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What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which tightness or swelling of the piriformis, a muscle of the buttock region, causes compression of the sciatic nerve.

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome

Symptoms typically include back or buttock pain that radiates into the hip, back of thigh, and lower leg. In some cases, patients may also experience numbness or muscle weakness. Typically, symptoms increases with sitting, but persons with the syndrome may also experience difficulty with walking or other functional activities.


Physical therapy is the standard conservative treatment of patients with piriformis syndrome. Treatment focuses on relieving the pain through stretching of the piriformis, decreasing swelling, and improving movement patterns that may have led to piriformis irritation. Your Shift physical therapist will work with you to design a program to alleviate your symptoms and prevent a recurrence.