Piriformis Syndrome – how to find the cause and how to fix it up. 

Piriformis syndrome is a diagnosis made when someone has pain in their buttocks muscle; a spasm with our without some hip and thigh pain.  It’s usually found in runners but can affect other people as well.  The piriformis muscle is a small muscle which overlies the sciatic nerve in the buttocks area.  When it’s in spasm, the hip area can tighten, and nerve pain can occur. Some runners can run through it and manage it with some stretches and others are reduced to a mere jog or even have to take time off from it.

Why would a muscle spasm? Now that is a question that interests me.  Many people will understandably try and stretch out the piriformis muscle. It can seem to help some. But the question I ask is why would someone’s body do that? Why is the piriformis muscle spasming?  Is it protecting something?

What if we could find the cause of the spasm?  What would we do then?  If we treated the cause of the spasm would the body need to spasm it any more? What I’ve found in my 29 years of being a physical therapist, is that people’s bodies are doing the best they can do.  When there is a spasm, it is the body’s attempt to protect itself. If we can find the thing the body is protecting; fix that up; then the body doesn’t need to spasm the piriformis muscle and can get on with running or anything else the person wants to do.

Here’s a list of just some of the reasons the body might be spasming a piriformis muscle. It’s a partial list but it will give you an idea of how the body works.

1.  bone bruising and / or bone bars in the pelvis, sacrum, hips or lower back bones.

2.  Leaky gut syndrome in the large intestine.

3.  Exudate or a breakdown of the tissues from the prostate, bladder or colon.

4.  Infection or toxicity in the pelvic area.

5.  Neural Tissue tension in the spinal cord and sacral plexus nerves.

6.  Imbalances in the joints of the sacrum, pelvis, lower back and hips

Sounds daunting to think of having to fix up a colon or a prostate in order to fix up a hip / piriformis syndrome. The cool thing is that with a practitioner trained in nullification or visceral listening techniques, you can learn which structure is more primary or the most important.  By knowing this then there are actual techniques from Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) to correct the issue. From there the body quickly lets go of the piriformis spasm.  It’s no longer needed and the body is smart that way.  It will let go of protections when no longer needed.

Think about it; doesn’t it make some sense that someone with a prostate problem or an issue in the colon would have some spasms in the muscles in the area?  And wouldn’t it make sense that the spasms wouldn’t respond to rest or stretching and might last a long time?

With IMT, we have a technology to find and fix these types of issues. If you’re dealing with something that is not clearing up with what you’ve tried, it might be that some of these areas are the problem.  You’ve probably done a lot of trying and stretching and working on it and resting it if you’re reading this article.  You already do this now.

If you might like to learn the reason for your problem area and more importantly if you might be ready to solve it, let me know and I can give you the information you need to get back to running or hiking or whatever you like.  If you might like to schedule a session you may call me at 619.840.9755 or email me ralphhavenspt@gmail.com  ***

As you might guess, there are many other reasons the body is protecting it self and spasming a piriformis muscle.  If you are interested in learning more email or call me.


Ralph Havens, PT, OCS, IMTC, certified matrix energetics practitioner

Ralph Havens Physical Therapy, Bellingham, WA and worldwide via Phone and Skype

www.ralphhavensphysicaltherapy.com  619.840.9755

P.S.  If you’d like to learn about what it is your body is protecting and more importantly how to fix it up, call me and we can give you some info you may find useful.  Call me at 619.840.9755  or email at ralphhavenspt@gmail.com

Ralph Havens, Physical Therapist



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