Treating Piriformis Syndrome or glute pain

Treating Piriformis Syndrome or glute pain

Treating Piriformis Syndrome or glute pain at home is possible with the right assessment and treatment advice. If you suffer from low back pain with referred symptoms into one of your buttocks it’s likely you have this painful condition.

Piriformis Syndrome is quite often mistaken for sciatica and that’s understandable because the symptoms are often very similar. Patients with piriformis syndrome experience a painful burning sensation or toothache type pain that runs from their low back down through the buttocks and often into the back of the thigh.

What causes Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis Syndrome occurs because at the end of the spinal cord we get a kind of fine noodle structure called the Cauda-Equina. These nerve roots sit under the triangular bone of the sacrum where they form the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve passes through the gluteal muscles and if there is a contracture in the muscle you can get a pinching or crushing on that nerve. This causes the referred pain into the buttock and down the back of the leg.

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome

Often patients complain that their symptoms are worse when they sit, they might be driving for long periods or sitting at a desk. This can particularly aggravate the sciatic nerve because the gluteal muscles are on tension the whole time.

It is quite common in occupations that require lots of sitting but Piriformis Syndrome can also be problematic for physically fit and active people. Over use of the gluteal muscles can cause a tightening or stretch in the buttock which can pinch the sciatic nerve.

Types of Symptoms include:

  • Dull ‘toothache’ type pain into the buttock.
  • Sharp ‘burning’ pain when the affected buttock muscle is pressed.
  • Pain often refers into the back of the thigh but not down the leg.
  • Pain which is worse during or after sitting.

Treating Piriformis Syndrome effectively

If you suspect that you have Piriformis Syndrome then get your symptoms assessed with our pain assessment tool.

Once you’ve identified the likely cause you’ll be able to download a treatment guide. It will tell you everything you need to know about Piriformis Syndrome and it will help you manage the pain effectively.

Start your Pain Assessment Get the Treatment Guide

Watch the Piriformis Syndrome treatment video here

Other resources

Piriformis Syndrome guide
Diagnosis and Management of Piriformis Syndrome: An Osteopathic Approach