Are you experiencing pain in your buttock or numbness and tingling down the back of your leg and into your foot? You may have piriformis syndrome. For those seeking a more conservative treatment option for piriformis pain, OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® offers a piriformis injection to patients living in the Dallas, Ft. Worth, Arlington and surrounding communities.
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep in the buttocks region (behind the gluteus maximus) that can cause pain and spasms. In some cases, the piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve causing numbness and tingling through the legs and into the foot. The function of this muscle is to assist in rotating the hip and turning the leg and foot outward. Typically, the cause of spasms, tightening and swelling of the piriformis muscle is due to an injury.
Symptoms of Piriformis Pain
- Dull ache in the buttock
- Pain Down the back of the leg and into the foot
- Pain when walking up an incline or stairs
- Increased pain after sitting
- Reduced range of motion in the hip joint
Treatment Options for Piriformis Pain
Once the proper assessment and a diagnosis has been given for piriformis syndrome, there are a number of treatment options that can be initially taken. Ice and heat therapy can help reduce inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can also help reduce inflammation. When those treatments do not help decrease pain a simple in-office piriformis injection can be considered.
How is a Piriformis Injection Done?
To begin, the patient will lay on the least sore side with the knees bent toward the chest. One of our physicians will push on the buttock region to find the trigger point that is the most painful – this is where the sciatic nerve and piriofrimis muscle is the most inflamed or tight. The skin is then numbed with local anesthetic. The physician will then insert a needle into the piriformis muscle. A small electric current will pass through this needle into the muscle. Patients may feel a “thumping” sensation in the buttock that can cause a mild contraction of the muscle. This procedure will help the physician find your most painful spot. Once the most painful spot is found, a piriformis injection of steroid and anesthetic is inserted into the area to reduce inflammation.
Following the procedure, the injection site will be covered with a bandage and ice may be applied. Most patients report a decrease in pain within 3 to 7 days. Continuing home remedies such as ice and heat can help with the recovery process. Physical therapy may also be prescribed to assist with healing.
What are the Risks Involved with a Piriformis Injection?
This procedure is very safe and there is little risk. Some side-affects can include temporary pain or infection and possible sciatic nerve block, which can cause temporary leg weakness. Our physicians will discuss these risks with patients in detail.