Piriformis syndrome is a pain in the arse

What is Piriformis syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is a condition where the piriformis muscle goes into spasm or becomes inflamed which can lead to the nearby nerve (sciatic nerve) to also be affected creating sciatica.

The piriformis is attached to the front of the sacrum and the outer point of the thigh bone known anatomically as the greater trochanter.

Piriformis syndrome can also happen from a lumbar disc bulge or herniation (L5) which aggravates the sciatic nerve and the tissues around it.

What Can be done?

The first port of call is to always get medical advice. Treatment tends to involve physiotherapy, pain medication and in some cases if the lumbar disc is involved spinal surgery. For those who want to try other options before opting for surgery osteopathy, chiropractic, tuina, and acupuncture are available mostly outside the NHS.

Self –help

The advice given is not a replacement for medical treatment or meant to be used as an exact form of self diagnosis. The self tests are guidelines only. Always get medical advice!

When you have a pain in the buttock region going down the leg and are looking to alleviate it first get an idea if it’s coming from the spine or the muscle itself.

Test for lumbar disc problem

  1. Sit upright on chair

2.Round the spine


3. Extend the affected leg



If this movement reproduces your pain then there could be a possibility if a disc problem being present.

Piriformis muscle test

  1. Sit up upright on chair

2.Place hands on outside of knees

3.Push knees out at the same time as pushing on knees with hands.

If you have you no symptoms in the first test but feel it in this one it could be isolated to this muscle.

What do I do with these tests?

If you experience pain from the first test click here and add those instructions into your routine.




Self massage


Use your fist or a ball, place it on a chair and sit on it moving into the affected spot creating a massage like affect.


Piriformis Stretch


Lying on back foot on knee stretch

Lie on your back and place the foot of the affected side on top of your knee. Slowly bring the affected foot to your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch.



Seated variation


Sit upright on a chair.

Place the foot of the affected side on your knee

fold your upper body forward until you feel a stretch.






If symptoms persist do get in touch for more help. Feel free to leave comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *