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Old 12-05-2002, 08:03 PM   #1
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Angelene HB User
Post Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

I'm a very unhappy camper.


I diagnosed myself with piriformis syndrome a few months ago, being that I'm a runner (2 mi about 4 times a week) and have a horrible aching pain deep in my right buttock that runs down my leg, and also hurts my lower back. This pain is THE WORST when I sit for an extended period of time. And being in college, with lectures, I sit for long periods of time a lot. I recently had trouble sleeping on a soft bed, and it was very unnerving.

Advil, Tylenol, nothing seems to make this pain go away. I've had success with Icy Hot, but slathering up with that and smelling like mint isn't fun. Especially since the area is so sore to the touch that I wince when I do it, or when I have someone else do it.

I want to know, other than stretching and short of injections, if anyone has had any success in helping this pain. Should I mention it to my doctor? Is there anything he can do?

I've stopped running for the past two weeks and feel a bit better, but now I feel lazy and chubby. Help, if you can.



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"Never give up, never surrender!"
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Old 12-06-2002, 07:04 AM   #2
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Hey angeline, You kinda shot me down when you said anything short of trigger point injections and stretching, because that's what is most effective. You should get a note from your doc or expalin to your profeesors that you must be able to move around during the lecture perriod, the back row would be the least distracting to everyone.

There is another trick you can try, accupressure, Take a tennis a ball to class and slip it under the painful spot and adjust you weight so that your applying pressure to the area, the idea is to drive the blood out of the knotted muscle allowing it to relax, you may get some odd looks when you perch on a tennis ball but try it at home before you take it to class. Goodluck, David

 
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Old 12-06-2002, 08:20 AM   #3
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Question

Hi,

Muscles get tight for a reason. I would want to find out why. You might see a neuromuscular therapist to examine you for structural asymmetry such as leg length difference or hemipelvis and for postural distortions such as an excessive pelvic angle. A leg length difference would definitely make you worse from walking or running. Perhaps you could take up swimming in the meantime to stay active?

~

 
Old 12-06-2002, 07:29 PM   #4
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Hey Angeline, Plymouth made a good point. The leg length test willl tell if your SI joints are out of whack or your hips or even the pubic synthesis. The fairly new Physiatrists, physical medecine docs who often also practice pain management or a good PT or trusted chiropractor could do these checks and make imediate adjustments that may give that muscle a chance to relax.

I was sure I was having a periformis spasm a while back, it would just stop me in my tracks and nothing, sitting, laying down, standing on one leg would calm it down. I saw my PM doc who was a recently graduated physiatrist and she isolated the muscle, it turned out to be the glute minimus but they both come together at virtually the same spot. A single trigger point injection and few adjustments to SI joints and the pubic synthesis and I was a happy camper. I've been lucky ever since.

IS perriformis syndrome a dx that just means constant spasm of the perriformis? I have heard the term but it sounded more descriptive than anything. Just currious and wondering who DX you with PS.

Still give the tennis ball a try for temp relief or ICE but I would have all your Hip joints checked for proper alignment by one of those professionals. Good catch Plymouth.
Take care, David

sorry bout all the spelling errors, must have been hard to follow.LOL

[This message has been edited by davidc66 (edited 12-08-2002).]

 
Old 12-07-2002, 08:05 PM   #5
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Angelene HB User
Smile

Thanks so much for the advice. I said "short of stretching" b/c I do that, and it only works short term (for an hour or so) and "injections" b/c I'm in college and can't afford to get injections or seek out a specialist.

I was thinking of a chiropractor (sp?? that looks so odd) or acupuncture but I don't know much about either. Or how to find a good one. Does insurance cover these usually?

I will try the tennis ball, I've heard that before.

Thanks again, and any more info would be greatly appreciated.

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"Never give up, never surrender!"
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Old 12-08-2002, 07:43 AM   #6
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Hey Angeline, Chiropractic care is usually covered the samew way physical therapy is. You just need a referral. If you have insurance and want to try trigger point injections, which do work if the needle jockey has the right touch.

Look for a Physiatrist in your network. Physiatry is physical medicine and most are trained to do trigger point injections. Pain management docs often do them and anesthesiologist that practice PM can also do TP injections and should be covered as any office procedure would be.

Acupuncture takes several visits to even begin to notice improvement where a single TP injection done properly could resolve the problem or give you relief for weeks.It's certainly more cost effective than acupuncture.IMO Good luck, David

Sorry about all the errors in my previous post, keyboard is sticking.LOL

[This message has been edited by davidc66 (edited 12-08-2002).]

