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The Woodlands and Houston

Piriformis Syndrome And Relief

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain. The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain).

 

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Piriformis Syndrome

Causes

The exact causes of piriformis syndrome are unknown. Suspected causes include:

Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation in the piriformis muscle itself, or irritation of a nearby structure such as the sacroiliac joint or hip

Tightening of the muscle, in response to injury or spasm

Swelling of the piriformis muscle, due to injury or spasm

Bleeding in the area of the piriformis muscle.

Any one or combination of the above problems can affect the piriformis muscle (causing buttock pain) and may affect the adjacent sciatic nerve (causing pain, tingling, or numbness in the back of the thigh, calf, or foot).

 Piriformis Syndrome

Diagnosis

There is no simple diagnostic test for piriformis syndrome causing irritation of the sciatic nerve. The condition is primarily diagnosed on the basis of the patient’s symptoms and on a physical exam, and after excluding other possible causes of the patient’s pain.

Piriformis Syndrome

Symptoms

Most commonly, patients describe acute tenderness in the buttock and sciatica-like pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot. Typical piriformis syndrome symptoms may include:

A dull ache in the buttock

Pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot (sciatica)

Pain when walking up stairs or inclines

Increased pain after prolonged sitting

Reduced range of motion of the hip joint

Symptoms of piriformis syndrome often become worse after prolonged sitting, walking or running, and may feel better after lying down on the back.

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