Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome often feels like painful pins and needles in the buttock region. 

More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with Piriformis Syndrome annually, which is a disorder in the piriformis buttock muscle. Piriformis Syndrome results in irritation of the the sciatic nerve, causing minor to severe pain, tingling and numbness in the buttock region. Piriformis Syndrome is a relatively rare neuromuscular disorder, which is caused by the piriformis muscle compressing the sciatic nerve.

The piriformis muscle is the muscle that helps to rotate the hip and maintain our balance, and is located in the buttocks.  Most people who have Piriformis Syndrome first feel “pins and needles” and pain in the buttock region. That pain can sometimes extend the entire length of the sciatic nerve and can be quite severe. Pressure applied to the piriformis muscle, or such activities as climbing stairs can trigger the pain of Piriformis Syndrome. Those who routinely sit for extended lengths of time can also feel the pain of Piriformis Syndrome.   

Causes and Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome

The causes of Piriformis Syndrome are related to where the sciatic nerve is located in relation to the piriformis muscle. Risk factors for developing Piriformis Syndrome, include:

  • Blunt trauma to the buttocks
  • Sports injuries
  • An auto accident which injures the buttock region
  • Hematoma
  • Overuse or sprain which leads to inflammation
  • Scar tissue
  • Cysts, tumors or pseudo-aneurysms near the piriformis muscles

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome include:

  • Moderate to severe pain in the buttock region
  • Numbness or tingling (pins and needles)
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain which runs the length of the sciatic nerve
  • Low back pain

Piriformis Syndrome is difficult to diagnose, as there is not a test which definitively diagnoses the condition. Patient history is very important in diagnosing Piriformis Syndrome. Those who have suffered trauma to the piriformis nerve, or have a history of trauma to the area are more likely to develop the condition, as are those who routinely sit for long periods of time. In some cases, vigorous activities such as long-distance running or repetitive activities which aggravate the piriformis nerve can lead to Piriformis Syndrome. Radiologic tests, such as MRIs may be used to rule out other causes of sciatic nerve compression.  

Treatment of Piriformis Syndrome

The Seattle Pain interventional pain management specialists will develop a comprehensive pain treatment program for your Piriformis Syndrome which may have traditional, as well as non-traditional pain treatments. Our goal at Seattle Pain is to help you avoid surgery, while allowing you to get back to your normal quality of life. The pain treatments we may try for your Piriformis Syndrome include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Anesthetic injections  

Are you struggling to find relief from uncontrolled nerve pain? 

Contact Our Seattle Interventional Pain Management Specialists

Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that can cause you to significantly miss out on life. Seattle Pain can help relieve your pain, and significantly improve your quality of life. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today. 

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