Deep in the buttocks, there is a muscle that can cause more problems than you ever imagined. It is your piriformis muscle; it is located behind the hip cavity on each side of your body.
Its function is to help rotate and flex your legs while you walk, balancing and doing practically anything else that involves the lower part of your body.
When the piriformis muscle becomes inflamed, either on one or both sides, it triggers a pain in the back of the body, and also in the back, hips, legs and knees.
Therefore, know what to do when the piriformis muscle becomes inflamed in order to avoid the annoying pain that results in some important parts of your body.
How does the piriformis muscle affect other muscles?
1.Why is the piriformis muscle inflamed?
According to Alex Tauberg, chiropractor at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation in Pittsburgh, the piriformis is one of those muscles that people know very little about, but it greatly affects everyday life.
Despite its small size, pirifome can cause a whole series of complications . As it is on the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain due to repetitive movements such as climbing stairs or running; and also by a sedentary behavior. This can lead to piriformis syndrome.
2.How is pain manifested due to the piriformis muscles?
The first sign could be a tingling, burning or numbness deep in the gluteal muscles. It is probably not easy to identify the exact source of the pain, but it is possible to feel it in the pelvic region, even in the lower back and hips.
Although there is a piriformis muscle on both sides of your body, you will probably only feels it on one side. Because problems can arise in the piriformis both when you are too active and excessively sedentary, the first is an indication of the weakness of the hip muscles that causes the piriforms to work overtime. The ideal in this case is to reduce the speed of rotation of these muscles and take time
3.How to diagnose if the pain of the buttocks and knees is due to the piriformis?
The hardest part is that the symptoms of piriformis syndrome are not unique to that particular problem. That means it’s not always easy to know when it’s a problem with the piriformis or another part of the body. For example, a herniated disc could be the cause of sciatic nerve pressure that affects the lower back and the back of the leg.
According to Barbara Bergin, orthopedic surgeon certified by the board of Texas Orthopedics, Sports and Rehabilitation Specialists in Austin, Texas; The problem is that piriformis syndrome is a difficult diagnosis to make. However, it is possible to make a couple of tests that indicate that the reason for the pains is due to the piriformis.
3.1 Strength test
- Sit on a chair and with the help of a partner or rope, apply resistance to the outside of the knees.
- Try to push your knees against that resistance.
- If you feel pain in the gluteal region, it is likely that the piriformis muscle also hurts.
3.2 Stretch test
- Lie on your side on a bench with your leg on the affected side, and stacked on top of the other leg.
- Position the leg so that the knee is partially bent, and the upper calf muscle rests on the knee of the lower leg. The knee on the affected side should protrude beyond the edge of the bench.
- Ask your partner to press on the affected knee. It is possible to feel pain from the piriformis muscle along the edge of the buttocks.
4.How to reduce inflammation of the piriformis muscle?
Although it is difficult to reach the piriform muscles, there are exercises that will surely support the affected area. For this, we recommend these variations of exercises:
- Lying on your back, bring one knee over your chest and towards the opposite shoulder. Hold the position, feeling the stretch in the buttocks.
- Drop and repeat with the other side.
- If you prefer to sit, perform a similar version on a chair by crossing one leg over the other, and bringing the foot to the upper part of the thigh.
- Fold slightly over the knee to feel the same stretch.
The stretching of the piriformis release of the pain, but also strengthens the region, developing muscles that support the role of the piriformis. Due to the location of the muscle, the piriformis cannot be trained as such, as is done with the biceps. Instead, you need to strengthen the entire area.
5.What other measures can be taken to relieve pain due to the piriformis?
To reduce any pain that may be causing the piriformis muscles, keep the following in mind:
5.1 Before exercising
Warm well and completely. When you increase the intensity of the exercise, as when you train for a long run, do it gradually.
5.2 Add massages to your routine
For example, you can go to a foam roller or, better yet, a tennis ball as the perfect way to press the piriform . You can also schedule an appointment for a deep tissue massage.
5.3 Do not sit too long afterwards
Either simply taking a short break every hour, or investing in a standing desk. The goal is to relieve compression of the muscle in the sciatic nerve. You can also experiment with different chairs or surfaces to discover if something new reduces muscle irritation.