A piriformis injection is actually an injection into the piriformis muscle to help relieve severe sciatica pain. A piriformis injection can help reduce inflammation, spasms, and pain.
Your sciatic muscle runs from your back down your leg, through the piriformis muscle. When the piriformis muscle gets irritated, inflamed, or constricted, it can cause back or leg pain often associated with sciatica.
A steroid medication can help reduce the inflammation and alleviate the pain. It’s injected into your piriformis muscle, with a small amount of contrast dye to insure the needle is in the correct location.
How is a piriformis injection performed?
First, you will lie on your abdomen on an x-ray table.
The doctor will numb an area of skin in the area of the piriformis muscle. Then, guided by an x-ray, he or she will:
- Insert a thin needle into the piriformis muscle
- Inject dye to confirm that medication is administered into the correct space
- Inject a mixture of anesthetic (for temporary pain relief) and steroid (for longer term relief)
The medicines then spread in piriformis, thereby hopefully reducing nerve inflammation and pain.
Usually, the procedure takes less than 15 minutes and you can go home the same day.