If you or someone in your family and friends is suffering from piriformis syndrome, you should know Piriformis syndrome exercises to avoid.
So this article is totally for you. Here we’ll specifically talk about the piriformis syndrome and the things you should follow and the things to avoid.
What is Piriformis?
Piriformis syndrome is one type of pain in the buttock and hip. There is a nerve called sciatic nerve that runs below the piriformis muscle in your butt.
When it gets tight and irritated and presses that nerve, you’ll feel numbness, pain, irritation, and tingling in the buttock area. It also causes pain down the path of the sciatic nerve to the thigh and leg. Some activities can pain is called Piriformis Syndrome.
Piriformis Syndrome Exercises To Avoid
To know which exercise won’t be helpful for you, you need to know what leads you to this syndrome. If you’re a job person.
And sitting on a chair for a long time causes you piriformis pain, avoid the exercises that have to do something with sitting.
You may try the workouts that are done while lying on the floor or standing. You may also cushion on the chair you sit into work. This will help you to avoid pain and give you relief.
Stretching can also cause you unbearable pain, while you’re having this syndrome. Try to avoid stretching. Instead of this, you can try stretching your legs lying straight on the floor. In this way, you won’t be pressing pressure on your back or the piriformis area.
You should avoid Calm exercise. This exercise involves body rotation. Though some physicians suggest this, the Rotation of muscles can influence the pain to get hundreds of times more. You can try this once if you want. If you feel pain, it’s obvious to avoid calm exercise.
Difference between Sciatica pain and Piriformis?
People get often confused between sciatica and piriformis. Though both have similar symptoms, the causes are different. Both have different treatments for each.
Sciatica syndrome is a condition where herniated disc or spinal stenosis causes pain by irritating and comprising the spinal nerve roots in your lower spine. In the case of sciatica, it doesn’t compress itself.
On the other hand, Piriformis syndrome compresses and irritates your sciatica nerve. This syndrome causes pain in your hip, lower back, butt, thigh, and on your legs.
Piriformis Syndrome Test
In about 15% of the population, the sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle instead of underneath it. These people are more prone to experience so-called piriformis syndrome.
To confirm if you’ve piriformis or not, there are a few tests. Here we’ll know about two commonly used ones:
- For the first test, have your patient in the sideline position at the edge of the table. Then bring the patient’s upper leg to 60 degrees of hip flexion
- Make sure to flex the knee and extend the lower leg completely. And Fixate the pelvis and apply downward pressure at the knee.
- If your patient feels pain in the buttock area or backside of the leg, then the test is positive and your patient has piriformis syndrome.
- In the second test, you can try the seated test. For this test, the patient needs to sit on a chair. Then cross the affected leg and place that right above the other leg’s knee. Make sure your back is straight. Then the trainer has to stabilize the ankle with one hand. And with the other one, he will grab near the unaffected knee.
Now the patient has to try to bend forward. When the patient will feel the stretch, the trainer has to pull the knees toward his chest. Another position you can try is, to pull the knee and rotate your body
Now, if the patient feels pain in the piriformis area, buttock area, or the upper side of the thigh, then the test is positive. And the patient is suffering from piriformis syndrome.
What Causes a Tight Piriformis Muscle?
Now here comes a question, what is the cause behind this pain? What gets piriformis muscle tight? Well, there are several causes behind this. Piriformis can also be caused by forceful exercise. Every exercise has its own rules and regulations.
If you don’t follow those and do unregulated vigorous exercises, it won’t help your health. On the contrary, it can cause tight muscles and give you pain.
The tight piriformis muscle can be caused by extreme running, long walking, or direct compression of the sciatica nerve. Another cause of tight muscles can be Injury. If you have any accident near your piriformis area then the muscle can get too tight.
Our muscles work jointly to pull the bones in any direction. If one of the muscles gets too tight for any reason, then it will fail to keep balance and cause you pain.
There are some activities that can influence piriformis syndrome pain?
- Long time sitting in one place
- Walking for a long time without any break.
- Climbing too many stairs
- Lifting weight
How To Heal Piriformis Syndrome Quickly?
Though Piriformis is a rare type of syndrome, in the USA almost 200000 people face this problem every year. I think you want to know how you can deal with piriformis syndrome, keep reading.
If you’re having extreme pain, go and see a specialist/ That can suggest you injections or surgery. And if you’re having mild pain.
There are certain tips that you can follow to get rid of piriformis syndrome. There has a good number of therapies and medications that can help you:
● Aquatic therapy
As you’re dealing with piriformis syndrome, you can’t do any forceful or heavy exercises. Running is strictly forbidden for you. This time, you can try aquatic therapies. Swimming can help you with this. You can try the other ones too.
