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The piriformis syndrome is a disorder in which the piriformis muscle upsets the sciatic nerve. This results in pain in the buttocks and transferring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This transferred pain, named as \"sciatica\", usually goes down the back of the thigh and into the lower back. Piriformis syndrome often affects runners, especially those who run down hill and pregnant women due to the laxity in their ligaments and the change in position of their pelvis to adjust childbirth. Office workers who sit for many hours sometimes report this condition as well.

The indicators of Piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is depicted by pain and instability. The place of the pain is often vague, but it mostly exists in the hip, coccyx, buttock, groin, or distant part of the leg. The pain becomes more severe when the sciatic nerve is squeezed against piriformis muscle in activities such as sitting, during rotation of the leg inside (for instance, against static or still thigh).In some cases, a person may have pain in one part of his leg and numbness in another. Tingling or a pins-and-needles feeling, may occur in patient’s toes or in a part of his foot. A failure of bladder or bowel control may be a sign of this serious disorder.

Test and diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms and on the physical exam. However, there are certain methods which can also be used to diagnose the syndrome, and some of them are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scanning and electromyography (EMG). Beatty method implies the patient lies on the table on the healthy side and moves the thighs in the upward direction. Freiberg method is used to reproduce pain by means of forced internal rotation of the extended thigh.


Initially, the physician will suggest resting, as much as possible. The patient should try to stop with all the activities which lead to stress and pressure on the piriformis muscles. The physician may advise the patient to go to physical sessions. Rehabilitation regularly assumes exercises to improve patient\'s posture, strengthen the muscles supporting his back and improve his ability to bend. Surgical procedure is also a barely used option, as it does not guarantee the complete solution. Stretching exercises for patient’s low back can help him feel better and may help reduce nerve root pressure. Other interventions for piriformis syndrome are based on alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and hypnosis.

Finally, piriformis syndrome can be a very painful and irritating condition.

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