Each year thousands of Martin County residents are involved in car accidents. Here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Some car accidents cause minor damage while others cause major damage. The severity of the damage to vehicles and the severity of the injuries vary. Did you know that the vehicle […]
A lot more people are working from home these days. For many, it brings to mind images of relaxing on the couch while working. Few realize the importance of creating an ergonomic home office until they’re in pain. The image below was found by searching “working from home” on a popular image sharing site. If this is how you’ve been working from home, you may notice you have some new aches and pains. Your neck and back may be aching. Your wrists may hurt as well. Maybe you’re having headaches. Don’t wait until you’re in severe pain to ask yourself: Is your workspace helping or hurting you? Are you working productively? Or is working from home slowly crippling you?
(By the way, the points in this article applies to children who are homeschooling as well.)
If the decision to work from home was a sudden one, you probably didn’t give much thought to ergonomics. You set up your computer where you could and got to work.
Most people don’t realize that the workspace provided by an employer is designed with ergonomics in mind. Ergonomics draws on many disciplines to optimize the interaction between you and the work environment. Ergonomics is how you and your workspace interact.
When your home office isn’t set up with ergonomics in mind, eventually you’ll experience:
- shoulder pain
- back pain
- neck pain
- wrist pain
Poor office posture injuries are repetitive use injuries.
Notice the word “eventually” above. You see, the human body is great at “making do” with whatever situation you put it in. This means, the first time you flop down on your couch to work, your body isn’t going to scream at you to stop. Instead, it will do its best to adapt. However, if you continue to put stress on your back, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists with poor office posture, eventually you’ll experience the aches and pains described above. It’s not just people who work from home who can suffer from these injuries. Anyone who works in an office is susceptible to these repetitive use injuries. However, if you’re working from home and you haven’t set up your home office with ergonomics in mind, then you’re even more susceptible to these types of injuries.
Employers invest in trying to optimize workplace ergonomics because they want to increase productivity while decreasing injury and illness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2013, musculoskeletal disorders cases accounted for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases. 1
Home Office Ergonomics Can Prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. These include:
- carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist pain)
- tarsal tunnel syndrome (ankle/foot pain)
- pinched nerves
- herniated disks (back/neck pain)
- rotator cuff injuries (shoulder pain)
- epicondylitis (elbow pain)
- trigger finger (finger pain)
- muscle sprains, strains and tears
- low back injuries
- neck pain
These Musculoskeletal Disorders have one thing in common. They all have symptoms of pain, swelling, and numbness.
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders are often caused by :
- repetitive motion involving microtasks
- being rubbed, abraded, or jarred by vibration.
Creating an Ergonomic Home Office
You can reduce your risk of illness or injury by keeping workspace ergonomics in mind as you set up your home office.
Create an ergonomic home office by focusing on these key elements.
#1: Choosing The Proper Chair
It’s well worth the investment to purchase a quality chair. Keep in mind you will be spending 8 to 15 hours a day sitting as you work.
Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. The term “ergonomic chair” is used loosely at best and is lying at worst. Instead focus on finding a chair that fits you properly. If you are tall or short you may need to spend some extra time to find that perfect chair. One advantage to outfitting your home office is you can purchase the best chair for your body.
The height of the chair is paramount. You should be able to adjust your chair so your feet a flat on the floor and your legs are parallel to the floor. Tilts are helpful to get that angle just right.
The backrest of your office chair should be separate from the seat. You should also make sure you can adjustable the height and angle. Be sure the chair supports the natural curve of the spine. Pay close attention to the lumbar region of the chair. Make sure your chair offers proper support in the curve of your back.
What about Exercise Ball Office Chairs? While an exercise ball is great for working out, it is not your friend as an office chair. For most people, the height of the ball is not suitable for desk work. (See the image above for proper positioning.) While it’s good to exercise your core, these exercises should only be done for a short period of time, not for an entire 8-hour workday.
#2: Choosing the Proper Keyboard/Mouse
Many office workers suffer from tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries caused by poorly designed keyboards and mice or positioning.
Finding the right keyboard and mouse is difficult because there is no “one size fits all” product or solution. While there’s no one product that is right for everyone, there are things to keep in mind to help you find the perfect match!
- Distance: Proper sitting posture dictates where you should place your keyboard.
