Is It Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is sometimes used as a catchall diagnosis for pain in the back of the hip or buttocks. Whether it truly is caused by the piriformis, or some other type of injury, this type of hip pain can be a huge problem with athletes and active people.


Painful Areas - Piriformis Syndrome10
The most common symptom of this injury is pain along the back side of your hip and buttocks that radiates down into the leg.

Hip pain in the back may or may not be a piriformis problem. The symptoms that set this injury apart from other hip problems are those of numbness and tingling.

True piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve as it runs alongside the muscle. This nerve irritation causes numbness, tingling, and pain along the back of the thigh.

These neurological symptoms are what differentiate true piriformis injury from other types of hip problems.


Piriformis Muscle
The most common cause of this injury is tightness of the piriformis muscle.

Because of the close proximity of the sciatic nerve, tightness of the muscle can cause irritation and increased compression of the nerve, resulting in pain, numbness, and tingling.

These symptoms are increased with activities, especially those that involve contraction of the muscles.

They may also be increased by sitting for long periods of time.


Whether you are suffering from true piriformis problems, with numbness and tingling, or you are simply having hip pain in the back of your hip, stretching of the piriformis muscle can help reduce your pain.

Piriformis stretching can effectively reduce the tension on the muscle and reduce the irritation of the nerve.

Application of ice may also help to reduce your pain. Ice packs or ice massage is an effective way to apply ice for this injury.

You should see your doctor if you are having hip pain, especially if it includes numbness or tingling that radiates down your leg. This can be a sign of piriformis injury, but may also indicate other problems, like low back injury.


Piriformis syndrome is an irritation of the nerve in the back of your leg that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the back of the hip and thigh. Stretching of the piriformis muscle, as well as the use of ice may help to reduce your symptoms. Because of the nature of this injury, you should see your physician to make sure you know exactly what is causing your pain and that you are not overlooking another more serious injury.

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