Piriformis syndrome is a condition that occurs when there is compression of the sciatic nerve. Sitting can make the symptoms of piriformis syndrome worse due to the irritation it places on the sciatic nerve. When the nerve becomes aggravated, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Deep pain in the buttock
- Pain that is sharp and radiating
- Numbness in the feet, legs, or buttock
- Pins and needles sensation in the legs
- Muscle spasms of the piriformis muscle
Tips for Sitting More Comfortably With Piriformis Syndrome
Whether it is at work or for long hours in the car, sitting can place pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause pain that can disrupt your day. The following tips can help you sit more comfortably with piriformis syndrome, so you do not have to suffer in pain:
- Be aware of your posture. Sitting with good posture in an upright position while keeping your feet flat on the ground can help keep your body in the proper position.
- Use back support or a cushion. It is important to have support for your lower back while sitting. Back support can help with pain from piriformis syndrome by keeping your spine in proper alignment, and a cushion on your seat can help distribute your weight evenly so you do not put more pressure on one side than another.
- Take a break. Sitting for long periods can cause your back, hips, and legs to ache. If you are sitting in a car or at your desk for more than 60 minutes at a time, take a break. Standing, moving around, and stretching can relieve pain and give your body a break from sitting.
- Stretch daily. If your piriformis muscles are tight from sitting all day, stretching can help loosen them up and increase blood flow. This can help relieve symptoms of piriformis syndrome.
- Apply heat. Applying heat can reduce pain and symptoms. You can apply heat to wherever you are experiencing symptoms, such as the lower back, hips, or the back of your legs.
- Avoid placing your wallet in your back pocket. Sitting on an object such as a wallet in your back pocket can cause your weight to be unevenly distributed, placing pressure on your sciatic nerve.
When You Should Seek Help
If you have piriformis syndrome and it is worsening with sitting or does not respond to conventional treatments such as rest, medication, or physical therapy, it is time for an evaluation by a nerve specialist. Nerve decompression surgery is an option to consider that can be done to release the sciatic nerve from the piriformis muscle to eliminate pain and symptoms.
Contact Our Office
If you have pain when sitting due to piriformis syndrome, contact Dr. Williams for a consultation. We have options such as nerve decompression that can have you back to living pain-free. To schedule an appointment in the Baltimore office, contact us at (410) 709-3868 or fill out our contact form online.