Piriformis syndrome can be a worker's compensation injury. Pain in the buttock radiating down the leg is commonly called sciatica. The most common cause for sciatica is irritation of the spinal nerves in or near the lumbar spine due to neural foraminal stenosis often cause by a bulging or herniated disc. However, sometimes the nerve irritation is not in the spine but further down the leg due to an injury to the piriformis muscle. Piriformis syndrome mimics a herniated disc pain and while it can be disabling it rarely leads to surgery.
Work-related piriformis syndrome treatment often involves doctors monitoring the patients' condition to see if symptoms improve. At this stage many injured workers are off work with a doctor's excuse or off work restrictions and are receiving worker's comp benefits called TTD benefits. When the insurance adjustor denies benefits, McCormick Law Office attorneys can advise on the best course of action to take for the best results under Wisconsin's worker's compensation law. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are commonly used to treat the pain and inflammation caused by the irritation on the nerve. Acetaminophen or Tylenol can be used to treat the pain but will not control the inflammation. Physical therapy may be ordered to ease spasm and pain in the piriformis muscle. Exercises, particularly stretching exercises, are given to try and relieve irritation on the sciatic nerve.
Workers Comp piriformis syndrome symptoms are pain radiating down the back of the leg and may be confused for a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Changes in sensation and weakness in the leg or foot are rare. Some people say they feel a sensation of vague tingling down the leg. Sitting may be difficult and people tend to sit with the sore side buttock tilted up.
Piriformis syndrome can be another cause of work-related sciatica. Pain in the buttock that radiates down the leg is called sciatica. Sciatica is due to irritation of the spinal nerves in or near the lumbar spine. In most of our workers compensation cases, sciatica is caused by a bulging or herniated intervertebral disc. The jelly-like center of the disc, the nucleus pulposus, oozes out and touches the descending nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord, causing pain down the leg. Another cause of sciatica can be sacroiliac or SI joint dysfunction. A third cause of work-related sciatica can be piriformis syndrome.