The piriformis muscles are located at the bottom of the spine and connect the lower spine to the top of the femur or upper leg bone. These small muscles are important for supporting hip and leg movement, but they can be strained or injured. The sciatic nerves pass through the hip and pelvic area under the piriformis muscles – if these muscles are inflamed or spasming, they can put pressure on the sciatic nerves. This can result in sciatica symptoms, which can be reduced by piriformis blocks performed at Allied Pain & Spine Institute in San Leandro, CA.
Sciatica is a group of symptoms that can occur when the sciatic nerves are irritated or pinched. These are the largest nerves that exit the lumbar spine, one serving each leg. Sciatica symptoms include pain or burning radiating from the lower back into the buttocks and legs. Patients may also feel tingling, numbness or weakness, usually only affecting one side of the body. Sciatica can be caused by lumbar spine or piriformis muscle conditions.
When piriformis muscles have spasms or inflammation, they can cause irritation to the sciatic nerve running underneath. To resolve sciatica symptoms, a piriformis block injection can be used to calm inflammation or spasms to stop the irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Piriformis blocks are injections with local anesthetic and steroids to calm the injured or spasming piriformis muscle. The injection is carefully guided with imaging to the piriformis muscle, and the medication is delivered into the desired location. The numbing effect of the local anesthesia may provide instant relief from sciatica symptoms, but this only lasts a few hours. Steroids can provide longer lasting results by calming the piriformis muscle, but these effects take a few days to occur.
For those with sciatica symptoms caused by piriformis syndrome, injury or spasms, piriformis blocks may be a pain relief option. To learn more about injection therapy for sciatica, contact our team at Allied Pain & Spine Institute. Call our medical clinic in San Leandro, CA, to schedule your appointment with one of our pain management specialists.