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How to Use a Massage Gun to Treat Piriformis Syndrome/Deep Gluteal Syndrome?

What is Deep Gluteal Syndrome? The deep gluteal syndrome was formerly known as piriformis syndrome. In piriformis syndrome, the piriformis muscle (a small muscle in your buttock) would press on the sciatic nerve resulting in pain, numbness, and/or tingling down your leg. The belief now is that more muscles may contribute to the symptoms including the Gemelli, obturator internus, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles.

A simple test:

Lie on your non-painful side and stack your legs on top of each other (knee to knee and ankle to ankle with the knees slightly bent). Put the top leg (foot) on the floor and spread your legs like a clamshell. You are trying to spread your legs and turn your knees outward. Have a friend resist the attempt for the legs to spread apart and rotate outward. If your symptoms are reproduced it is possible you have piriformis syndrome/deep gluteal syndrome.

The most common symptom of deep gluteal syndrome is a type of sciatica (pain, numbness, and/or tingling down your leg). In addition, you may have pain and tenderness in some of the muscles of the buttock. You may have a hard time sitting, and the pain may worsen with prolonged sitting.

We have found massage to be one of the most effective treatments for deep gluteal syndrome. We use a massage gun because it is difficult to massage these muscles with your own hands. Your hand's fatigue very rapidly.

Generally, we start with a very wide target and work narrower. We would start massaging across the upper fibers of the gluteus maximus and the upper fibers of the hamstring muscles. Eventually if tolerated we would focus in on the piriformis and some of the muscles around it.

This video is part of a series of videos on how to treat your pain with self-massage. Check the full series of videos along with the downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website here:

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