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Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located in the buttocks. It connects the lower spine to each femur bone and assists with hip and leg movement.

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle spasms, causing pain. Piriformis syndrome can also cause the piriformis muscle to compress the sciatic nerve (the largest nerve in the body), resulting in pain, tingling, and/or numbness.

What causes piriformis syndrome?

The exact cause of piriformis syndrome is not known, but there are a couple of common theories:

  • Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle, usually caused by irritation to the muscle itself or irritation of nearby tissue such as the sacroiliac joint.
  • Tightness or swelling of the piriformis muscle, typically as a response to  an injury or spasm

These same issues can also sometimes affect the nearby sciatic nerve, causing sciatica-like symptoms.

What are symptoms of piriformis syndrome?

Common symptoms of piriformis syndrome include:

  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in the buttock
  • Pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot
  • Pain when walking up stairs
  • Increased pain after prolonged sitting
  • Reduced range of motion of the hip joint

These symptoms often get more severe after extended periods of sitting, walking or running, but may feel better when lying on your back.

How is piriformis syndrome treated?

In many cases, pain caused my piriformis syndrome can be relieved by home remedies, including avoiding movements or positions that increase pain, applying ice or heat to the affected area, doctor-prescribed stretches and exercises, and over-the-counter medications.

If these home remedies do not provide adequate relief, Twin Cities Pain Clinic offers a variety of treatments to manage pain caused by piriformis syndrome.

Schedule an appointment with Twin Cities Pain Clinic to learn how we can help relieve your piriformis syndrome pain.

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