The vast majority of patients suffering from piriformis syndrome will work with a physical therapist for treatment. During your visit to Hicksville Physical Therapy, a member of our team will evaluate your condition and determine effective treatment options for reducing your pain levels and spasms within your piriformis muscle.
When we at Hicksville Physical Therapy treat a patient with piriformis syndrome, the first course of action is typically the application of heat. Your physical therapist will likely use a hot pack on top of your buttocks muscle in order to help the piriformis muscle relax, therefore helping to relieve your spasming and reduce your pain.
Additionally, we may utilize ultrasound to implement deep heating in and around the buttocks area. During an ultrasound, high frequency sound waves make their way through the skin, producing a deep heating effect. This deep heating stretches out the piriformis muscle and prepares it for other, more hands-on treatment methods.
These hands-on treatment methods often include deep massage or certain methods of soft-tissue mobilization. During your treatment, your physical therapist might also work to position your leg and hip so that the nerve signals leading to the piriformis muscle are more relaxed.
We urge patients suffering from piriformis syndrome to perform recommended exercises, particularly those that stretch the muscle, in an effort to reduce or relieve irritation and pain on the sciatic nerve. Stretching can be even more beneficial when performed after hands-on treatments and heat application. Your physical therapist will demonstrate how you can effectively stretch your piriformis muscle. In addition to your assigned stretches that you perform here in the clinic, you’ll also be shown multiple options for stretching the muscle on your own time. It’s important to perform these stretches every few hours, but be gentle and take care to avoid overexerting yourself.
Once your symptoms begin to decrease, your physical therapist will slowly adjust your program to add exercises such as general conditioning, muscle strengthening, and posture training. The period of recovery and rehabilitation can vary from patient to patient, but typically, physical therapy sessions are attended two or three times per week for a timeline of six to eight weeks.
After you undergo surgery for your piriformis syndrome, your surgeon might prescribe physical therapy. Recovery times can vary, but in most cases, patients can expect to undergo physical therapy for four to six weeks. Full recovery typically takes up to three months to be achieved.
Once you’ve completed surgery and begin your physical therapy program, your physical therapist might utilize treatments such as ice or heat, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, or massage to reduce pain and muscle spasms. Afterward, your physical therapist will start teaching you how to safely move around in order to put minimal strain on the area that’s healing.
Throughout your rehabilitation program with Hicksville Physical Therapy, you’ll progress to increasingly more challenging exercises. Our goal for your treatment is to effectively but safety advance your functioning and strength.
As your physical therapy sessions progress, your physical therapist will help you with re-engaging in activities that you enjoy. We will work with you and instruct you on any changes you may need to make in how you perform these activities as well as which activities are acceptable and safe for you to perform. In an ideal situation, you will be more than able to get back to your activities as normal.
When you’re far into your recovery journey, you will no longer have to schedule regular appointments at Hicksville Physical Therapy. We will, of course, continue to be available to you as a helpful resource, but you will take full control of performing your exercises as part of your continuing home program.