It starts out with a deep aching pain in your buttock that you are constantly aware of. For a while you feel like you can still push through it and you still try to exercise in the hopes that it will go away. However, with time it gets worse. Now, your pain bothers you throughout your whole day. You can’t go for a run, you can’t sit for too long and even something simple like putting on shoes is becoming hard to do.
This is where nerve irritation starts
With time, you start to feel other symptoms as well. Instead of only pain in your buttock, you feel your pain spreading down the back of your thigh. Previously it was an aching, gnawing pain. Now, it is becoming sharper and it burns. Together with the spreading pain you feel a tingle, like pins and needles, running down your leg, especially when you have been sitting for a while.
This is what we call intermittent irritation of the sciatic nerve. In certain positions, like bending, your piriformis muscle and sciatic nerve gets stretched and irritated, causing you pain. Whereas a position like sitting puts more pressure directly on your buttock muscles and sciatic nerve. The moment you try to to walk fast or even run, you feel the familiar tingle down your leg. When your piriformis muscle is contracting it worsens the irritation. Whenever you lie down, the irritating symptoms down your leg seems to improve. This is why we call it intermittent nerve irritation, because it comes and goes.
It gets serious
Now, the intermittent irritation that only bothered you at times, has progressed to sciatic nerve compression. You start to feel like you’ve lost power in your leg and hip and there are some patches of skin on your leg that feels completely numb. Weakness or clumsiness of your leg may not be as excruciating as the burning pain, but is more serious.
If you’ve gotten to this point, your sciatic nerve is suffocating and cannot properly conduct impulses. This will lead to nerve damage if you do nothing about it. Your piriformis muscle have gotten so overworked, tight and shortened that it cannot do its job anymore. Now, other buttock muscles and even lower back muscles are taking over and this leads to other areas of muscle spasms. Prolonged dysfunction of your piriformis muscle may cause the muscle tissue and tendons to become scarred, making a normal, smooth contraction of the muscle so much harder.
Your piriformis syndrome symptoms has gotten so severe that it is is affecting your life, sleep, work and exercise. The pain from this is so severe, you will feel like you don’t want to move at all. You’ve gotten to a point where the pain you are experiencing is a warning. A warning that you are damaging your piriformis muscle and sciatic nerve. Do something about it!
Chronic, recurring piriformis syndrome
Chronic flare-ups of piriformis syndrome is very frustrating and debilitating. You never know when you’ll feel it again, and it always stays in the back of your mind, leaving you afraid of the pain you know too well. You can never run or exercise to your full ability again, because you know that you don’t want to push yourself too far. Finding the true cause of your piriformis syndrome is the best way to clear it up. The longer you have piriformis syndrome, the higher your chances become of having muscle and nerve damage.