General info

Data about the condition

Piriformis syndrome (Piriform Syndrome) is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain. The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve.


The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause:

  • pain;
  • numbness;
  • tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot;
  • increased pain after prolonged sitting;
  • reduced range of motion of the hip joint.


  • Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation in the piriformis muscle itself, or irritation of a nearby structure such as the sacroiliac joint or hip
  • Tightening of the muscle, in response to injury or spasm
  • Swelling of the piriformis muscle, due to injury or spasm
  • Bleeding in the area of the piriformis muscle.


A number of stretching exercises for the piriformis, hamstrings and hip extensors may help decrease the painful symptoms along the sciatic nerve and return the patient’s range of motion.

The objectives of the Recovery Program

Stage 1 – local and general relaxation;

Stage 2 – partial restoration of the range of motion; Complete restoration of joint mobility;

Stage 3 – gesture restoration of movement.

The content of the Recovery Program

  • Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Pull the right knee up to the chest, grasp the knee with the left hand and pull it towards the left shoulder and hold the stretch. Repeat for each side.
  • Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Rest the ankle of the right leg over the knee of the left leg. Pull the left thigh toward the chest and hold the stretch. Repeat for each side.
  • Place two chairs facing each other. Sit on one chair and place the heel of one leg on the other chair. Lean forward, bending at the hips until a gentle stretch along the back of the thigh is felt, and hold the stretch.
  • Lie on the back with both legs straight. Pull one leg up and straighten by holding on to a towel that is wrapped behind the foot until a mild stretch along the back of the thigh is felt.
  • Each piriformis stretch should be held for 5 seconds to start, and gradually increased to hold for 30 seconds, and repeated three times each day.

Methodical Indications

  • Avoid sitting for a long period; stand and walk every 20 minutes,
  • Make frequent stops when driving to stand and stretch.
  • Prevent trauma to the gluteal region and avoid further offending activities.
  • Daily stretching is recommended to avoid the recurrence of the piriformis syndrome.

Did you know?

There are more women diagnosed with Piriformis syndrome than men, with a female–to–male ratio of 6:1. This ratio can be explained by the wider quadriceps femoris muscle angle in the os coxae of women.

You can also read about Kyphosis.

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