- Angle: The keyboard should have a slight negative angle of about 15 degrees
- Height: Your posture and desk height dictates the correct height of your keyboard and mouse
- Mouse: the most important thing is make sure you don’t twist your wrist while using the mouse
What about Wrist rests?
Often a wrist rest is used as a support rather than a rest. It should only be used, ideally, when a sharp or hard surface is present that you are constantly coming into contact.
#3 Laptop: Ergonomic Friend or Foe
Unfortunately, your laptop is an ergonomic foe! Laptop computers are much more convenient and portable than desktop varieties. However, it’s the ability to use your laptop anywhere that makes it an ergonomic foe! Using it while in bed or while seated on the sofa is a recipe for neck, shoulder and back pain. In addition, the keyboard is flat which means your wrists won’t be properly positioned.
If you must use a laptop computer, don’t use the laptop’s keyboard and mouse pad. Instead, purchase an ergonomic keyboard and mouse and attach them to your laptop just as you would to a desktop. Place the laptop on a flat surface and position the screen to the proper height. (See the illustration above.) When you do this, you will find it very uncomfortable to use the laptop’s keyboard/mouse.
#4: Using the Phone
Do Not Cradle Your Phone!
If you are on the phone and typing, cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can be hazardous to your neck. Cradling the phone can lead to neck spasm, headaches and ear pain.
Using speakerphone is the fastest and easiest solution. If using your phone’s speakerphone isn’t an option, invest in a good headset. It will literally save your neck!
#5 Choosing a Desk
Height is by far most important factor in choosing a desk for your ergonomic home office. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) recommends a general height desk of 28.7″ plus or minus 1″.
Many people work from home from their dining table. Standard dining table heights are 28″ – 30″so it’s possible your dining table is the proper desk height. It’s also possible that your dining table is just a bit too tall or short. In the Work From Home Office Ergonomics illustration above, make sure your arm rest allows your elbow to be at a 90° angle while working at your table. If not, shoulder, wrist, neck and back pain can result.
#6: Positioning Your Monitor
- Distance: Your monitor should be set up 20 inches away or at arm’s length
- Elevation: The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. The monitor should be directly behind your keyboard. If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor an additional 1 to 2 inches for more comfortable viewing.Tilting your head back to try to read your monitor can lead to headaches and neck pain.
- Angle: 10-20 degrees A greater angle will cause you to hold your head at an uncomfortable angle, leading to neck strain.
- Glare: Glare on your screen causes eye strain. Placing your monitor and desk perpendicular to the window works best. Whatever kind of lighting you use, position the monitor so that there is no distracting glare.
Footrests are a way to shift postures or provide support for the feet if the chair cannot be lowered. Unfortunately, using a footrest when the chair is too high provides only one place for the feet to rest.
- Height: Footrests should be adjustable. Adjust the footrest until the thighs are parallel to the floor +/- 1-3 inches.
- Rocking: When using a footrest, be sure to shift postures frequently. The rocking action on all-plastic footrests tends to wear out quickly, so look for durable models.
Chiropractic Care Can Help!
If you haven’t set up an ergonomic home office, you may already be feeling the effects. Sometimes simply changing your workspace can help alleviate your pain. If it doesn’t, gentle chiropractic care can help. If you work on a computer all day, be sure to ask Dr. Danielle about adjusting your wrist. Chiropractic care focuses on treating all of your joints and muscles.
Pain can keep you from getting healthy sleep. Sleep is critically important to healing from injuries as well as maintaining good health.
If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. The American Sleep Association estimates that 50-70 million adults in the US have a sleep disorder.
Though the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, the current research suggests that individuals with a sleep disorder may be more likely to develop chronic pain and people with chronic pain are more likely to have trouble sleeping.1
A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep problems pose an important risk for the development of musculoskeletal pain in adolescents. A large cross-sectional study involving 6986 adolescents found short sleep time to be a risk factor associated with regional musculoskeletal pain, particularly chronic regional pain and chronic widespread pain.2
Why Sleep is Important
When you crawl into bed to go to sleep, you might think your body is shutting down and resting. We now know nothing could be further from the truth. Sleepy time is when your body performs many “heavy lifting” tasks that repair, restore and maintain your mind, body and health.. These processes are so intensive that the body waits until you’re asleep to perform them. This is why getting proper sleep following surgery or an injury is an important part of the healing process.
If you been injured in a car wreck or suffer from chronic pain, getting that healthy sleep is easier said than done.
