Many people experience back pain, some to the extent where the pain radiates throughout the body, from the back all the way to their toes. This is a condition called piriformis syndrome.
Piriformis syndrome involves the piriformis muscle which is deep behind your glutes, and rubs up right along your sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the longest single cell in our entire bodies, so when this muscle tightens up and puts pressure on this nerve, it causes that pain which extends from your lower back all the way to the bottom of your feet.
One of the most common causes of this problem is prolonged sitting due to the sedentary lifestyle many people today have. Many people sit at work all day, then come home and sit on the couch watching tv which is horrible for their spinal health and posture.
Over activity can cause problems too, by aggravating the muscles near the hip or spine during exercise or injury to the back or lower body. Inflammation throughout the body is another possible cause of piriformis syndrome.
If you are experiencing symptoms like lower back pain or numbness that travels from your legs to your toes, you may have piriformis syndrome. If you do, there are some simple steps you can take to correct the issue.
What Kind of Treatments Exist for Piriformis Syndrome?
1-Stretching, Meditation and Yoga to Help Strengthen Muscles
Many of the issues people face in regards to the piriformis muscle are due to over compensation of a weak core and lower back. This causes strain and over use of muscles like the piriformis and can cause that radiating pain.
Strengthening your spine and your abdominal region will not only help in reducing pain from piriformis syndrome, but will help correct poor posture which comes along with other benefits as well.
Doing stretches and performing exercises can help to strengthen these core muscles which will help to reduce this pain. Try to stick to exercises and stretches where you are on your back, which will take pressure of the nerve and further ease pain.
Stretches you should do on your back involve taking one knee at a time and slowly pulling them towards your chest in the direction of one elbow, and alternating between each stretch.
For example you will take your left knee and move it to your right shoulder and hold it for 30 seconds, followed by moving your left knee to your left shoulder. You will repeat this with your other leg as well. You can do this exercise throughout the day as needed to relieve pain.
Yoga is also effective in helping to reduce piriformis pain because of the various stretches and movements the body is doing, which helps to strengthen it as a whole. Stretches targeting the hamstrings, lower back and glutes will help to build strength in these muscles which reduces the strain on the piriformis.
2-Take Supplements to Reduce Lower Back Pain Associated with Piriformis Syndrome
Some supplements like Kratom is effective for pain because of their anti inflammatory properties. Inflammation is one reason why the muscle tenses up and causes pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain.
Supplements with omega 3 fatty acids like Optimal Omega by Men’s Healthy Lifestyle will greatly help to reduce this inflammation.
Changing your diet can also help in reducing inflammation and can help you recover better and faster from exercise as well. Avoid alcohol, added sugars, refined grains and processed foods which are known to upset the bacteria in our guts which is one cause of inflammation.
3-Rest More in Between Sets to Reduce Lower Back and Leg Pain
A mistake many people make in exercise especially in weight training is not taking enough of a break in between sets. If you are experiencing lower back pain, it may be a good idea to do so.
When considering how long you should rest in between sets during exercise, you not only have to take the stamina of the muscles you are working in to account, but also the stress you are putting on your central nervous system as well.
Generally speaking your muscles will recover faster than your nerves, which may give you the false sense that your body is ready to go when in fact your nerves still need more rest.