suffering from PS may find some relief if they sleep on their side with a pillow folded between their knees, and sit with their knees straight.
Piriformis Syndrome can actually be tough to diagnose. As is the case with many other health issues, not consulting your doctor when you first sense something is amiss can lead to more chronic issues down the road. It is imperative that you seek out medical attention as soon as possible. It is somewhat helpful to know that even if you are diagnosed with PS, you do have options in terms of alleviating your pain & discomfort.