Piriformis syndrome, otherwise known as piriformis muscle syndrome, is a relatively uncommon condition that causes pain in the lower back and/or buttocks. This condition is caused when the piriformis muscle, which is located in the buttock area, spasms and compresses the sciatic nerve. OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® specializes in treating piriformis syndrome symptoms in patients living in the greater Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is caused when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve, leading to a dull pain in the buttock, lower back pain, pain radiating down the back of the thigh to the foot and/or pain when walking at an incline.

The piriformis muscle is located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. This flat, band-like muscle stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. This muscle allows the body to walk, maintain balance and shift weight while standing. The sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle, travels down the back of the leg and branches off into smaller nerves located in the feet. When the piriformis muscle spasms, the sciatic nerve compresses leading to piriformis syndrome symptoms.

What are Piriformis Syndrome Symptoms?

The symptoms of piriformis muscle syndrome typically begin with pain, numbness or tingling in the buttocks when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve, commonly experienced during running, walking or sitting for an extended period of time. Piriformis syndrome symptoms often become worse after prolonged sitting, walking or running, and many patients experience alleviated pain after lying down on the back.

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How is Piriformis Muscle Syndrome Treated?

Piriformis muscle syndrome treatment begins with a proper diagnosis by a pain physician. Piriformis syndrome is commonly diagnosed by ruling out other possible conditions that cause pain in the affected area. A physician will conduct a thorough medical review, physical examination and order appropriate diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions and confirm a diagnosis.

Piriformis syndrome symptoms may be alleviated with rest, ice and heat in certain cases. Many patients will benefit from a physical therapy program designed to help reduce sciatic nerve compression. Piriformis muscle stretches may help decrease the pain and return full range of motion to the patient. Certain patients may be prescribed a corticosteroid injection into the piriformis muscle to help alleviate pain and muscle spasms.

If you are experiencing piriformis syndrome symptoms, or would like more information on piriformis muscle syndrome, otherwise known as piriformis syndrome, contact the pain physicians at OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine®.