Pyriformis Syndrome. Is it different from Sciatica ?

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

A condition in which the pyriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain. The pyriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain).

Anatomy of Pain

  • Pain in the opposite of sacroiliac joint.

  • Pain with sitting standing or walking for more than 20 minutes

  • Intense pain with sitting or squatting

  • Pain and/or paresthesia (pins and needles, numbness, burning, tingling, or itching sensations) radiating from the sacrum down the back of the thigh, usually stopping above the knee

  • Pain that improves with movement

  • Pain when standing up from seated or squatting

  • Foot numbness

  • Intense pain while doing cross legs ( 4 position).

How It Is Different from Sciatica?

Because piriformis syndrome symptoms mimic those of sciatica, your medical provider will perform specific tests to determine whether your symptoms are discogenic or caused by an impingement of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle.Your provider should examine your low back, hip, pelvis and sacroiliac joint and check your gait, posture and leg length. They’ll also test your reflexes, which should be normal if you have piriformis syndrome.


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