If Piriformis Syndrome is suspected, upon your initial visit to Elite physical therapy your PT will perform a thorough evaluation to determine if you are experiencing complications of the piriformis muscle. This initial evaluation will involve special testing to determine muscle strength and muscle tightness and your therapist will also want to gather specific information about the symptoms you have been experiencing. Common symptoms of piriformis dysfunction can include instability in the hip, pain deep in the gluteals, and numbness and tingling down the back of the leg.
Once your assessment is complete, your therapist will create a plan of care (POC) that will focus on decreasing tightness in the muscles and creating a balance of strength around the hip. You will be assigned a specific set of exercises that may include:
- Piriformis stretches
- Hamstring stretches
- Sciatic nerve glides
- Side lying hip abduction
- Bridges with theraband resistance
Various hands on techniques are commonly used during treatment of piriformis disorders such as piriformis syndrome. Deep soft tissue mobilization and myofascial techniques have proven to be highly effective at decreasing muscle tightness and improving muscle length of the piriformis thereby providing relief of symptoms. Manual stretching techniques in which your therapist will bring your leg into a specific position and apply a certain amount of overpressure in attempts to stretch the tightened muscle can also be extremely helpful.
Along with exercise and manual treatments your therapist may also find it beneficial to use several other types of treatments known as modalities. One such modality is called therapeutic ultrasound. Therapeutic ultrasound is performed by applying a water based gel to the area of treatment and gently passing an ultrasonic sound head or wand over the region for 8-12 minutes. These ultrasonic waves create heat deep within the muscle and can thereby bring about improved muscle length to the involved tissue. Other modalities that may help relieve symptoms are moist hot packs to improve blood flow and loosen muscle tissue combined ESTIM (electrical stimulation) to help disrupt the pain signals.
If you are having consistent pain in your hip, come see us for a free consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.