 
Old 06-17-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

Have you tried the Sacro Wedgy tool? It's really the only thing that has worked for me. the Sacro Wedgy lifts the sacrum up (when you lie or sit on it), and places the sacrum temporarily in traction. You can lie on it, but if you're really hurting (as I was), you need to sit on it during the day. Especially if you're sitting in a soft bucket seat. Put the SW under your lower sacrum (yes, it's by your anus). The tool serves to provide a gentle lift to the sacrum. When the sacrum lifts, it provides space for the piriformis muscle to stretch out; if this muscle gets compressed between the sacrum and the hip joint, it can trigger sciatica (the sciatic nerve runs in the area). Then you end up with the pain/spasm/pain/spasm vicious cycle, and inflammation. Meds aren't likely to help until you solve the underlying problem. Use the SW daily....anytime you're sitting. It's like braces on your teeth. Healing can take a while...even a long while.....but the end result will be worth it. and don't hesitate to telephone the people from their website. they will more than gladly help you. In my opinion, they understand more about this part of the body than anyone, and I've seen 67 doctors/chiropractors/physical therapists/massage therapists for the past five years, and the SW people know more about the piriformis than all of these medical professionals combined.

 
Old 06-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #8
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Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

David hit on this briefly, but injections (done by physiatrists, pain medicine docs, some anesthesiologists, and even interventional radiologists) could be VERY HELPFUL for you, and it sounds like you have insurance, so both the doctor's office visit and the injection should be covered. I would get in to see one of these type of docs right away. I think that's your best chance at relief. Of course, try everything else mentioned in the meantime, but I think that will be your cure-all. Take care and good luck!

Liz

 
Old 06-18-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilden View Post
Have you tried the Sacro Wedgy tool? It's really the only thing that has worked for me. the Sacro Wedgy lifts the sacrum up (when you lie or sit on it), and places the sacrum temporarily in traction. You can lie on it, but if you're really hurting (as I was), you need to sit on it during the day. Especially if you're sitting in a soft bucket seat. Put the SW under your lower sacrum (yes, it's by your anus). The tool serves to provide a gentle lift to the sacrum. When the sacrum lifts, it provides space for the piriformis muscle to stretch out; if this muscle gets compressed between the sacrum and the hip joint, it can trigger sciatica (the sciatic nerve runs in the area). Then you end up with the pain/spasm/pain/spasm vicious cycle, and inflammation. Meds aren't likely to help until you solve the underlying problem. Use the SW daily....anytime you're sitting. It's like braces on your teeth. Healing can take a while...even a long while.....but the end result will be worth it. and don't hesitate to telephone the people from their website. they will more than gladly help you. In my opinion, they understand more about this part of the body than anyone, and I've seen 67 doctors/chiropractors/physical therapists/massage therapists for the past five years, and the SW people know more about the piriformis than all of these medical professionals combined.
Hey I see that you are new at posting and I am fairly new at posting too, but I have read a lot here over the last few years. If you look in the upper left of the original message, you will see the date the original post was written, in this case, 2002. Just thought I would let you know that, even though the info could still be relevant to someone else.

 
Old 06-19-2009, 11:02 PM   #10
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iamtooyoung HB User
Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

I am also an unhappy camper and after countless visits with physical therapists, neurosurgeons, and doctors I am 90% I have piriformis syndrome.

I would recommend you get an MRI done first to rule out herniated discs or something that would be similar to piriformis syndrome. My pain would be unbearable enough I literally could not move at all. I miss a lot of work and to say this is ruining my life would be an understatement. But after suffering for about 2 years now I have found some TINY relief through doing these things:

-- electro stimulation therapy. My physical therapist uses a really nice machine when they do this weekly and it's pretty much a butt massage -- and is the best 15 minutes of my week. I now have a TENS unit which is mostly covered by insurance. They are electrodes that I attached to my butt/leg/lower back and wear it all day sometimes for relief.

-- SI belt. This is meant for another condition called sacroiliac which can also closely related to piriformis. But this belt enables me to walk. I wear it all the time. I have a really nice one (again, covered by insurance).

-- sacro wedgy. I was so hesitant about this thing at first but laying on it provided so much relief, google it and check it out. It takes pressure off the pain somehow by supporting the sacrum.

-- Ice. when nothing else works you can never go wrong with just numbing it.

-- drugs, i have been on hydrocodone for so long but when I started using it it helped. Now, not so much. I have also started gabapetin for nerve pain but can't tell if that is helping yet...

Good luck, I feel your pain.

