In a recent study, Professor Ts. Dr. Wong Ling Shing, a distinguished professor and Pro Vice-Chancellor from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at INTI International University, has made significant progress in understanding the link between Low Back Pain (LBP) and Piriformis Syndrome (PS). Prof. Wong’s research aimed to clarify the intricate connections between the thickness of the piriformis muscle and the functionality of the gluteus muscles, addressing crucial gaps in our understanding of these common conditions.
LBP is a condition that causes discomfort in the area spanning from the lower edge of the ribs to the buttock. It can be quite challenging for individuals, as it hinders movement and adversely affects their quality of life and mental health. LBP can also restrict one’s ability to work and engage with family and friends. Globally, it affects around 37% of people who experience monthly recurrences. In Malaysia, the incidence rates of LBP are notably high, reaching up to 60% among commercial vehicle drivers and up to 68% among medical students, as highlighted by Prof. Wong.
Piriformis Syndrome is a condition that causes a spasm in the piriformis muscle, located deep within the buttock. This can result in pain in the buttock area and aggravate the sciatic nerve, causing pain, numbness, and tingling down the back of the thigh and leg. The symptoms usually affect one side of the body and can worsen with prolonged sitting or hip-engaging activities like stair climbing or walking. In Malaysia, an estimated 17.2% of people who suffer from chronic buttock pain and LBP are diagnosed with PS, which highlights its significant impact as a primary cause of sciatica, buttock pain, and LBP, despite its varied prevalence (ranging from 0.3% to 36%).
Professor Ts. Dr Wong Ling Shing, who is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of INTI International University and a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, conducted a research study on the complex relationship between Low Back Pain (LBP) and Piriformis Syndrome (PS) to identify the connections between the thickness of the piriformis muscle, the functioning of gluteus muscles, and the management of PS and LBP.