Sciatica is one of the most common issues people seek relief for; not to be confused with piriformis
syndrome. Piriformis syndrome involves the compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. Piriformis Syndrome is less-common and can be a significant cause of pelvic and leg pain. Quite often, there is a strong connection between sciatic pain and piriformis syndrome. Chiropractors can help you to understand the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for piriformis syndrome. At ACT Wellness Center in Woodbridge, our focus is on neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine.
Chances are you haven’t heard about the piriformis muscle unless you have injured it. Understanding the structure and function of the sciatic nerve and its relationship to the piriformis muscle is the key.
The sacrum is a body of fused vertebrae beneath the lumbar region of the spine. Several thick muscles in the pelvis connect to it, including the piriformis muscles. The piriformis muscles are wedge-shaped, located deep under several other tissues layers, and connect the sacrum to the tops of the femurs. There is one piriformis muscle on each side of the body. When functioning properly, they help to rotate the hip outward. The sciatic nerves originate from the lumbar spine, a bit above the sacrum, and run through the pelvis to the legs. They must pass through or around the piriformis muscles, and when a piriformis muscle is irritated, it could compress a sciatic nerve.
As previously mentioned, the symptoms of sciatica and piriformis syndrome are very similar. Piriformis Syndrome shares symptoms with other lower back ailments, but it’s likelier to be the problem when the patient only feels pain or numbness on one side. At our office, we’ll perform imaging and range-of-motion tests to screen for other possibilities while making a diagnosis. We offer several options for reducing inflammation, including pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and electric muscle stimulation. Dr. Carmelo Caratozzolo is also a Chiropractic Sports Physician who can provide chiropractic adjustments and recommend stretches that may help the piriformis muscles become more flexible.
If you suffer from lower back, hip, or leg pain, contact Dr. Carmel Caratozzolo at ACT Wellness Center, 14111 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge, Virginia. Call 703-491-9355.