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Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome


The piriformis is a muscle in the buttocks that helps with balance, walking, and movement of the hips. Occasionally, the muscle traps the sciatic nerve as it passes through the muscle and down the leg. This typically occurs when the piriformis is frequently stressed which is most common in athletes, specifically runners. Symptoms of this syndrome include pain, “pins and needles,” and/or numbness in the buttocks that may go down the back side of the thigh, typically not extending passed the knee. The pain typically worsens with extended periods of sitting as well as with hip flexion as when walking up stairs. Conservative treatments consist of ice, stretching, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and physical therapy. Steroid injections into the muscle may also provide relief.