The Role of Sleep in Injury Recovery
Sleep plays a surprisingly important role in injury recovery . Whether you’ve been in a car accident or you’ve hurt yourself at work or play, you need to get healthy sleep so you body can repair damage to muscles, ligaments and tendon, and even bones.3
According to John DeLucchi, Physical Therapy Manager for OrthoCarolina, “If you want to upgrade your athleticism, decrease your risk of injury, decrease persistent pain, recover faster, boost your immune system, have more energy and perform better, sleep is critical.” 4
Your immune system relies on sleep to be able to fight harmful substances. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system can’t properly protect your body from infection. Your body makes white blood cells while you sleep. These white blood cells attack viruses and bacteria that can slow the healing process as well as make you sick.
Sleep is when the body manufactures hormones. During healthy sleep cycles, the brain triggers the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth to repair blood vessels. This helps wounds to heal faster and restores sore or damaged muscles. Some of the hormones your body makes and releases during sleep slow breathing and relax muscles. This process can reduce inflammation and assist with healing. Other hormones your body releases are the ones that make you feel hungry or full. When you don’t get enough sleep, the hormone levels of ghrelin go up. Ghrelin is called the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. 5 At the same time the hormones that tell your body that you’re full (leptin) go down. 4 This is why poor sleep patterns often lead to overeating and obesity.
So – to recap – healthy sleep helps you
- heal and recover after surgery or injury
- relax muscles
- repair blood vessels
- fight infection
- restore sore and damaged muscles
- maintain a healthy weight
In a cruel catch-22, chronic pain sufferers find it difficult to get healthy sleep. Chronic pain can lead to sleep disturbances, depression and a heightened risk of suicide.5 Healthy sleep plays a vital role in battling chronic pain, but chronic pain often prevents healthy sleep patterns.
Good Sleep Hygiene
Here are some things to try to help you get a healthy night’s sleep.
- Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Reserve the bedroom for sleep, intimacy, and other restful activities.
- Keep your bedroom cool. Between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.6
- Banish electronics from your bedroom.
- Be careful about napping. Taking a nap at the peak of sleepiness in the afternoon can help to supplement hours missed at night. However, daytime naps can also interfere with your ability to sleep at night.
- Instead of napping, try taking a brisk walk. Exercising – especially when you’re having trouble sleeping – is tough but worth the efforts. Make sure to avoid exercising within three hours of bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine after noon.
- Alcohol is not a sleep aid. While many people think drinking alcohol helps you sleep, studies show the opposite is true. 7 While alcohol will make you fall asleep faster, the quality of sleep you get is greatly diminished. The more you drink, and the closer your drinking is to bedtime, the more it will negatively impact the quality of your sleep.
If you’re logging in 8 hours of sleep at night but don’t feel refreshed in the morning, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Advanced Wellness Solutions. There are many medical conditions – including chronic neck and back pain – that could be responsible.
“Oh no! Not a herniated disc!” This phrase is probably uttered every day in doctor’s offices across the country.
You should know that with proper treatment a herniated disc does not mean a lifetime sentence of unbearable pain.
Are herniated disc serious? Yes. However with proper care and monitoring many herniated discs can be managed successfully.
Seek immediate medical attention if you present with any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of balance
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of sensation especially in the inner part of the thighs
- Loss of consciousness
- Symptoms are rapidly getting worse
A disc herniation falls into a broader category of disc derangement.
Disc derangement is when the disc positioned between your vertebrae has damage to its structure. This damage can be minor or major depending on age and type of trauma. The disc is a made up of a gelatinous center called the nucleus pulposus surrounded by fibrocartilaginous material (annulus fibrosis). When the annulus fibrosus is torn due to stress the gelatinous nucleus pulposus can ooze out creating disc derangement. How far that gelatinous nucleus pulposus oozes out is what determines what kind of disc derangement you have.
There are four stages of disc derangement:
- and sequestration.
Degeneration is where the nucleus pulposus is no longer in a nice contained area but rather is oozing into the layers of annulus fibrosis. The oozing hasn’t gone far but the nucleus pulposus is no longer contained.
Prolapse is when the nucleus pulposus is pushing all the way out to the last layers of the annulus fibrosis. It hasn’t left the confinement of the disc but its close.
Extrusion is when nucleus pulposus has left the confinement of the annulus fibrosis. This is the state where nucleus pulposus can physically start interfering with surrounding structures.
