All Injury Rehab of North Dallas

The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located in the buttocks that rotates the hip. It runs horizontally, and the sciatic nerve runs vertically directly beneath the muscle. The muscle can become tight and place pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in leg pain which may be difficult to distinguish from a radiculopathy (nerve pinching in the spine), which is also commonly called sciatica.

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve and causes pain in the buttocks and may cause pain along the back of the leg and into the foot. This condition is most common among women, and is thought to be common among active individuals.

Piriformis syndrome can develop when the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasms and places pressure on the sciatic nerve. The pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause pain in the lower back and/or pain that radiates to the buttocks and down the leg.

Treatment typically consists of:

  • Physical rehabilitation that includes manual release (deep massage), along with hip range of motion exercises.
  • For severe cases, the muscle may be injected with lidocaine to decrease spasm and help the patient make progress in physical rehabilitation.

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