The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep in the buttock. It starts from lower spine and connects to the thigh bone called femur.

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the muscle undergo spasm and causes buttock pain. The piriformis muscle can also irritate the sciatic nerve and gives rise to the symptoms of sciatica.


Most common symptom is pain in the buttock and sciatic like pain down the thigh, calf and foot.

The patient might have a dull ache in the buttock. Pain may start when walking upstairs or inclinations. On prolonged sitting pain intensity increases. There may be a restriction of hip joint movements also.

Symptoms may become worse after prolonged sitting, walking or running and may feel better after lying down on the back.


Diagnosis is based on the patient’s medical history, physical examination, and by running some tests.

In examination, the following are noticed. The movement of the hip and leg increases low back pain or sciatica like pain.

X-rays and other spinal imaging cannot detect if the sciatic nerve being irritated at the piriformis muscle, but because of these tests other causes are ruled out.


If pain is caused by sitting or by doing certain activities, try to avoid positions that trigger pain. Rest, Ice, and heat may help relieve symptoms.

Physiotherapy stays the important pain relieving measure. piriformis muscle stretch and deep massage of the muscle are done by Physiotherapists.

Anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections may decrease the pain. Recently Botox injections are helpful in relieving muscle tightness and sciatic nerve compression.