Finally sequestration is when the nucleus pulposus has left the confinement of the annular fibrosis and has broken off into little pieces. These pieces can travel and cause interference with the surrounding structures.
Any stage of disc derangement can cause pain. How much pain depends upon the individual and the location of the derangement. However extrusion and sequestration can pose the most serious risk of the four. Anytime nucleus pulposus has left its confinement, it can cause impingement and pain.
When a disc undergoes derangement it was believed that it actually pinched a nerve causing pain. Although that can be the case with some types of derangement, in general the pain associated with disc derangement comes from the inflammatory response of the body to the change in structure. The inflammation occurs around the deranged disc and then the nerve and other pain sensitive structures become irritated, causing pain.
Herniated discs are diagnosed with MRI imaging which can tell the doctor where and what type of disc derangement is present. MRI imaging can also show the doctor if any other structures are being physically intruded by the disc derangement.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
Disc derangement can have many presentations and should always be check by a qualified medical professional such as a medical doctor or chiropractor.
Some people have herniated discs and do not demonstrate any symptoms. However when symptoms do arise they are different depending on location of the herniated disc.
Cervical disc herniation symptoms:
- Pain in the arm or hand, this pain often feels like it is traveling down the arm or radiating
- Numbness and tingling
- Weakness in the arms
- In severe cases reduced reflexes in the upper limbs with increased reflexes in the lower limbs
Lumbar disc herniation symptoms:
- Low back pain that travels down the buttocks, legs and feet
- Numbness and tingling
- Weakness in the legs
- Decreased reflexes
Risk factors for herniated disc:
- Overweight: excess weight puts extra stress and different weight loading on discs
- Physically demanding jobs
- Genetics: a family history of disc herniation
- Age: most likely to occur between 30-50
What causes a herniated disc?
Herniated discs happen gradually with repeat stress. A person can’t often pinpoint when they herniated a disc. For example, someone may say that bending over to pick up a piece of paper caused their symptoms. In this case, it wasn’t the simple act of bending over but rather the repeated stress to the disc that caused the herniation. When that person bent over, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
How do you treat a herniated disc?
Treatments for a herniated disc include:
- Chiropractic treatment with adjustments
- Cervical traction
- Physical therapy
- At home exercises and stretches
- Postural correction
- Weight reduction
- OTC, muscle relaxers and other narcotics
Chiropractic care with flexion distraction has been shown to be helpful in disc herniation treatment.
An important thing to remember with a herniated disc is to avoid too much bed rest. Taking it easy and not lifting heavy things is fine but lying in bed waiting for the pain to go away is one of the worst things you can do for your spine. Retaining motion is crucial when there is a herniation of a disc.
Not every herniated disc needs intervention. If you are experiencing herniated disc symptoms or fear you have a herniated disc, and you live in Stuart, Florida or Palm City, Florida, you should contact Advanced Wellness Solutions.
As more people spend their time working on computers, riding in the car for long commutes and spending their free time on their phones or even reading, proper posture becomes crucial. Postural syndrome also known as postural dysfunction occurs when poor posture is maintained for long periods of time causing discomfort.
What is postural syndrome?
Postural syndrome is the result of prolonged time in poor posture. This posture includes head forward, shoulders slouched and the upper back arched for the upper body. For the lower body poor posture is slouched forward while sitting or with the hips pushed forward when standing. This posture causes the muscles in the front of the body to become tight and the muscles in the back of the body to become stretched and weak. This poor posture can occur in many aspects of life such as at the computer, gardening or cleaning.
If you are spending a large amount of your time with your arms stretched out in front of you (for example, holding your phone) then you are in a position that could lead to postural syndrome.
What are the symptoms of postural syndrome?
The symptoms of postural syndrome most often occur while the person is holding the problem position for extended periods of time. These symptoms are:
- Pain when the muscles of the upper back are pressed on
- Forward head carriage
- Muscle tightness
- Dull aching pain
- Burning pain in the upper back all the way up to the base of the head
- Muscle fatigue
How do you treat postural syndrome?
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Physical therapy
- Postural Taping
- Postural Exercises
- At home strengthening exercises and stretches
- TENS unit
- Ergonomic corrections
A key with postural syndrome is being aware of one’s posture; this is where postural taping is helpful.
