Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome, Acupuncture, Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC

Piriformis syndrome is a pain in the butt; literally, but it is a neuromuscular condition that responds well to acupuncture. The syndrome consists of the sciatic nerve being by compressed or aggravated by the piriformis muscle which is located under the largest butt muscle; the gluteus maximus. Symptoms range from minor to severe pain in the form of stabbing sensations, shooting or traveling sensations down the leg, and numbness and tingling. It usually affects the center of the buttock but can travel anywhere the sciatic nerve and its branches travel. That means pain can travel to the hip area and the side of the thigh, but usually stops at the knee. 

Western medicine treatment usually includes pain medication, but that does not tackle the problem, it covers the symptoms by masking pain. Once the medication is out of your system, the pain comes right back. Acupuncture treatment is able to efficiently tackle the problem by soothing the muscle, relaxing spasms, increasing blood flow, and reducing impediment of the meridian associated with pain. Best of all, acupuncture does not have any negative side effects; most likely you'll fall asleep during treatment. 

The typical person suffering from piriformis syndrome will need several treatments per week for 2-4 weeks to get the pain under control. During treatment it is important to abstain from certain movements or activities that will aggravate the symptoms, such as squats or prolonged gardening. Full return to activities may take up to 2-3 months. 

At home stretches may help to alleviate the pain until you are able to seek professional assistance. Light stretching with knee to chest should be done 3-5 times per day, holding the leg to the chest for 5-10 seconds. A heating pad can be used before stretching the loosen muscle fibers or stretching can be done after a warm shower or bath.

Before resorting to invasive treatment, try acupuncture first. Be gentle with your body by using gentle and holistic techniques.