The piriformis muscle is deep under your rear end (buttock). One end of the muscle connects deep inside the pelvic area, and the other end attaches to the top of the thigh bone. This muscle can press on the sciatic nerve that runs from your spine down your leg. When this happens, you may have pain, numbness, and tingling in the buttock and down the back of your leg. This is called piriformis syndrome. The pain may get worse when you sit for a long time or climb stairs. Also, you may be more likely to develop piriformis syndrome if you run or walk often.
Your doctor will check for other causes of your pain before treating this syndrome. Treatment may include stretching exercises, massage, and medicine for the pain and swelling. If these do not help, you may get a shot of steroid medicine. Until the pain is gone, you may need to rest the muscle and limit activities like running. Exercises and a change in how you move and sit may be enough to stop the pressure on the nerve.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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