Piriformis Syndrome

Bum and leg pain… could it be your Piriformis Muscle?

All piriformis syndrome means is that the muscle compresses the Sciatic nerve which lays beneath it.

When this happens symptoms typically include – stinging/ burning/ sins in the bum and travelling down the leg/s. It is uncommon to get this down both legs usually it is just the one leg.

This is why it is said to mimic sciatica in at least 6-10% of cases. It commonly affects those over 30 years of age, also in female runners, or generally speaking more in females as well.

Piriformis syndrome can also become present due to other causes such as Haematomas, scar tissues after surgery or other traumas around the nerve. Even endometriosis cases have been reported to presenting as Piriformis syndrome.

Remember – more than one condition can be present in most people. A syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that can have not one direct cause. Hence if your at any point in doubt – get it checked out 🧑‍⚕️

General causes that we see include:

-Anatomical variations – the sciatic nerve has 4 common routes that travel pass the Piriformis you and others may have different anatomies of this feature

-Blunt trauma- falls/ or direct impact

-Long time sitting or sleeping in awkward positions that stress the muscle

-long periods of biking or cycling /driving


Those individuals with this pain are generally unable to sit, squat, walk, or even twist their legs inward (as this will consequently compress the nerve as the muscle becomes more taught). These individuals can end up walking slightly off centre and and limping, also standing with a rotated leg outwards.

Pressing deep into the piriformis muscle will usually exacerbate symptoms slightly however will also relieve the tension on the sciatic nerve after a few seconds. This does not always happen however. Most of the time if your trying to discern between true sciatica and Piriformis muscle problems then your lower back movement will usually be okay and not affected.

Your local chiropractor / osteopath/ Physiotherapist are all well equipped with the knowledge to help you and use certain tests to determine what it is.



Certain simple and effects methods can be used-

– Ice and Heat therapy – check out the blog / advice pages here

-Stretching the Piriformis muscle

-deep massage form a sports masseuse / sports rehab therapy

-Joint mobilisation stretches

-Dry Needling – aka Western Medical Acupunture

-Your GP may want you to take painkillers if you need it

-also important to reduce any aggravating activity slightly


From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes

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