IMAGING THE PIRIFORMIS
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
Scar Tissue Regular muscle fibers run parallel to each other in a neat, orderly route. When scar tissue forms, it is a knotty, tangled and twisted mess, which is where pain may occur. When connective tissue is injured, the nerve tissue in that surrounding area is injured as well. When nerve tissue is damaged, it reacts by growing smaller, immature nerve branches, which the DOCTOR SCHIERLING WEBSITE explains are up to 1,000 times more pain sensitive than normal tissue. The scar tissue forms as a protective measure that will avoid overstretching the muscle, which is sometimes how the injury may have originally occurred. Therefore, stretching of scar tissue can also be very painful. An August 2013 article on Livestrong called Does Muscle Scar Tissue Cause Pain During Exercise?
Much of this has to do that despite the most current evidence saying that Piriformis Syndrome is America's number one reason for SCIATICA (leg pain), we have huge numbers of websites and studies still touting outdated information from the past. For instance, if you take a moment to look at the National Institute of Heatlth's (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) article called, "Low Back Pain Fact Sheet", they do not as much as once mention Piriformis Syndrome in their list of things that cause low back pain, even though they mention just about everything else. With Piriformis Syndrome, this seems to be pretty much par for the course.
In the first place, although the Washington University study mentions DISC HERNIATIONS and LUMBAR SPINAL STENOSIS (another problem that along with PS, is not mentioned by the NIH article from the first paragraph) as problems that can mimic Piriformis Syndrome (HERE or HERE), we must proceed with caution because Disc Herniations can lead us down a slippery slope --- a very SLIPPERY SLOPE. This is because of the prevalence in the general population of something called "ASYMPTOMATIC DISC HERNIATIONS". For those of you riding the MEDICAL MERRY-GO ROUND, it might also seem like a relief of sorts when the doctor finally tells you that they have found out what is causing your pain. Usually a Herniated Disc. The problem is, depending on whose study you choose to believe, anywhere from about 40% to almost 80% of the 'pain free' adult American population is walking around with Disc Herniations which are visible on MRI or CT SCANS ---- even though there is no pain or overt symptoms present. As you might imagine, this can make it very difficult to ascertain whether or not your pain is coming from the disc or not.
- GET A HANDLE ON INFLAMMATION: Although your problem may not be related to INFLAMMATION, it very well might be. Inflammation might merely be a minor factor, or it could be causal. Regardless, Inflammation is at the bottom of lots and lots of chronic pain and illness. Click on the link to see what you should do about this problem.
- LOSE THE EXCESS WEIGHT: Extra weight, whether it's a few extra pounds or outright OBESITY can present a significant problem as far as almost any health-related function is concerned. For tips on WEIGHT LOSS, just click the links.
- TRY CONSERVATIVE METHODS FIRST: Before you even think about some sort of surgery (whether it's a disc surgery or Piriformis Release Surgery), try conservative methods first. These would include things like CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS, SCAR TISSUE REMODELING, COLD LASER THERAPY or even SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY. Just remember that Spinal Decompression Therapy is typically going to make Piriformis Syndrome worse. These things might not work, but with the poor success rates of some of these surgeries, wouldn't it make sense to find out?