Tag Archives: Physical Therapists

Piriformis Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Piriformis muscle is a flat and band like muscle that is located in buttocks near the top of the hip joint. This muscle helps in the movement of the lower body as it makes the hip joint stable and as well lifts and rotates the thigh.

What do we mean by Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis Syndrome is an uncommon neuromuscular pathology which occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle. This compression causes pain, tingling and numbness in the buttocks and along the sciatic nerve path going down the thigh into the leg.

What are the potential signs and symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome?

  • Pain in lower back or buttocks
  • Painful to sit on the affected buttock
  • Pain or tingling sensation down the back of legs
  • Pain down the back of calf & foot
  • Pain while mounting and inclining stairs
  • Pain increases with prolonged sitting
  • Reduced range of motion of the hip joint

What are causes of Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis Syndrome usually develops in the athletes who are engaged in forward-moving activities like runners or bicyclists. This syndrome generally occurs due to:

  • combination of weak abductors with the tight abductors
  • Stiffness or hypo-mobility of the sacroiliac joints
  • Overporonation of the foot
  • Overworking of Piriformis muscle
  • Dysfunctioning of the adjacent SIJ or hip joints
  • Work hip stability muscles

What are the Physical Therapy treatments suggested to cure Piriformis Syndrome?

Depending upon the severity of condition, pain and other symptoms, number of physical therapy treatments may be suggested:

  • Stretching exercises are prescribed to relieve sciatic nerve irritation.
  • Heat treatment is suggested to relax the piriformis muscle.
  • Ultrasound treatment is advised for the deep heating in buttock area.
  • Hands-on treatment like deep-tissue massage or soft-tissue mobilization is administered to relax nerve signals to the piriformis.
  • Strengthening of abductors and abductor muscles may be suggested.
  • Myofascial release and thrust techniques may be suggested to address the somatic dysfunction in the patients.
  • Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) may be advised to restore patients’ normal range of motion.
  • Pelvic and spine re-alignment techniques are suggested.
  • Foot orthotics or exercises are advised to restore foot and lower extremity alignment.

Contact Alliance Physical Therapy for the state-of-art and efficient treatment of any of your neuromusculoskeletal problems or deformities. We use patient proven methods and techniques to get you back to your daily routine as soon as possible and make you as sturdy and healthy as before.

Foot Drop: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

What do you understand by Foot Drop?

Foot Drop, also referred to as ‘drop foot’ is a gait abnormality, where person is unable to lift his/her forefoot and hence walking becomes challenging for such persons. Foot drop is not a disease in itself but rather a sign of underlying foot disorder that can be neurological, muscular or anatomical. Foot Drop can affect one or both the feet and as well be temporary or permanent depending upon its cause.

Under this condition, patient loses partial or total control over the foot. The toes of such patients either point towards floor when they lift up the foot from the ground or they tend to drag the foot along the ground while walking.

What conditions give rise to Foot Drop?

Generally, foot drop occurs due to the weakness or paralysis of the muscles lifting the foot. Apart from this, there may be some other causes including the following:

  • Muscular Disorders
  • Nerve injury
  • Brain or Spinal disorders
  • Injury to peroneal nerve
  • Sports injuries
  • Diabetes, hip or knee replacement surgery
  • Sitting cross-legged or squatting for sustained hours
  • Neurological conditions like; stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy, polio
  • Tear of the anterior tibialis tendon
  • Anterior compartment syndrome

What are the signs and symptoms of Foot Drop?

Foot drop is debilitating for the patients as it affects their mobility to a greater degree. The persons suffering from foot drop may exhibit the below mentioned signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty in lifting the forefoot or toes off the floor
  • Pain, weakness & numbness in the foot
  • Slap foot on the floor while walking
  • Drag the foot while ambulating
  • Raise the leg while walking

What are the physical therapy interventions employed to treat Foot Drop?

Physical Therapy is the most effective treatment for the foot drop, as most of patients regain significant function and mobility after observing a regular physical therapy regime. Physical therapists use the following techniques to manage foot drop:

  • Strengthening exercises are practised to strengthen and stretch foot and to mobilize the ankle.
  • Stretching exercises are administered to help stretch the calf and foot muscles
  • Leg flexes and toe curls are advised and practised to stimulate the muscles
  • Treatment regime including electrical stimulations of nerve and muscle fibres’ may be advised to enhance the tone and contractility.
  • Gait training is recommended to help the patients walk more efficiently and to improve their stability
  • Use of ‘AFO’ (Ankle-Foot-Orthosis) braces may be recommended to support the ankle and foot function
  • Manual Therapeutic techniques including; soft tissue massage, deep friction massage, manual stretching and joint mobilization is employed by therapists to help patients regain range of motion
  • Neuromuscular Re-education including; movement techniques and mechanics is provided to restore stability and retain lower extremity in daily chores
  • Home program including; strengthening, stretching and stabilization exercises and instructions is designed to help patients to perform daily tasks.

Contact Alliance Physical Therapy for the efficient treatment of your neurological and muscular disorders. Our dedicated and diligent physical therapist will help you walk the road to recovery.