If you are experiencing poor posture or symptoms of postural syndrome and wish to discuss your treatments options please schedule your appointment by calling 855-509-5400.
Thoracic or mid-back pain is most likely as common as cervical or lumbar pain but less often reported due to its mild pain presentation. The thoracic spine connects to the ribs and chest region. Sprains and fractures in this area are primarily caused by high velocity auto accidents, and may result in permanent nerve damage.
Where the neck is made for movement and the low back is made for power and flexibility, the mid-back (thoracic spine) is made for stability. With the rib cage attached to all levels of the thoracic spine (ribs 1-10 being attached to the sternum and ribs 11-12 floating or not attached to the sternum) this severely limits the motion of the thoracic spine. This limit in motion makes disc herniations and nerve root compression in the thoracic spine less common.
There are two types of thoracic pain.
- Mechanical thoracic pain is caused by injury, trauma or overuse.
- Non-mechanical thoracic pain is due to underlying pathology or disease.
Causes of mechanical thoracic pain are:
- sprain/strain (such as those experienced in a car crash.)
- compression fracture
- postural syndrome
Causes of non-mechanical thoracic pain are:
- osteoid osteoma
- Scheuermann’s Disease
- T4 Syndrome
- herpes zoster
- metastasis (the development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer.)
- referred pain from viscera
What to expect at your appointment for a complaint of thoracic pain:
You should expect to provide a full medical history to your healthcare provider. An event or physical complaint that you think is entirely unrelated to your thoracic back pain may provide essential information needed to make a correct diagnosis.
Your doctor will perform a full physical exam, including sensation and strength testing. Your doctor may order X-rays, CT or an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. If non-mechanical thoracic pain is suspected, blood work will be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
When to seek immediate care for thoracic pain:
Thoracic pain can be referral pain from the viscera i.e. cancer so please seek immediate professional help if you experience thoracic pain with any of the following symptoms.
- History of cancer
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lower limb spasticity
- Progressive pain, worse at night
What can a Chiropractor do for thoracic pain:
- Mid-back exercises and stretches
- Ergonomic training
- Electrical stimulation/TENS treatment
- Supervised medical massage
Thoracic back pain can have a multitude of causes and can be a symptom of cancer. Back pain should always be checked by a chiropractor or medical doctor.
If you live or work in Stuart, Florida and are experiencing back pain, call 855-509-5400 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC.
Do you have low back pain that is worse with extension? Do you have a family member with spondylolisthesis? Do you have degenerative joint disease in the lumbar? Then you may have lumbar spondylolisthesis.
What is a lumbar spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis refers to the forward slippage of one vertebral body to the beneath it. This most often happens at L5 and S1 but it can occur at higher levels.
Chiropractic care is a nonsurgical, conservative care treatment option for pain commonly caused by spondylolisthesis.
There are six types of slippage graded I-VI.
- Type I: Congenital/Dysplastic caused by congenital anomaly
- Type II: Isthmic caused by pars fractures and is most common at L5 and in youths
- Type III: Degenerative caused by degenerative joint disease and is most common at L4
- Type IV: Traumatic caused by trauma resulting in a pedicle fracture
- Type V: Pathological caused by an underlying pathology
- Type VI: Iatrogenic caused by surgery
Imaging of the lumbar spine is the only definitive way to diagnose lumbar spondylolisthesis.
What causes lumbar spondylolisthesis?
The cause of lumbar spondylolisthesis is unclear however certain factors seem to be prevalent in
- Sports that require a lot of hyperextension such as gymnastics
- Trauma (such as injuries suffered in a car crash.)
- Degenerative joint disease
Traumatic spondylolisthesis occurs when an acute, traumatic injury such as a car accident leads to spondylolisthesis.
What are the symptoms of lumbar spondylolisthesis?
Lumbar spondylolisthesis is often asymptomatic. When symptoms do occur they can present in several ways.
- Low back pain made worse with extension
- Hamstring tightness
- Hyperlordosis of the lumbar or thoracolumbar spine (sway back)
In extreme cases:
- Gait disturbance
- Neurogenic claudication
What are the treatments for lumbar spondylolisthesis?
- Chiropractic adjustments (unless instability is present)
- Physical therapy
- At home exercises and stretches (avoiding extension exercises)
- TENS unit
- Reduction of activity during periods of aggravation
- Orthopedic intervention if grade III – V
If you are experiencing back pain, it could be lumbar spondylolisthesis. If you live in or near Stuart, Florida contact Advanced Wellness Solutions to schedule an appointment.
