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The Piriformis Muscle: A Pain in the Butt

By HERWriter
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pain in the butt from piriformis syndrome iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Sciatica pain may be the result of another medical issue. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Sciatica is a symptom of another medical pr oblem, not a medical condition on its own.”

Sciatica pain differs from person toperson mainly because the causes of sciatica differ.

For example, if you have pain on one side of your butt and hip, this may be the result of inflammation of your piriformis muscle.

Inflammation of the piriformis (pronounce peer-ee-form-us) muscle, also known as piriformis syndrome, can put pressure on your sciatica nerve, resulting in sciatica pain. This literally results in a pain in the butt, or hip.

The American Academy of Family Physicians stated that the “piriformis muscle runs from your lower spine to the top of your thigh bone.”

Symptoms of piriformis syndrome include:

• Sciatica pain

• Pain and numbness in your lower body

• Pain, tingling or numbness that starts in your buttocks and runs down the back of your leg

• Intense, burning pain deep in the buttocks

• Pain increases with activity sitting, walking up stairs or running

Now, here are some recommended homecare tips if you are suffering from piriformis syndrome:

• Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxento to reduce the swelling and pain.

• Do not sit for a long periods of time. Regularly stand up, stretch and walk around.

• Try piriformis muscle stretches.

• Massage the affected area.

• Temporarily halt physical activities which irritate the piriformis muscle.

• Use cold packs and warm packs. Start by using a cold pack on the affected area several times a day for about 15 minutes at a time. After using a cold pack for a couple of days, switch to a warm pack or heating pad. If pain continues, alternate between a cold pack and a warm pack.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, here are some prevention tips to avoid piriformis syndrome:

• Avoid sitting or lying down for long periods of time in a position that puts too much pressure on your buttocks.

• Don't lift by bending over

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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