Although calling something a pain in the rear is common slang usage for something unpleasant, a certain medical condition can literally be that pain. Piriformis Syndrome is a muscular condition that causes pain in the lower back and buttocks. People experiencing the syndrome may find it too painful to sit down or climb stairs. If you suspect that you suffer from this syndrome, you need to seek a firm diagnosis and undergo treatment.
Your piriformis muscle helps you to rotate your hip or turn your leg outward. It extends behind the hip joint and crosses the sciatic nerve. When the muscle becomes too tight or spasms, it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve and causes the pain in your lower back and buttocks. This condition has been hard to diagnose because it is often confused with sciatica.
The condition if often associated with runners, rowers, or cyclists because they engage in so much forward motion that their hip muscles can become weak, causing too much strain on the piriformis muscle. The condition also occurs in people who sit for long periods on a regular basis, particular those with weak gluteus muscles.
The usual routine of resting and applying ice and heat may be recommended for relieving the pain of this condition, but a physical therapist can also assign you specific exercises to stretch the muscle and ease the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Chiropractic manipulation and anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to stop the pain. Even botox is occasionally employed to paralyze the painful area. In the very worst cases, surgery may be necessary.
You can work to prevent this condition by doing the following:
- Practice good posture when you are standing, driving, or sitting.
- Stay physically active and vary your exercise program.
- Lift with your knees and not your back.
- Do not sit or lie down in the same position for long periods, especially if it causes pressure on your buttocks.
Therapists can also prescribe a stretching routine to help prevent the condition. Loose and limber muscles are less likely to suffer injury.
Even adults tend to laugh at pain that occurs in the buttocks, but if you are suffering from piriformis syndrome, you know the condition is nothing to chuckle about. Seek the advice of medical professionals, such as at St. Luke's Rehabilitation, if you believe you have this condition. If you feel you are at risk for this condition, work on preventative measures such as stretching and good posture. With time, you should be able to sit and stand without that awful pain in your buttocks.