logo for Spine and Pain Centers of New Jersey & New York | Interventional Pain Specialists

Address: 1967 NJ-34, Building C, Suite 102
Wall Township, NJ 07719
Telephone: 732-345-1180
Fax: 732-530-4476

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is a condition causing pain in the buttocks and down the back of the legs. The pain is caused by a small muscle deep within your buttocks called the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve runs just beneath it causing the buttock pain and tingling to radiate down the leg. It may be hard to sit comfortably.

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome Pain

Sciatica is the main symptom of piriformis syndrome. Other symptoms include:

  • Tenderness or a dull ache in the buttock
  • Tingling or numbness in the buttock and along the back of the leg
  • Difficulty sitting
  • Pain from sitting that grows worse as you continue to sit
  • Pain that gets worse with activity
  • Lower body pain that is so severe it becomes disabling
The pain usually affects just one side of the lower body. But it can also occur on both sides at the same time.

Causes of Piriformis Syndrome Pain

Injuring or irritating the piriformis muscle can cause muscle spasms.The muscle may also swell or tighten from the spasms. This puts pressure on the nerve beneath it, causing pain.

Overuse can cause swelling or injure the muscle. Muscle spasms may come from:

  • Sitting for long periods
  • Over exercising
  • Running, walking, or doing other repetitive activities
  • Playing sports
  • Climbing stairs
  • Lifting heavy objects

Trauma can also cause muscle irritation and damage. This may be caused by:

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Sudden twisting of the hip
  • Penetrating wounds

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