 
Old 06-19-2009, 11:05 PM   #11
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iamtooyoung HB User
Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilden View Post
Have you tried the Sacro Wedgy tool? It's really the only thing that has worked for me. the Sacro Wedgy lifts the sacrum up (when you lie or sit on it), and places the sacrum temporarily in traction. You can lie on it, but if you're really hurting (as I was), you need to sit on it during the day. Especially if you're sitting in a soft bucket seat. Put the SW under your lower sacrum (yes, it's by your anus). The tool serves to provide a gentle lift to the sacrum. When the sacrum lifts, it provides space for the piriformis muscle to stretch out; if this muscle gets compressed between the sacrum and the hip joint, it can trigger sciatica (the sciatic nerve runs in the area). Then you end up with the pain/spasm/pain/spasm vicious cycle, and inflammation. Meds aren't likely to help until you solve the underlying problem. Use the SW daily....anytime you're sitting. It's like braces on your teeth. Healing can take a while...even a long while.....but the end result will be worth it. and don't hesitate to telephone the people from their website. they will more than gladly help you. In my opinion, they understand more about this part of the body than anyone, and I've seen 67 doctors/chiropractors/physical therapists/massage therapists for the past five years, and the SW people know more about the piriformis than all of these medical professionals combined.
Gilden -- I am in love my sacro wedgy!! When you say you sit on it do you actually.. SIT on it? In a chair? I just figured it was for laying down on only. I have an office job sitting at a desk all day which is definitely only making my issues worse. I sit at my desk all day and fantasize about going back home so I can sacro-wedgy it up. hahah. this is what my life has come to!

 
Old 06-20-2009, 10:02 AM   #12
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Avenue Q HB User
Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

Angelene, I can understand all to well that you feel like a unhappy camper. Been there done that for ten long years straight. Having a piriformis problem back in the early nineties, doctor's only seemed to recognize such symptoms as sciatic pain. Like yourself I diagnosed myself because of what I read. Doctor's never looked outside the box in my circumstances. I also felt because it was a chiropractic adjustment that caused my 'formis' to become inflamed.

I can only tell you what worked for me. After trying several alterative to rid of this unrelenting buttocks leg pain. And yes my pain ran down the side of my leg along the side of my foot. What method I had to finally resort to was cortisteriod injections (after 10 years). Yes, and zip!! the pain subsided slowly day by day. The finally results I am still pain free now for eleven and a half yrs. this past April.

Your right piriformis syndrome is most usually classified as a runner's problem. Present day they fine it can be caused by 'repetitive motion'. For me that seemed very plausible with how the chiropractor was adjusting me for several weeks on end. I only weighed 115 pounds and was treated like the football team he last was hided to maintain here at Giant Stadium NJ. .

This information might be helpful knowing the position of the piriformis/sciatic nerve.

The piriformis muscle crosses over the sciatic nerve and when it goes into a spasm it tightens and puts pressure on the nerve. (food for thought).

As far as stretching went for me it was the wrong thing to do. The more any method was attempted to the buttock pain the worst only became worse. I wasn't going to be a quitter...I needed to see pass the pain hoping something positive would happen.

One thing you mentioned was that you had stopped runner for two weeks and felt somewhat better. To me that sounds it may be something other then the 'formis'. Piriformis pain for me was relentless pain. I hope like every one that posted with their incite, I hope I helped a bit.

Angeline...I said enough... bottom line. I live only townships away from Edison. So I can tell you there is a doctor in Marlboro, NJ. His practices is Sports Medicine and deals with the piriformis. As a matter of fact he has the X-ray technology to view the piriformis specially. Call for yourself and ask any questions. Calling him just may save you a lot of unnecessary searching. You have nothing to lose..... hopeful only to grain.
Doctors Name is Brian Helpern, 475 County Road, 520 Maralboro New Jersey. I don't no if this is permitted but what can they do delete it.
Please let us know how you do..I apologize for the length of my post.

Aven...Good luck

 
Old 09-20-2009, 09:57 PM   #13
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Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

Hi, Im new to the board, Ive been diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, Im not an athlete like you but I tore mine lifting a patient from the floor, I also have 3 bulging discs, I found the thing that helps most is the lidoderm patches, you can use up to 3 for 12 hours, it helps alot, Im having my first injection into the piriformis the first of Oct. I m hoping it helps. I hurt in my right low back down in the hip and down the back of my right leg, my 4 toes are numb from the sciatia that is pressed from the piriformis. I cant sleep at night, I stay in constant pain, I feel like Im gonna lose my mind at times and I feel so isolated from my family and friends, Im out of work due to the injury, been out for 3 months, I walk with a limp because I hurt so much on the right side. My prayers are with you and every one else here that is dealing with pain, I just want to get back to normal! hope this helps you, take care...

 
Old 09-21-2009, 05:05 AM   #14
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guy in AU HB User
Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

Ask your doctor about tramadol - it is a moderatly potent analgesic, can be combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for extra pain killing power, and has a low riskk of dependence, and is inexpensive. A prescription is required.

Last edited by guy in AU; 09-21-2009 at 05:10 AM.

 
Old 09-21-2009, 08:04 AM   #15
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Re: Trying to Live with Piriformis Syndrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamtooyoung View Post
Gilden -- I am in love my sacro wedgy!! When you say you sit on it do you actually.. SIT on it? In a chair? I just figured it was for laying down on only. I have an office job sitting at a desk all day which is definitely only making my issues worse. I sit at my desk all day and fantasize about going back home so I can sacro-wedgy it up. hahah. this is what my life has come to!

 
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