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Piriformis Syndrome

Information And Treatment

The piriformis muscle is located near the hip joint in the buttocks, and is involved in many common motions of the hips and legs. Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular condition caused when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the backs of the legs, passing through the piriformis muscle along the way.

Piriformis syndrome often feels as though there is tingling, numbness or a deep sensation in the hip or buttocks. Discomfort can worsen when sitting or running, and can be triggered when pressure is applied to the area.

Rest, ice and heat are simple do-it-yourself ways to reduce piriformis syndrome pain. For long-term relief and maintenance, a physical therapist can design a personalized program of specific exercises and stretches to reduce nerve compression, release the piriformis and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Specific styles of massage (including trigger point therapy and Muscle Energy Technique) as well as acupuncture can also provide relief.