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Sitting should be relaxing, but what happens if sitting — even for just 15 minutes — is uncomfortable? A radiating pain in your buttocks that is made worse by sitting could be a sign of piriformis syndrome, according to a study published in The Journal of American Osteopathic Association.

Piriformis syndrome can impact your ability to perform daily tasks, like driving your car to work or walking your dog around the block. That’s why Dr. Shyam Purswani and our dedicated team suggest you see us when the first symptoms arise.

Continue reading to learn more about piriformis syndrome and how we can help you.

Understanding piriformis syndrome

Your piriformis muscle is a flat muscle that’s located in the buttocks. This muscle is responsible for stabilizing the hip, lifting the thighs, and rotating your legs. Injury and overuse can contribute to piriformis syndrome, a condition characterized by the spasm of this muscle.

You might suspect you have piriformis syndrome if you experience:

  • Pain and discomfort in your buttocks after standing or laying for more than 15 minutes
  • Discomfort while sitting
  • Discomfort when moving from a seated position
  • Limited ability to move your hip
  • Pain that does not completely dissipate when changing positions

Piriformis syndrome is problematic for two reasons. Not only are muscle spasms painful, but when the muscle spasms and compresses the sciatic nerve, you’ve got more of a pain in the behind: sciatica.

Is piriformis syndrome the same as sciatica?

Piriformis syndrome and sciatica are two different conditions, but they are often mistaken for each other. That’s because piriformis syndrome can cause sciatica. In other words, sciatica can develop as a result of piriformis syndrome.

If this is the case, chances are pretty good that you’ll experience pain or tingling that radiates down from your buttocks to your foot. Typically, sciatica (which is the inflammation of your sciatic nerve) only affects one side of your body.

In addition to pain and tingling throughout your leg, it’s not uncommon to experience muscle weakness and numbness in your foot. This is because the sciatic nerve runs down from your buttocks to your foot.

How is piriformis syndrome treated?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, treatment for piriformis syndrome starts conservatively: rest, massage, and simple stretches. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you need more relief than you can manage on your own.

Dr. Purswani begins treatments by focusing on either the piriformis muscle or the sciatic nerve. This means that you might benefit from a steroid injection into your piriformis muscle — to cut down the inflammation and relax your spasming muscle.

On the other hand, Dr. Purswani may suggest a nerve block to stop your sciatic nerve from sending messages of pain to your brain. In either case, Dr. Purswani creates a custom treatment plan so you can get back to your daily life sans the pain in your behind.

Dr. Shyam Purswani and our staff are happy to provide the interventional pain management you need so you can live life without that pain in the behind. Request an appointment at our office in San Antonio, Texas by calling (210) 899-7246 or using our convenient online booking tool.

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