Dry needling for piriformis syndrome is an effective treatment to relieve hip and leg pain, especially when used together with piriformis syndrome exercises. If you’re reading this, you’re probably somewhat familiar with dry needling treatment, or you’ve at least have heard about it. If not, make sure you read up and get answers to your questions such as “What is dry needling?”
What are the Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome?
Hallmark symptoms of piriformis syndrome that you may be experiencing include:
- Tightness and pain in in one side of your buttocks. In most cases your symptoms are on one side only, but piriformis can also be bothersome on both sides.
- Difficulty sitting for moderate amounts of time or finding yourself changing positions frequently in order to get comfortable.
- Poor sleep because your buttocks area feels extremely tight at night.
- Hip weakness with normal daily activites, especially single leg activites such as climbing stairs with the affected hip.
- Burning, tingling, or numbness in the back of your leg that can travel as far down as your foot.
Piriformis syndrome can be different for each person, but typically you’ll have at least one of these symptoms. There are a few other conditions that can often times mimic piriformis syndrome. For this reason, I recommend seeing a chiropractor who can diagnose your specific case. Other conditions that can cause similar symptoms include lumbar disc herniations, greater trochanteric pain syndrome, or gluteal muscle strain.
Chiropractors are experts in non-surgical spine and joint treatments which makes them an excellent resource. You could also consult a sports medicine doctor to be diagnosed, however, they don’t offer that same conservative treatments (such as dry needling) that a chiropractor offers.
Can Dry Needling Help Piriformis Syndrome?
Dry needling can relieve symptoms and help you recover from piriformis syndrome. Not only can dry needling help with piriformis syndrome, but it may be a more effective than medication for treating it.
This case series published by medical doctors in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine discusses treatment of 3 cases of piriformis syndrome with dry needling. The patients had tried oral medications previously which failed to provide any relief. Patients were treated for their piriformis syndrome over a 10-day period and followed up on 6 months after their treatment. In all three cases, their piriformis syndrome symptoms resolved and quality of life improved.
At the 6-month follow-up the patients were still pain-free. This is encouraging because it reflects that dry needling can provide long-lasting relief for piriformis syndrome. You don’t have to live in worry that piriformis syndrome is going to last forever or come back all the sudden. Also, good to note, there were no significant adverse events (side effects) of dry needling treatment.
Chiropractic for Piriformis Syndrome
Besides dry needling for piriformis syndrome, there are a few other treatments you could try alternatively or in addition to dry needling. As comprehensive musculoskeletal care providers we provide several other treatments for piriformis syndrome which include:
Chiropractic Adjustments for Piriformis Syndrome – Piriformis syndrome is often associated with low back, pelvis, and hip joint dysfunction and pain. Abnormal joint mechanics or poor movement can complicate or may be the reason you have piriformis syndrome.
Stretches and Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome – Stretches for the piriformis muscle and gluteal muscles can help release tightness and tension in muscles that are irritating nerves in the area. Strengthening exercises help the piriformis muscle regain strength and restore normal muscle function. If you’ve tried these and they haven’t helped, you may not be doing the correct ones or the right exercise at the right time, this situation is where a chiropractor can give expert instruction.
Graston Technique for Piriformis Syndrome – Piriformis syndrome sometimes responds well to soft tissue therapies like Graston Technique. Graston Technique is a form of instrument assisted soft tissue release (IASTM) that encourages soft tissue healing and can address scar tissue adhesions that prevent the area from healing.
How Long Does It Take for Piriformis Syndrome to Heal?
Piriformis syndrome will almost always get better with treatment, but how long is it going to take? Typically, piriformis syndrome can resolve in 1-6 weeks depending on how long you’ve had symptoms and how severe it is. I’ve had patients who have 95% improvement in piriformis syndrome with dry needling treatment after 1 appointment. Not everyone will get better this quick, but generally the sooner you get treatment the quicker you can expect it to heal.
I encourage you to call our office and get examined by one of our chiropractors. We’ll figure out if it is piriformis syndrome, and if it is we’ll give you an honest opinion on our recommended treatments for piriformis syndrome and how long it will take to recover.
If you have any further questions or are looking for a chiropractor in Cary for another condition, feeling free to give our office a call or schedule a free consulation.