Rest and avoiding activities that trigger your symptoms are usually the first approaches to take. Over-the-counter painkillers may also help you feel better. In serious cases of piriformis syndrome, people suffering may need injections of corticosteroids(duly prescribed by the medical practitioners) to help relieve inflammation of the muscle. The pain and numbness associated with piriformis syndrome may go away without any further treatment. If it doesn’t, the patient may benefit from physical therapy. The patient will learn various stretches and exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the piriformis.
Physiotherapy interventions include Ultrasound Therapy, Soft Tissue Mobilization, Piriformis Stretching, hot packs or cold spray and various lumbar spine treatments. It focuses on functional exercises for the hip, that aims at strengthening the hip extensors, abductors and external rotators, as well as correction of faulty movement patterns. Hence, to achieve a 60 – 70% improvement, the patient usually follows 2-3 treatments weekly for 2-3 months.
A patient may also find relief after Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) treatment. The TENS device is a handheld unit that sends small electrical charges through the skin to the nerves underneath. The electrical energy stimulates the nerves and interferes with pain signals to the brain. In some cases, patients may need surgery to cut the piriformis muscle to ease pressure on the sciatic nerve. However, this is rarely needed.