Piriformis syndrome - symptoms and treatment, exercises

Piriformis syndrome is a neurological disease characterized by unpleasant pulling sensations in the buttocks and lower extremities. Symptoms also include numbness of the legs, burning in the heel, severe tension in the legs.

Piriformis syndrome - symptoms and treatment, exercises

The piriformis muscle is located under the gluteus maximus. It has a triangular shape. It is attached to the rim of the sacrum from one end, and from the other to the trochanter of the femur.

The main function is to turn the legs outward.

Etiology of the disease

The main factor in the development of pain in the gluteal region is compression of the sciatic nerve. Disruption of the normal functioning of this nerve is associated with overexertion of the piriformis muscle, which can occur for various reasons:

  • hypothermia;
  • incorrectly delivered injection;
  • pathology of the spine and hip joints ;
  • damage to the connective tissue in the pelvic region;
  • intense exercise.

Also, the weakening of the gluteal muscle due to trauma or pinching of the nerve root of the spine can also be attributed to the reasons. In this case, the pear-shaped one will try to take on part of the load of the gluteus maximus.

As a result, the first overvoltage will occur.


It is not easy to determine independently that pain occurred due to compression of the sciatic nerve by pear-shaped fibers. This is due to many reasons for the appearance of this syndrome. In such a situation, a person far from medicine can confuse inflammation with other diseases.

In addition, such pain occurs periodically, for example, after walking or sitting for a long time in one place.

Therefore, an accurate diagnosis should be made only by a neurologist.

As a rule, the specialist conducts a number of manual measures to identify the presence of the syndrome in question. For example, a common technique is palpation of the affected area and the identification of painful foci and seals in the muscles.

At the same time, the doctor learns from the patient about previous diseases of the musculoskeletal system, operations, sports injuries. As auxiliary methods, computed tomography and ultrasound are used.


In the absence of serious pathologies, the doctor, as a rule, makes a diagnosis of physical strain. The main method of therapy in this case is assigned rest for several days. It is necessary to abandon sports activities and long sitting in one place. Light walks and resting in the supine position are recommended.

If the causes of piriformis syndrome are pathological changes, a neurologist can prescribe one of the following treatment methods.

Post-isometric relaxation

This is a set of exercises for piriformis syndrome, which allows you to relieve spasm from the affected muscle and thereby release the clamped nerve and get rid of the pain.It is carried out independently at home:

  1. We sit on the edge of the chair. Raise the “sore” leg and place it with the ankle on the opposite knee. Lean forward. A feeling of strong stretching in the lower back and in the affected buttock should appear.

    Press the elbows to the raised lower leg, exhale and lower the body below. With each subsequent exhalation, we bend a little further. We perform to the maximum stretching of the gluteal muscle.

  2. Lie on your back. We pull the knee of the "sick" leg towards us.

    Wrap it in palms and perform short pulling movements, trying to bring the thigh as close to the stomach as possible. Repeat for 30 seconds. Then, leaving the knee raised, we take up the shin and gently pull it up. We continue for half a minute. Having completed the exercise, we straighten the leg very smoothly and stretch ourselves on the floor.

    Rest for 30 seconds.

  3. Lie on your back. Knees are bent, feet are firmly on the floor. Raise the “sore” leg and press it with the ankle to the opposite thigh. From this position, gently twist the lower body toward the “healthy” leg and lower the raised foot to the floor.

    We turn the head in the opposite direction. We linger in this position for 1 minute.

  4. We stand in a deep lunge. In this case, the "sick" leg should be in front. As much as possible take away the "hind" limb.

    After that, very carefully lower the thigh that is set forward, the lateral part on the floor and lay on it with his stomach. We are held in this position for 1 minute.

  5. We stand on all fours, bend the “sore” leg in the knee and lift it. Then we take the raised thigh to the side and straighten the limb back. After that, we repeat all the movements in the reverse order.

    We move like this for 1 minute.

Avoid jerky movements during training. Exercises for the treatment of piriformis syndrome should be performed at least 5 times a week. To start, two laps are enough for a lesson. Gradually, the number of training cycles should be increased.

Drug treatment

To stop pain and relieve inflammation from the piriformis muscle, the following drugs are used:

  • antispasmodics (Maksigan, No-shpa, Tempalgin, Papaverine, etc.);
  • anti-inflammatory (Finalgon, Viprosal, Teraflex, Chondroxid, etc.);
  • anesthetics (Lidocaine, Novocaine).

Self-medication is not recommended for serious pathologies of the piriformis muscle. Based on the tests, only a doctor can choose the most effective medication in a particular case.

Manual therapy

Performed by a specialist. This also includes massage. The main goal of such events is to relieve tension from the piriformis muscle, to release sciatic roar and restore normal blood supply to the pelvic area. In combination with medical treatment gives the best results in getting rid of the disease.


This type of therapy consists of many methods that allow you to relieve pain, eliminate inflammation, and return mobility and performance to the patient.

These methods include: shock wave exposure, electrophoresis, acupuncture, laser acupuncture.


It is an overlay of special fixing tapes (teips) on the affected area of ​​the body. The procedure allows you to unload the tense muscle, improve blood circulation, reduce pain.

In our case, for the treatment of piriformis syndrome, a special technique is used - kinesiotherapy. The main advantage of such therapy is the preservation of patient mobility.


We offer effective recommendations to reduce the likelihood of developing a serious pathology of the piriformis muscles:

  • Try to spend more time in motion - walk, do gymnastics, exercise.
  • Keep the lumbar warm.
  • Protect the spinal column from injuries and bruises.
  • Before exercise, warm up your whole body well.
  • After intensive training, stretch the muscles of your legs and buttocks.

  • Visit your massage therapist regularly.
  • If you are engaged in power sports, give the body enough time to restore all tissues, eat fully.

If the resting state and pharmacy ointments cannot relieve pain in the gluteal region, consult a neurologist for help. Do not delay the visit to the doctor. Otherwise, you risk aggravating the course of the disease.



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