Does piriformis syndrome go away?

 

The short answer is yes, piriformis syndrome can go away, but only if you get the appropriate treatment. Piriformis syndrome can cause symptoms of sciatica, meaning that it can cause pain that travels all the way down the back of your leg. Often this pain is wrongly attributed to the lower back, and can cause months of discomfort if it isn’t properly recognized. Practicing as an orthopedic surgeon in Colorado Springs, Piriformis syndrome is something that I see and treat all the time.

What is piriformis syndrome?

The piriformis muscle is a smaller muscle that originates deep in the back part of your pelvis, and attached to your femur. Since it’s so deep, it’s not a muscle that you can really feel like your biceps or triceps muscles. What’s important about the piriformis is that your sciatic nerve runs underneath it. What this means is that if your piriformis muscle is tight, it can put pressure on your sciatic nerve and give your sciatica. The symptoms are a deep pain in your butt that causes pain running down the back of your leg. If this sounds like what’s bothering you, then you may have piriformis syndrome.

How do I treat my piriformis syndrome

The first most important step is for your doctor to confirm that you do have piriformis syndrome. This is mainly done by doing a physical exam, as MRI or X-ray won’t show anything. Some patients may get wrongly diagnosed as having low back issues, when what they really have is piriformis syndrome. The main treatment involves stretching the piriformis muscle through formal physical therapy, or exercises on your own. Combining exercises with rest and anti-inflammatories is usually enough to make your piriformis syndrome go away. If this doesn’t work then your doctor may be able to give you a steroid injection near the piriformis muscle. Rarely, if all else fails then there is a surgical technique to release the tension on the nerve. This surgery is hardly ever needed or done. I have actually never recommended it in my orthopedic practice in Colorado Springs.

I hope I was able to answer your questions about if piriformis syndrome goes away. If you still have any questions or want to schedule an in person or virtual consult, please feel free to contact me.

-Written by Dr. Daniel Paull

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