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Does this sound like Piriformis Syndrome?

Hi, this is my first post here and I am posting because I
am a bit desperate and need advice, my doctor has diagnosed me with Piriformis
Syndrome but I am not sure if it is, I am wondering if anyone on this forum who
has piriformis can tell me if it sounds like piriformis…

It started in 2012 when I was taking a long train trip, whilst
sitting for an extended period of time I got a nerve pain which felt like
electric shocks in my left hip.

Since then this pain has be reoccurring,
anti-inflammatory meds and some stretching seemed to keep it under control.

This pain seemed to come at random times sometimes when
standing and sometimes when sitting, but it always happened during the day.

However around 3 months ago it came back with a
vengeance, my wife has compared these nerve pain attacks to her contractions
during childbirth. The pain comes on suddenly, lasts around two minutes, is
severe enough that I have to hold onto something to not fall over, can barely breathe
and end up red in the face and light headed… and then disappears as suddenly as
it started. This is suddenly happening at night as well, sometimes 3 or 4 times
a night.

Now my doctor diagnosed me with Piriformis and told me to
google some stretches. I have been doing stretches and they are not working,
they actually seem to make it worse. Also the anti-inflammatory meds have
stopped working. When I used to take them it would give me a reprieve of
several days before the pain came back, now they don’t seem to do anything.

I have had an x ray and that doesn’t show anything. My
doctor made me do a lot of stretches to confirm Piriformis or Sciatica, I felt
nothing at all during these exercises, however an hour later when I was at home
the pain came on and I had the most painful night of my life.

I am not sure about being diagnosed with Piriformis… I
have read a few people who say that you can “walk off” the pain from Piriformis
Syndrome, the pain I have can’t be walked off. I thought it might be caused by
a muscle spasm but when I try to feel the muscle spasm as it happens I can’t
feel anything at all, there seems to be no tenderness in that muscle.



  • Hi Machinist, im certainly no doctor however i have just had surgery for herniated disc. As I had no back pain and full flexibility the Dr thought Piriformis may have been the cause. Off to PT wothout luck, feel free to read one of my earlier posts if you like

    There seem to be a number of possible causes for the same symptoms, If you are not responding to the treatment please get back your doctor. 

    It can be very frustrating as you work through things, you do need to advocate for yourself.

    Good luck.
  • Hi Machinist
    This is  a difficult problem to deal with and if I could give you any advice find a doctor who is certified, trained, experienced and very knowledgeable about this problem.  It took me several injections, MRI's, x-rays and therapy before I convinced a doctor to do the manual tests that at times will help to diagnose this issue. I never got relief with the injections nor did the other tests show any issue but I struggle every day to tolerate the pain and life. I was going to therapy with a certified therapist and gaining but got ill and hope to get back to it soon. 
    It is a problem that makes it hard to do much of anything and I am sorry you are going through it.
    If you type in the upper left corner of this page Piriformis you will get a lot of excellent information. 
    Do as suggested make an apt. with the doctor and tell them what is going on and what the plan is. If they don't have one move on don't waste time with them. 
    By the way I cannot walk it off I wish the only things that give me relief is pain medication, ice, staying off the sore spots. But that is because I have done a ton of the things the doctor suggested without relief.
    Like was said do not give up find that right doctor who will listen and help you to get to the bottom of what is going on. No one should have to deal with this pain you deserve someone who will help you. 
    Take care of yourself I pray you find relief soon.
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  • Hi there,

    When I went to see my Osteopath he was able to do some manual pressure tests that would determine whether the sciatica was likely to be caused by my back or the Piriformis muscle. His opinion was that it was a disc issue that was causing my back to spasm and tighten up, in particular the Piriformis muscle. He relieved the muscle with strong pressure and has show me a technique with a tennis ball that really works. If you have a look on Youtube you'll find it, also massaging trigger points that seem far away from the pain can be really effective in relieving that big muscle. Obviously this has just been my experience and every back is different from what you've described it could be that, especially as your MRI was clear. For myself it helps to work on that muscle but any relief is very temporary and working the muscle doesn't help the leg and foot pain, only traction on L5S1 does that.

    Take care, hope you feel better soon.


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