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Condition. Piriformis Syndrome

By Editorial Team (2)
January 31, 2022

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Pain in the lower portion of the back that moves into the buttock and then radiates down the back of the thigh and into the leg is known as Sciatica, and it is sometimes caused by Piriformis Syndrome. This is one of the most common causes of Sciatica, and it is due to irritation of the spinal nerves in or close to the lumbar spine. Sometimes nerve irritation can occur further down the leg.

Piriformis Syndrome can be a very painful condition, but it is not life-threatening, and it rarely requires surgery. Most people who develop Piriformis Syndrome can manage their symptoms successfully with simple, conservative treatments.

Piriformis Syndrome is an unprecedented neuromuscular issue caused when the piriformis muscle compresses against the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a large, band-like muscle situated on the bottom of the lower back and buttocks close to the highest point of the hip joint. This muscle is critical in providing movement and flexibility since it balances the hip joint and provides mobility for the leg. The sciatic nerve is a thick and long nerve in the body. It is adjacent to the piriformis muscle, going down the back of the leg into the feet. Spasms of the piriformis muscle can cause nerve pressure.


In the United States, women are much more likely to develop Piriformis Syndrome. Some authors estimate the incidence of Piriformis Syndrome to be around 6% in patients who have Sciatica. The condition is most often seen in women between 30 to 40 years old due to hormonal changes women experience throughout life. This hormonal impact is especially significant during pregnancy when the pelvic muscles change to prepare the area for childbirth. Piriformis Syndrome is not seen in children and rarely occurs in people younger than 20 years old. However, Piriformis Syndrome affects people of all lifestyles.

Piriformis Syndrome causes

Sciatica is caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve. It is not known what initially causes Piriformis Syndrome and starts this irritation. However, some doctors believe the condition begins when the muscles spasm and squeeze the sciatic nerve up against the pelvic bone.

Piriformis Syndrome sometimes begins with an injury such as falling. A hematoma is formed when bleeding occurs around and in the piriformis muscle and pools in the area. The muscle swells and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. In this way, Piriformis Syndrome is caused, with muscle spasms occurring, even though the hematoma dissolves. The muscle tissues eventually heal, but some of these fibers are replaced by scar tissue. This scar tissue is not as flexible as healthy muscle tissue, and when the piriformis muscle tenses, it puts pressure on the nerve, causing Piriformis Syndrome.

Suspected Piriformis Syndrome causes include:

  • Impairment of the piriformis muscle, either due to aggravation in the piriformis muscle itself or bothering of an adjacent structure, for example, the sacroiliac joint or hip
  • Swelling of the piriformis muscle because of damage or impairment
  • Bleeding in the region of the piriformis muscle.

Anyone or a mix of the above issues can influence the piriformis muscle (causing buttocks pain) and may affect the adjoining sciatic nerve (causing pain, tingling, or numbness in the back of the thigh, calf, or foot).

Piriformis Syndrome risks

Different factors may increase Piriformis Syndrome risks. Such factors include:

  • A few investigations found that females have a higher risk of Piriformis Syndrome than men by a 6:1 proportion, thought to be because of anatomical contrasts.
  • Anatomical variety in the situating of the sciatic nerve in relation to the piriformis muscle may prompt piriformis disorder. In a few people, the sciatic nerve navigates through the piriformis muscle, for instance, possibly improving sciatic nerve pressure probability.
  • Direct injury or damage to the buttock can prompt swelling, hematoma development, or scarring, which may produce pressure or entanglement of the sciatic nerve.
  • Incorrect position when sitting may prompt direct pressure against the sciatic nerve. Piriformis disorder has, hence, some of the time been alluded to as “fat wallet disorder” or “wallet sciatica,” as it has been found to happen in individuals ceaselessly sitting against their wallets on a hard surface.
  • Abuse or monotonous developments, for example, happen with extended walks, running, cycling, or paddling can prompt aggravation, fit, and hypertrophy (amplification) of the piriformis muscle. This can increase the risk of Piriformis Syndrome development.

Click here to read about Symptoms.

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