Piriformis exercises are one of the main conservative treatment options prescribed for piriformis syndrome. Piriformis-related pain is on the rise worldwide. Actually, to clarify the point, the condition itself is not growing, only the diagnosis of the condition throughout the back pain industry.
Exercise therapy is certainly a seemingly logical choice for treating piriformis syndrome when the true reason for pain is recent injury to the muscle itself. Physical therapy may help to speed healing and eliminate binding scar tissue which may force the piriformis to constrict the sciatic nerve. However, PT is also used in cases where no injury has ever taken place. How physical therapy is meant to resolve chronic sciatic compression seems quite illogical in these scenarios, which, by the way, represent more than 90% of diagnosed cases. Piriformis syndrome is a terrific scapegoat for unresponsive sciatica, since it is difficult to prove diagnostically and almost impossible to disprove.
This essay critiques the use of exercise therapy for many cases of diagnosed piriformis muscle impingement of the sciatic nerve.
Usually one of the first prescribed treatments for diagnosed cases of piriformis syndrome is physical therapy. The syndrome is linked to problems in the piriformis muscles, gluteal muscles and hip area and exercise of these anatomical regions often provides symptomatic relief.
Exercises are usually prescribed to stretch and strengthen the piriformis muscle, gluteals, hip muscles and hamstrings. Symptoms have been linked to tight and tense muscles in this area, as well as muscles and ligaments that are in poor shape or suffering from disuse. As previously mentioned, the usefulness of exercise therapy is often questionable, but relief is provided in most patients. However, the benefits of PT are usually short lived and patients generally resume painful expressions a few hours after exercise ceases.
Most patients are sent to a professional physical therapist to begin their exercise program for piriformis pain relief. Patients are instructed on proper technique and given a variety of exercises and stretches to be done at home every day.
Some patients continue to attend physical therapy for an extended time frame, especially if they are less functional and require assistance with their exercises. This treatment modality is highly profitable and is a common tactic used by personal injury mills to add more value to already inflated insurance claims.
As to why exercise may provide relief for many instances of piriformis pain, this is the subject of much speculation. For actual fresh injuries, exercise may truly rehabilitate the tissue and resolve pain permanently. However, for other patients who enjoy the usual transient benefits, the route cause of piriformis expressions may be regional oxygen deprivation.
Remember, exercise is perhaps the very best way to increase circulation and tissue oxygenation to any area of the body. This makes ischemia a logical reason for the occurrence of symptoms and this is the exact theory suggested by many doctors in the mindbody sector of medicine.
Exercises are great for your body. Real cases of acute piriformis injury are quite rare, but do respond well to physical exercise therapy. If your piriformis pain does not improve after a comprehensive program of exercise and stretching, there is a good chance you have been misdiagnosed. Improper diagnosis of piriformis pain occurs in the majority of patients, so do not be surprised.If this is your situation, consider the fact that your pain might actually be ischemic. Once you determine the true cause of your pain, you will have a much improved chance for permanently curing it.