“Pain in and around the sacroiliac joint is one of the more common causes of low-back pain. With approximately 80 percent of the population suffering from low-back pain at some point in their lives, the sacroiliac joint dysfunction likely represents about 15-25 percent of those cases.” American Chiropractic Association
What is a sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a broad term used to describe injury to the sacroiliac joint. This injury can be very painful but is often not life threatening. This injury is often very uncomfortable to life since it is difficult to perform everyday tasks. It has been found that conservative treatment is superior in minor cases of sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
What causes sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
Most patients report spontaneous occurrence of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. It’s a common injury among golfers. However there are some things that can lead to damage.
- Genetic predisposition
What are the symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain can range in severity from mild to severe. It is important to remember that pregnant women may experience sacroiliac joint dysfunction due to hormone-induced ligament laxity. The symptoms most often present with sacroiliac joint dysfunction are:
- Dull achy to sharp stabbing pain in the low back, buttocks or back of the leg
- Pain on one or both sides of the buttocks or legs
- Pain along the back where a belt would sit (belt line pain)
- Pain made worse with movement and better with rest
- Tender to the touch in the low back and over the sacroiliac joint
What are the treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Physical therapy
- TENS unit
- At home stretches and exercises
If conservative treatment does not produce results than a referral for injections or NSAIDs is recommended
If you are experiencing sacroiliac joint dysfunction and live in or near Stuart, Florida, please call 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment with Advanced Wellness Solutions.
The piriformis is a powerful, flat, pear-shaped musclegoes unnoticed because it’s located beneath the gluteal musculature. However, when the piriformis muscle causes compression or contraction on certain areas of the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in the buttocks and/or lower back that can radiate down the leg to the foot.
The two piriformis muscles sit behind the hip sockets, extending from the upper, outer corner of each femur (thighbone) to the sacrum. These two pear-shaped muscles are joined by a band of connective tissue, or fascia, that stretches across the sacrum just above the tailbone.
The primary function of the piriformis is the external rotation of the hip, which is why swinging a golf club can cause piriformis syndrome. is The piriformis msucle is part of the hip rotator cuff, which are small, deep muscles that rotate the leg outward at the hip.
The piriformis muscle also helps with abduction or the act of moving your leg away from the midline of your body. It also plays a role when you extend and lift your leg behind you. The piriformis laterally rotates the femur with hip extension and abducts the femur with hip flexion.
Piriformis syndrome effects women more than men in a ratio of 6:1.
What are the symptoms of piriformis syndrome?
The symptoms of piriformis syndrome vary from person to person but can include:
- Chronic pain in the buttocks
- Pain when rising from a seated position
- Pain increased with moving the leg off to the side or moving the leg back and forth
- Inability to sit without pain
- pain, sometimes severe when climbing stairs, walking, running, and golfing
- tingling and numbness,
- pain that can go from the back to the foot,
Piriformis syndrome is pain that may be difficult to pinpoint. Often located in the hip, buttocks and distal part of the leg, it can produce a pain that is very similar to sciatic pain.
In 20% of the population the piriformis splits and the sciatic nerve runs through that split. Those people are much more susceptible to piriformis syndrome due to their unique anatomical structure.
What causes piriformis syndrome?
The cause of piriformis syndrome is varied.
You can develop piriformis syndrome from everyday activities, such as sitting for long periods of time, climbing stairs, walking, or running. You can also develop it after a traumatic event, such as a car accident or a fall.
High activity level sports such as skiing, tennis or long-distance bikers can cause piriformis syndrome. A golfers swing can also cause piriformis syndrome.
What are the treatments for piriformis syndrome?
This is a muscle that contributes to many leg and hip movements. When this muscle is aggravated, it doesn’t suffer in silence. Rest is an important part of the treatment process. If you continue performing aggravating activities during treatment, then expect it to take longer to heal. Treatments for piriformis syndrome include:
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Physical therapy
- Myofascial release techniques (such as cupping)
- At home exercises
- TENS unit
If you are experiencing pain in your buttocks, pain when rising from a seated position or any of the other symptoms of piriformis syndrome, you should schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor. If you live or work in the Stuart, Florida area, contact Advanced Wellness Solutions at 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment today.