People seem quick to look right at sciatica as the problem they are having when facing pain in the lower region of their body, however, sciatica is often misdiagnosed when there are other serious problems present. Piriformis is a muscular disorder that is often mistaken for a herniated disc and even sciatica, leaving patients untreated and in a lot of pain.
Piriformis syndrome occurs when the muscle known as the piriformis in the buttocks causes irritation in the sciatic nerve. This muscular disorder is often found in people who run a lot, people who sit a lot because of work, dancers, and even in people who have been involved in Mississippi accidents.
Symptoms of piriformis syndrome
One of the biggest reasons why piriformis syndrome is misdiagnosed as sciatica is because of the symptoms, which are quite similar to sciatica. The symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome are as follows:
- Numbness in the backside
- Tingling down a leg
- Pain in the legs, waist, or buttocks
- Severe pain when trying to climb stairs or bend over
- Pain that travels from the back to the foot
Piriformis syndrome is quite common among those who run marathons, but overall, there are only 200,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States.
How piriformis syndrome is diagnosed and treated
Piriformis syndrome is diagnosed after a thorough evaluation of the patient, both physically and after learning about their daily routine. Patients that suffer from the symptoms outlined earlier should visit an osteopathic doctor. The doctor should ask about the patient’s routine and manipulate the body so that the patient feels the pain while in the office and can discuss what they are experiencing.
“Many patients present with disc herniation, but that does not preclude piriformis syndrome,” said Dr. Clifford Stark, DO, medical director at Sports Medicine at Chelsea. “Tests such as an ultrasound or MRI may be required to rule out other causes of sciatic nerve compression, such as a herniated disc, but in most cases, the initial treatment is the same.”
When it comes to treating piriformis syndrome, doctors can prescribe a set of stretches and exercises with the help of a physical therapist. These stretches and exercises can help alleviate compression on the sciatic nerve. Ice, rest, and heat can also help relieve a lot of the pain associated with this injury. If the injury is serious, the doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or even suggest surgery.
Causes of piriformis syndrome
The main cause of piriformis syndrome is repeated trauma to the buttocks area of the body, most often due to poor form when running or doing other types of exercises. However, victims of car accidents, work accidents, or construction accidents can also suffer from piriformis syndrome.
Whenever force is applied to the body trauma can occur. For example, if you are crushed in a car accident, the trauma to the lower half of your body can lead to piriformis syndrome. If you fall from heights on a construction site and land on your back, the trauma could lead to piriformis syndrome.
Suffering an injury on the job or in a car accident can lead to serious trauma to your body. If the trauma is to the lower portion of the body or the buttocks, it can cause piriformis syndrome. Since this syndrome is often misdiagnosed as sciatica, make sure the treating doctor considers the accident that caused your injury. Call Merkel & Cocke, P.A. at 662-627-9641 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation to speak with a Mississippi personal injury attorney in Jackson, Clarksdale, and Oxford.