● NSAID medication
NSAID, that ye word stands Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This drug is used for reducing pain in our bodies. It’s also used to prevent fever. But these drugs include the risk of ulcers, kidney disease, and heart attacks.
● Application of heat or ice
You can apply ice and rub it on the affected area. This tip can soothe your pain and give you relief.
This is a form of treatment, where the treatment is done by inserting needles into certain parts of your body. This can release your pain in certain cases. This is a traditional Chinese medicine that is used in a wide range.
● Massage therapy
Massage can be effective in your life. You can have massages around the lower back. Massaging in the right area will help you to open up the muscles and reduce your pain gradually.
Besides, there are injections and surgery for relief. If you work sitting in a chair for so long, you can use a pillow. You can also find a piriformis pillow in the market.
The injection, heat therapy, NSAIDs, and physical therapy are known as electrotherapy. The other category is massage therapy.
For better information, here we’ll describe the massage therapies that you can try for better results. But consultation of the therapies is a must before trying anything.
Pirioformis Syndrome Massage
There are a good number of massages that can help you with your muscle release. You need to know the right massage technique and you can prevent spasms and pressure on your nerves. Not only this but massage can release the pain in your muscles.
Here we’ll know one of the most recommended massages for piriformis syndrome:
Lower back massage therapy
Piriformis syndrome causes back pain. Massaging the right nerves can release your pain. First, you’ve to start slowly on the lower back. To warm up the nerves, you need to be very gentle. It will help to keep up your blood flow. Now squeeze and apply compression on the gluteus muscle.
Try this technique on repeat. Don’t put too much pressure. This can harm your muscles and cause more pain. Try to find a professional massage therapist. You can have advice or recommendations from your doctor too.
Neuromuscular massage therapy
This massage compresses pressure on the muscle spasm areas. Fingers, elbows, and knuckles are applied to create pressure. But this pressure should not be forceful and it should vary for ten to thirty seconds.
By having this message regularly, the patient will feel relaxed and the pain will fade in twenty-four hours. And the might muscle can get open up in four to fourteen hours. Piriformis syndrome exercises to avoid.
Deep tissue massage
This is very well known and highly recommended for chronic pain, muscle lock, and injuries. In this massage, you focus on the inner layers of muscles and the major groups of joints. Fingers and palms are used gently to compress gentle pressure.
To prevent spamming and reduce pain in your sciatic nerve, massage is the best therapy. You only have to know the right techniques and do it in the right way. Taking help from a professional is a must. They’ll suggest the best massage technique according to your need and condition of the piriformis.
Piriformis Syndrome Surgery
You may get afraid of knowing you’re going to have surgery. But you need to know that all surgeries don’t include pain and life risks. If you’re a piriformis sufferer your doctor will suggest therapies and massages. But if none of the nonsurgical methods work, you may need to have surgery to get rid of the unbearable pain.
As surgeries include cutting, this is considered the last stage. The method is to cut through the piriformis muscle and release the pressure on your muscle. Though there has a huge number of massages and therapies, surgeries can be a permanent solution to your problem.
Piriformis surgeries are not as crucial as heart surgery or other ones. You can go home the same night you had your surgery. In some cases, it may take one night to be in the hospital.
Through the surgery, you can remove the problematic surgery area. The surgery may start with cutting three inches of the piriformis area. You won’t get any pressure or loss of energy as there have much stronger several muscles that keep the balance up.
After the surgery is done it won’t take so long to recover. But you need to see your doctor twice or thrice a week. The recovery time can take a maximum of three months. But you need to be under treatment and in touch with your doctor.
You don’t need to worry about any kind of pain you go through the terribleness of the trauma. This is nothing but a simple treatment that can remove the tight muscle of your sciatica area.
How to sleep with piriformis syndrome
As a performer patient, you may know the difficulties of sleeping, walking, and sitting. The wrong position of sleeping. There are certain rules of sleeping, you should know if you’re a piriformis sufferer.
We’re going to start with The first thing that we’re going to start with is finding the right position to sleep, which is probably the most important thing. Just getting comfortable, being able to pass out, and taking pressure off the back.
So I’m going to start with the worst sleeping positions, all the way to the best sleeping positions. The worst would be sleeping on your stomach. This positionable and right here is terrible and doctors highly recommend breaking this habit. It’s bad as it pulls our muscles in. That can be very messy with the curve of the back.
Not only this, but it can also cause irritation, and inflammation, and make the situation worse for you. Also when you sleep on your stomach and by twisting your neck. By then you will be recovered from your back issues of the neck and upper back too.
