- Piriformis Syndrome
Piriformis syndrome is compression of the sciatic nerve through the piriformis muscle. This muscle acts as an external rotator, weak abductor and hip flexor and provides stability when walking and standing. The piriformis muscle can be irritated with spasms or local inflammation. If the sciatic nerve is compressed or pinched, nerve irritation can cause pain along the sciatic nerve. Pain may be felt in the buttocks down to the lower thigh and leg.
- Irritation of the Piriformis Muscle through Spasm
- Local Inflammation
- Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation in the piriformis muscle itself, or irritation of a nearby structure such as the sacroiliac joint or hip
- Tightening of the muscle, in response to injury or spasm
- Swelling of the piriformis muscle, due to injury or spasm
- Bleeding in the area of the piriformis muscle.
Signs & Symptoms
- A dull ache in the buttock
- Pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot (sciatica)
- Pain when walking upstairs or inclines
- Increased pain after prolonged sitting
- Reduced range of motion of the hip joint
- Cervicogenic Headaches
A cervicogenic headache starts in the cervical spine - your neck. Sometimes these headaches mimic migraine headache symptoms. Initially, pain may begin intermittently, spread to one side (unilateral) of the patient’s head, and become almost continuous. Furthermore, pain can be exacerbated by neck movement or a particular neck position (e.g. eyes focused on a computer monitor).
The cause of a cervicogenic headache is often related to excessive stress to the neck. The headache may result from cervical osteoarthritis, a damaged disc, or whiplash-type movement that irritates or compresses a cervical nerve.
The neck’s bony structures (e.g. facet joints) and its soft tissues (e.g. muscles) can contribute to the development of a cervicogenic headache.
Certain spinal nerves structures are involved in many cervicogenic headaches.
Spinal nerves are signal transmitters that enable communication between the brain and the body via the spinal cord.
Nerve compression can cause inflammation and pain.
Signs & Symptoms
A cervicogenic headache presents as a steady, non-throbbing pain at the back and base of the skull, sometimes extending downward into the neck and between the shoulder blades.
Pain may be felt behind the brow and forehead, even though the problem originates from the cervical spine.
Pain usually begins after a sudden neck movement, such as a sneeze.
Along with head and/ or neck pain, symptoms may include:
- Stiff neck
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Pain in one or both arms
- Mobility difficulties