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Is Your Wallet Causing Piriformis Syndrome?

Hi, Dr. Stewart here! Today I am writing about an issue that I see quite commonly at The Wellness Center PDX. I want to talk to you about… Wallet Butt. Traditionally, Wallet Butt was seen in people who carried their wallet in their back pocket. And this is still the case, but these days more and more people are also carrying their cellphones back there too. This creates a muscle imbalance that our bodies have to compensate for. Is one hip tighter than the other? For those of us that keep a phone or wallet in our back pocket, we can develop a form of sciatica known as Piriformis Syndrome. Piriformis Syndrome can sometimes be misdiagnosed as a herniated disc in the low back.

What are the symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome? 

The most pronounced symptom is hip or buttocks pain that radiates. Imbalance and overuse damage the muscle and causes it to get really tight. When the piriformis gets that tight, pressure is placed right on the sciatic nerve. Since the sciatic nerve is located just under the piriformis muscle, it is significantly affected. Worse yet, in about 30% of people, the sciatic nerve actually runs right through the piriformis muscle, making those people even more susceptible. As the pressure on the piriformis builds it causes impingement and irritation of the sciatic nerve. This can result in pain that radiates down your leg, potentially all the way down to your feet. Pain like that can make it really painful and difficult to drive, walk, sit for long periods of time, or even just to bend down to tie your shoes.

Can anything be done about Wallet Butt? 

Yes! it is possible to reverse the condition… by treating the issue right away. First, get your phone or wallet OUT OF YOUR BACK POCKET. Next, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, and specific exercises, specifically tailored to this condition will help resolve the issue. The chiropractic treatments will free the joints that have been having to accommodate the uneven sitting. The message will help relax the over-tight muscle, and help bring blood flow to the area to facilitate healing. The exercises address: stretching the piriformis to reduce the tension on the nerve, as well as correcting the muscle imbalances caused by the uneven sitting. Additionally, getting the sciatic nerve un-impinged through special nerve-gliding exercises, to help resolve the radiating pain.

Time to overcome the Wallet Butt! Call today to schedule an appointment to be evaluated for Piriformis Syndrome. Let’s put together a treatment plan to start you on your path to wellness! 

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