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The largest and most important of your hip rotator muscles are known as your piriformis muscle, lying right on top of your sciatica nerve. It can sometimes get tight and pinch the nerve causing radiating pain from your buttock all the way down the back of your leg. Piriformis muscles cause a great deal of misery, especially for women.

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome is one of the few conditions that cause sciatica symptoms, which is the left hip pain or right hip pain you experience going down your leg. These Sciatica symptoms come about not only from a tight piriformis muscle compressing your sciatic nerve, it also commonly involves a herniated disk, brought upon by muscle imbalances. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be needed to correct disk herniation.

Sciatica pain and Piriformis Syndrome are generally experienced in the buttocks, hips, lower back and various sections of the leg and/or foot. You may also experience hip pain when sitting, walking or running. Many times a wrong diagnosis for Sciatica is made when in essence the real problem is Piriformis Syndrome.

A short, tight piriformis muscle rotates your sacrum and can make that leg appear short. It’s often challenging to cross your legs or rotate your leg inward. When the trigger points in the muscle get severe, you may not be able to walk. Spreading your legs and sitting may be very uncomfortable.

Causes of Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome gives rise to sciatica symptoms as the cause is due to an irritation in the Piriformis muscle. The muscle becomes irritated for any number of reasons. When you begin to experience a pain in your butt … literally, the first thing you should do is to ask yourself what has recently changed in your daily routine. Many people change their routines without realizing it and exert pressure on their Piriformis muscle without knowing it. Even putting your wallet in your back pocket can greatly irritate it.

The piriformis muscle is essentially a hip rotator muscle. It rotates the leg outwards and turns the body in the opposite direction when the leg is stationery. Overdoing any of these rotator movements has the potential to set up trigger points in the Piriformis muscle. When the trigger points in the muscle act up, pain radiates all the way down your leg. You therefore need to recall if you have performed such an action recently. Examples could include quick changes in directions playing sports or turning while doing some household chore. Twisting while lifting, or even something as simple as missing a step and stumbling can irritate it.

A huge culprit is inactivity, and sitting for too long. Piriformis Syndrome can occur when the muscle is compressed for a long period of time such as sitting down for too long when driving over a long distance. This leads to an imbalance in your pelvis and results in your trigger points causing hip pain that shoots down your legs.

Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome

Prevention is always better than cure. Thus, the first thing you need to learn is how to avoid getting Piriformis Syndrome in the first place. Avoid any sudden changes in your physical schedule. Equally bad is a sedentary lifestyle; you need to keep your Piriformis muscle flexible through regular exercise. In the unfortunate event that you suffer from this syndrome, there are some great ways to get rid of the pain in your hip to treat that muscle. You can fix muscle imbalances with postural alignment exercises to stabilize your pelvis. You can treat your piriformis muscle directly usually some great tools to release it on your own. And some piriformis stretches are quite effective.

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