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Piriformis Syndrome

Do you have a literal pain in the butt? If so, you might be suffering from piriformis syndrome, a type of sciatic pain cause by when the piriformis muscle gets shortened or goes into spasm, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.

The piriformis is a muscle deep inside the group of muscles that make up your butt, one that helps lock down the hip joint for walking and mobilize it for virtually all lower body activities. If injured or overused it may tighten too much, putting pressure on the adjacent sciatic nerve. This condition can lead to a pinching pain inside the glute area that radiates.

As with so many other problems, a common cause of piriformis syndrome is too much sitting, which can lead to excessive tightness of the hip flexors and weakness of the glute muscles. That combination means the piriformis has to work even harder when you move around, leading to strain and spasm. If you are a weekend warrior who sits a lot for work but then works out at the gym, or a frequent cyclist or spinner, you are especially at risk.

The best treatment is to stretch and massage the muscle. Hussain demonstrates the best way to stretch the piriformis in the below video. If you could pinpoint the source of the tightness you can also try self-massaging it by rolling on a tennis ball or a foam roller.

To prevent the problem from developing in the first place, come in and ask us for exercises to strengthen your hip girdle.

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