The piriformis muscle is a deep muscle in the buttock located beneath the gluteus maximus. Piriformis syndrome occurs when this muscle becomes swollen, inflamed or ‘tight’ and compresses the sciatic nerve which runs through it. Piriformis syndrome is not visible externally. It can happen as a result of injury, or it can develop over time from overuse or misuse of the muscle. The following symptoms and treatments are common among those who suffer from piriformis syndrome.
Piriformis syndrome is one of the few conditions which can cause posterior hip pain. The pain from the swollen or inflamed muscle can be felt from the top of the hip and across the whole affected side. Symptoms may be aggravated by hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation—which are the movements that the piriformis muscle assists in. Piriformis syndrome can often be misdiagnosed because it is not a common condition.
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