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What is Piriformis Syndrome?

If you feel pain in your hip or thigh, the problem may actually be a muscle in your lower back. Chiropractic is based on taking a holistic view of the body, and the mechanics of one part of the body are often felt in another. At ChiroCareLA in Glendale, our experts in musculoskeletal care provide complementary treatments without the use of drugs or surgery, and are often able to provide treatment for problems at their source instead of just managing symptoms. When a person is experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling in their lower limbs, the source may be the piriformis muscle.


The piriformis muscle connects the lumbar vertebrae, which are the ones in the lower back, to the top of the femur. There is one on each side of the body, and a branch of the sciatic nerve passes around or through each piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscles are wedge-shaped and layered deep within the body. They are used to rotate the leg outward and help provide the lumbar vertebrae with stability. They may become inflamed due to overuse or an injury, although typically only one would be inflamed, and pain would only be felt on one side. If a swollen piriformis muscle compressed their sciatic nerve, a person might feel shocks or numbness along that leg, in addition to soreness in their hips and lower back.


Piriformis syndrome is diagnosed partly through the process of elimination, in addition to imaging and range-of-motion tests. Treatment includes therapeutic stretching exercises, but we can also reduce its inflammation through means such as frequency specific microcurrents. If tightness in the piriformis muscles has caused a patient’s lumbar vertebrae to incur subluxations, we can provide chiropractic adjustments via handheld instruments and utilize spinal distraction and decompression.


Dr. Jack Alajajian and his staff operate ChiroCareLA.com at 815 E Colorado Suite 250, Glendale CA, 91205. Call 818-246-3600.

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