Is it Your Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome?

Do you suffer from low back pain? Are you worried you’ve developed Sciatica? Perhaps it’s Piriformis syndrome!

The piriformis muscle is a muscle in your buttocks that helps with lateral rotation of the thigh (turning you toe out), Abduction (moving leg away from midline) and assists with stabilizing your hip in place

It originates from your sacrum (the upside-down triangle at the base of your spine) and inserts on your greater trochanter (top of thigh bone)

Things that can cause the piriformis to tighten include history of trauma to the area, repetitive, vigorous activity such as long-distance running, or prolonged sitting. When it is inflamed it can elicit pain when going up stairs or pressing on the area. It also causes pain to travel down the back of the leg in the hallmark “sciatica” pattern as it compresses the sciatic nerve which travels through the muscle. 

So when your concerned about a herniated disc, it may be actually a tight muscle causing you grief! If so, here’s some stretches to help those with piriformis syndrome, also its good to book an appointment with a bodyworker that can help relieve your symptoms, like a qualified RMT.

A good video on piriformis stretches can be found here

About the author ...

Laura has been an RMT for 10 years. She graduated in 2009 from Everest College and is a member in good standing with the CMTO. Laura has had a variety of experience ranging from Canadian Olympic athletes for sports massage to aromatherapy relaxation.