Hip : Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome

Are you an avid exerciser, or runner? Ever feel a tingling pain starting in the back of your hip and running down your leg? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Piriformis is a common injury that can cause this strange sensation in your lower body.

Piriformis Syndrome refers to irritation of the sciatic nerve as it passes through or next to the piriformis muscle located deep in the buttock. Inflammation of the sciatic nerve, called sciatica, causes pain in the back of the hip that can often travel down into the leg.

How does Piriformis Syndrome occur?
The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttock and pelvis and allows you to rotate your thigh outward. The sciatic nerve travels from your back into your leg by passing through or next to the piriformis muscle. If the piriformis muscle is unusually tight or if it goes into spasm, the sciatic nerve can become inflamed or irritated causing an electric type pain. Piriformis syndrome may result from intense downhill running.

Symptoms
-A burning, tingling pain, located in your lower buttock.
-Pain traveling down across your lower thigh .
-Increased pain when you move your thigh outward, such as when you are sitting cross-legged.

Potential Treatments
-Apply ice your buttock for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours for two or three days or until pain goes away.
-Rest!
-Your healthcare provider may recommend that you take an anti-inflammatory or additional pain medication and muscle relaxants.
-Your healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy where you will learn and perform stretching and strengthening exercises.

To make an appointment at any of our UHealth Sports Medicine locations, please call 305-243-3000 or use our online appointment request form.