From the beginning of my practice, I have seen many people who are suffering from severe, nagging pain in the hip and buttocks. Some people call it sciatica. The pain will usually get worse if you bend, squat, run, climb stairs, or sit for long periods of time. In many cases massage therapy can help relieve the pain and make movement easier.
The piriformis is a muscle deep under the gluteus maximus. It is one of the muscles that create rotation of the hip.The piriformis also maintains stability in the hip joint during movement. Notice that the sciatic nerve comes from under the piriformis and runs down the leg. If the piriformis becomes inflamed or tight from overuse, it pinches the sciatic nerve resulting in pain (hence the name "sciatica").
Exercises like running or cycling can cause overuse of the piriformis muscle. The result is tightening and inflammation which may eventually lead to piriformis syndrome.
Massage therapy can help ease the pain of sciatica and piriformis syndrome. The goal of the session is to relax the piriformis muscle to relieve the pressure it is putting on the sciatic nerve.
Allowing the massage therapist to work on your glutes can have benefits for pain relief and prevention. Treating the hip area can have a big payoff for people with piriformis syndrome or other conditions such as low back pain, hip pain, or upper leg pain. If you are active or an athlete, every massage should include glute work.
It is unlikely that piriformis syndrome can be completely treated in one appointment. More likely it will take a few visits over a few weeks to get the muscles to calm down and eliminate the pain. Don’t give up after one session. Stick with a plan for a while to get the most effect.
The pain caused by piriformis syndrome can affect how you move, how you sleep, and even your mood. You don’t have to put up with that annoying pain in the butt! Contact me today to see how I can help provide relief.