Piriformis syndrome is a disorder which results when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. The compressed sciatic nerve causes pain, tingling, numbness along the nerve path descending from the lower thigh down towards the legs. Other than the modern medical treatment, other alternative methods such as physical therapy, massage and stretching have found to be very beneficial in strengthening the muscles of the abdomen and the back in order to reduce the strain on the piriformis muscle.
Massage therapy when used along with ice massage is helpful in providing immediate relief. Some experts have recommended alternating heat and ice massage to provide prompt pain relief. Other than this, simple stretching exercises also do wonders for reducing pain and improving range of motion substantially.
Massage Therapy for Piriformis Syndrome
Massage is one of the effective modalities to manage the piriformis syndrome. Massage should only be done by a qualified and trained massage therapist. Some points to remember are:
- It is important to massage the gluteal region.
- Patient should lie down in a prone position.
- The massage therapist will then start massaging from the sacrum and down to the head of the femur.
- This helps in stimulating the rotator muscles in the hip which in turn reduces the strain on the muscle.
- While massaging, the therapist will apply deep pressure depending upon the pain threshold of the patient.
As mentioned before, ice therapy application along with massage technique provides many benefits. However, due to the deep nature of the muscle, ice therapy will have very less benefit if it is used alone.