Situation: The piriformis is a muscle that lies deep in the buttock. It runs from the tail bone (called the sacrum) to the thigh bone (called the femur). The piriformis muscle is responsible for rotating and stabilizing the hip joint. Directly beneath the piriformis muscle is the sciatic nerve. When the piriformis muscle is strained, the sciatic nerve can be compressed, triggering pain. This condition is referred to as piriformis syndrome, piriformis dysfunction, and piriformis impingement.
Causes: Piriformis syndrome typically occurs following injury to or overuse of the piriformis muscle. It can also be the result of repetitive strain or trauma. Piriformis syndrome is most common in activities like running, jumping, squatting or lunging that require repeated use of the piriformis muscle.
Symptoms: People with this condition typically experience pain or an ache that is felt deep within the buttock. Pain may also radiate into the back of the thigh, calf, ankle or foot. People suffering from piriformis syndrome may also have reduced hip range of movement.
Treatment: Treatments options can include chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy. The chiropractor will help determine what type of treatments and modalities are appropriate for you. Upon examination, the doctor may order special testing such as an MRI.