The next position the patients should sleep in is, on the side. If you’re a side sleeper to find a good pillow that will support the neck. It will be nicer if that keeps the neck. Make sure your pillow is giving you enough support.
You can also use a pillow while sleeping between your legs. At that point, it’s going to keep the back in a bit more of a neutral position while you sleep.
If you want to sleep directly on your back, you’re going to want to place a pillow underneath your knees to keep them bent. What this does is, it takes the pull of hamstrings, the neck of legs right here, off the back.
It keeps the spine in a nice straight, neutral position and it just takes a lot of pressure off the back. Arguably this is the best position that you can get in if you’re having a lot of pain in your back.
Sp, with these positions, experiment with them. Make sure that you’re eliminating sleeping on your stomach if you’re a stomach sleeper and try to move pillows around to where you’ll feel taking pressure off the back.
Everybody’s going to be a little different so you might have to switch the pillows around a little bit to find one that might raise it or lower the legs a little bit to be able to find that spot that is just comfortable enough to be able to catch some sleep.
The next thing you can try is sleeping directly on the floor. Put a pillow underneath your knees. If that helps out.
Here’s a really solid tip. If you feel like your mattress is not giving enough support and that’s one of the reasons why your back pain or sciatic is increasing, try to put a piece of plywood in between the mattress and box spring. It may aid and give you more support so it’s not sagging as much, causing fewer issues while you sleep.
Here is one more tip that is important to keep the back straight and not to strain yourself further when you’re getting up in the morning.
So what you should do is, no matter what position you’re in, go to the slide that you plan on getting up, and then facing that side you’re going to bend the knees just like this and then drape them over the side of the bed.
Let gravity take them and what you’re going to do next is then press up keeping the back straight to the point where you’re now upright. It’s going to make it a lot likely that you’re going to strain the back and at that point, it’s easier to get up.
These are some effective ways of getting tranquillity while sleeping. Doing something that will increase your pain, makes no sense. Try to follow the sleeping positions and get yourself out of the ridiculous pain while sleeping.
Best Sleeping Position for sciatica pain
Though piriformis pain and sciatica pain have the same syndrome and causes. There are some rules that you can follow to reduce the pressure of your back pain.
Many complaints about the pain increasing the night. You may try sleeping on the floor instead of the mattress.
Try a neutral position while sleeping. Try to bind a towel or soft thing around your belly and sleep. That towel will support the lower side. This will help you to protect the hole from pressure. When you’re lying on your back, it provides some support
When you’re sleeping on the side, place your elbow below your hand and try to have a pillow between your legs. As a lot of people complain of not being able to sleep and getting up with an ache, just try these sleeping tricks and tips that can prove a blessing to you.
Also Read: Burning Pain After Hernia Surgery
Is Walking Good For Piriformis Syndrome?
We all know walking is the best medicine for a healthier life. But if you’re a piriformis patient, it can be a real pain.
Piriformis syndrome is named for the compression of the muscles around your piriformis area. While walking pressure pushes the tight muscle and gives more pain.
But walking for a short time or not trying long runs can make you feel normal. There are also some tips before you go for a walk. Let’s discuss those:
- Warm-up – It won’t take long to warm up your body before going for a walk. It will try to open up the muscles. Just do it for five minutes and you’re ready for a walk.
- Walking technique – A good walking technique or posture can help you to walk for a bit without pain. Don’t walk so fast and try to go for a short distance where you can give yourself a pause and relax for a while.
- Stretch – Relax, you don’t have to stretch regularly. As I mentioned before stretching can trigger your pain. But they have designed some special stretching techniques that can help you to calm your muscles down. And you can go for a walk
By using some techniques and following them, you’ll not suffer from terrible pain while walking. Follow some tips I’ve given in this article and try walking. Don’t forget to take instructions from your doctor.
Piriformis is a rare syndrome. People often fail to get clarity between sciatica or backpain with piriformis. I’ve tried to explain everything about the syndrome here. Try the test and have clarity if you’ve piriformis or not.
Once you’re sure about your syndrome, try the advice and tips I mentioned. Nothing but only some tricks and tips can stop this syndrome from being serious. If your symptoms are getting serious, don’t just stick to the home remedies and exercises.
Find a good doctor for you. For massages and therapies, try to go for the professionals. Risk can never be good for your health. If the question comes to surgery, as I mentioned before, you don’t need to worry. Surgeries can be very good to get rid of this pain. Though injections and nonsurgical ways are available too.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you know from fit to toe of piriformis now. If any of your friends need to know this, you can forward this article to them.
Dr. Aditya Gupta is a highly accomplished Indian doctor with extensive experience in the field of neurology. Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Dr. Gupta completed his medical degree from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), followed by his postgraduate studies in neurology from the same institution.