Pain in the Butt?

Do you experience any of the following symptoms?

  • pain, tingling or numbness in the back of the leg, calf or sole of the foot?
  • loss of proprioception or strength in your lower leg?
  • pain in the buttocks, low back, hips, or back of leg?
  • your hips / sacroiliac joints are locked up or want to lock?
  • pain when going from a seated to standing position?
  • tissue changes in the skin of your legs or swelling in your lower leg?

If so, you may be experiencing Piriformis Syndrome. In a nutshell, Piriformis Syndrome is a compression of the Sciatic Nerve by the pirifomis muscle. The piriformis lies deep to the glute muscles and is responsible for restraining rapid / vigorous internal rotation of the hip (ie: during walking and running), helps externally rotate the hip in a neutral position, as well as horizontally abduct and internally rotate the femur with the hip is flexed.

The sciatic nerve travels under the piriformis and travels down the leg. In 10-20% of people the sciatic nerve actually runs through the piriformis. Any tightness in the muscle can result in compression of the nerve, translating into some of the potential symptoms listed above.

Your friendly neighbourhood Registered Massage Therapist can help take that pain out of your butt and get you moving freely again!

Some potential causes include…

  • anomolies in the course of the nerve (ie: piercing through the piriformis)
  • direct and indirect trauma to the muscle (ie: fall on the buttocks, catching oneself from a fall)
  • inflammation of the muscle, its fascia or the joint  (ie: hip arthritis, post-hip replacement swelling)
  • overuse (ie: repeated bending / squatting, forceful rotation of the hip, jogging / step machines, weight lifting)
  • postural / positional concerns (ie: prolonged sitting, pregnancy, fallen arches / ankles, sleeping position)
  • trigger points (see post from January 21st)
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