What Is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle, a small band of tissue located deep within the buttocks, spasms and compresses the sciatic nerve. The spasms may result from overuse, which can be caused by long-distance running, sitting on hard surfaces or other movements and positions that strain the piriformis muscle.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, running from the lumbar spine through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. When compressed, this nerve can produce a group of uncomfortable symptoms known collectively as sciatica.
Signs of sciatica caused by piriformis syndrome
When piriformis syndrome causes sciatica, the initial symptoms usually include an ache deep within the buttocks, hip pain and tingling sensations that run down the back of one leg. The discomfort typically worsens when firm pressure is applied directly over the piriformis muscle. This can occur during extended sitting, stair climbing and running.
It’s important to note that piriformis syndrome is just one cause of sciatica — it is not the only cause. Furthermore, piriformis syndrome is relatively uncommon. There are many other conditions that can lead to sciatica, some of which are potentially serious, such as a fracture, infection or spinal stenosis. Therefore, it’s essential to see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis if sciatica occurs.
How is sciatica caused by piriformis syndrome treated?
After confirming that piriformis syndrome is the underlying cause of sciatica, a physician may recommend activity modification to avoid positions that trigger pain. Limited rest, ice and heat applications and anti-inflammatory medications can also help relieve symptoms – often to the point that a patient is able to participate in a targeted physical therapy program designed to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. In general, surgical treatment is viewed as a last resort for addressing very severe sciatica.
At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, we find that most of our patients are able to effectively manage their sciatica without surgery. And, when surgery is required, our spine surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures whenever appropriate. Our approach offers several advantages over traditional open surgery, including a lower risk of complications and a faster recovery.
If you’d like to learn more about piriformis syndrome and sciatica treatment, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. We welcome patients from the Houston, Texas, area to visit any of our three convenient locations.
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1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
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Dr. Ryan Blalock is AMAZING! He went above and beyond to fix my 8 year old son’s severely broken arm with emergency surgery. He has wonderful bedside manner and made sure that we all understood what was happening every step of the way. We are now 3 months post op and his arm looks brand new. My son loves him and so do we! We highly recommend Dr. Blalock and Advanced Orthopaedics!
I was treated by Dr. Brooks, about a month ago, for a terrible pain on my right knee. I tried all kind of things at home first, like braces, rubs, heat, elevation, nothing worked, it just kept getting worse. By the time I made it to the doctor, I was in agony. He treated me and within 2 days I was like new. Not a leftover memory.
Now the pain started on my left knee. This time I went immediately to Dr. Brooks. Much easier treatment and by the next day all the pain is gone.
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Everyone here is so professional and kind. Everything was explained to me so that could understand what had to be done. Haven’t had the surgery yet, will update when I have…. One month after surgery, started physical therapy and all is going well. Dr. Mack did such a great job. X Ray’s show the phenomenal work he did on my ankle. Thank you so much… The physical therapy here is great. They provide so much insight and help. Getting much better.
Excellent care and attention to patients. I recently had a total hip replacement and I am able to walk 6 weeks after surgery with no cane. Great feeling to be independant again. So happy to have such an excellent doctor, Dr.Thomas Tanous. His staff was excellent and encouraging as I healed from my surgery. I would definitely recommend Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
Always awesome. Everyone is kind, very professional and thorough. Dr Blalock and his team go out of their way to help any way they can. Same with the group in OT. They work hard and are always helpful and pleasant. Recommend 100%
Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine has, at 76, virtually given me a new lease on being mobile and active. I have seen Dr’s Tanous, Patel, and Cubbage for an assortment of neck, spine and hip problems. Steroid injections to spine by Dr. Patel and the bursa in my hips by Dr. Tanous have taken me from not being able to walk my dog to the end of the block without excruciating pain to walking her daily and even doing several 2 to 2.5 mile hikes on vacations in the last couple of years. I cannot praise them highly enough.
I highly recommend Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine whenever the need arises for great orthopaedic surgeons. They take care of you in a very professional and courteous manner. The Doctors do not rush out like most Doctors do, they sit down and explain what they find, what you need to do to get better and stay to find out if you have any questions or concerns. I also love the physical therapists that they have on premises if there is a need for physical therapy; you do not have to go anywhere else. The staff is also very professional and take care of your promptly. You do not have to wait a long time in the waiting room. All the Doctors are great but I appreciate very much Dr. Fehsenfeld, Dr. Mohr and Dr. Mills. I have peace of mind after I am being take care by these outstanding Doctors
I have found the staff to be courteous and professional. Lynn and Julie were wonderful to work with and took good care of me. And Dr. Brooks and Dr. Mack are excellent and I will seek their help with any and all Orthopedic issues involving my knees in the future.
Thanks for the help on strengthening my legs.after the back surgery, There was no pain shooting down the back of my legs after surgery. I am recovering well with no pain medications.after seven days. I sincerity appreciate Dr.Cubbage.expertise. He told me what to expect with the surgery and recovery. He was spot on and l feel lucky to get a great Doctor like Dr. Cubbage. I also want to thank his great staff for their professional assistance.
I highly recommend Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine to anyone who needs anything dealing with bone replacement. They are THE BEST! Starting with the front office staff, all the techs, all the nurses and the anesthesiologists as well as the doctors are all supremely professional, kind, cordial, accommodating as well as being a Medical Community of their word! They are very concerned about your needs during and after your hospital stay.
They reach out to you afterwards to see how you are doing and I find that to be so hospitable in the culture and climate of our world today. Doctor. David Mack and his nurse Julie as well as the other staff are really the best and have a unique bedside as well as chair side manner. These are least to find qualities in healthcare today. Just to get someone to look at you while you explain as to why you are in for a visit today is a none find however; this staff is all of the above for mentioned and more! Please use this team for your Orthopedic needs and you will be happy with the outcome!