Overview and Symptoms:
Piriformis syndrome is a condition that results when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve and irritates the nerve fibers. This results in pain that starts in the buttock region and radiates down the back of the leg. Symptoms are normally aggravated by sitting, climbing stairs, kneeling, walking, or running. This syndrome is not very common and is only an occasional cause of sciatica.
The Piriformis Muscle:
The piriformis is a small muscle located in the buttock region deep to the gluteal muscles. It assists in abducting (lifting out) and externally rotating the hip joint. The sciatic nerve runs extremely close to the piriformis muscle, and occasionally runs through it. As a result, when the piriformis muscle becomes tight it often puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, and piriformis syndrome results.
Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome:
Management of piriformis syndrome includes:
Warm compresses to the piriformis muscle
Gentle massage to the affected area
Manual stretching by a physical therapist