The Piriformis

Sciatica Pain

sciatic and piriformis

I had a client once who had pain in her lower back so bad that she couldn’t stand up straight walking into the office. She had pain running down the back of her leg and even into her foot. As I massaged her I noticed that the majority of her pain was coming from her hip! I carefully did trigger point work on her piriformis muscle and when she walked out she was standing up straight!

Trigger points in the piriformis can cause exquisite pain! It can feel like you are forming a gigantic zit on your butt cheek or it can make you not be able to walk at all. There can be pain all the time or only when you try to do certain movements.

Most muscles can get trigger points from being overloaded suddenly and the piriformis is no exception. The piriformis extends and rotates the hip. It is also a stabilization muscle. Any prolonged sitting or being in a position with your thighs rotated out (like at the gynecologist or in the female position of missionary style) can cause trpts in the piriformis. That is why women have piriformis problems 6 times more often than men.

Many times people think that a trpt in the piriformis is instead sciatica. Sciatica is a problem with the sciatic nerve itself. Piriformis problems come from 3 different dysfunctions. 1. Trigger points in the muscle. 2. The muscle being shortened and getting pinched by the structure that it passes through and 3. The sacrum being out of alignment.

You can fix these problems with a really good stretching routine, massage, and acupuncture. Seeing a chiropractor wouldn’t hurt either.