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Piriformis Syndrome

’Is something becoming a pain in the bum?? Could it be piriformis syndrome?’’

Piriformis 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 and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot.


The exact cause of piriformis syndrome is unknown. Suspected causes are:

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


Most commonly patients report acute tenderness in the buttock and sciatic-like pain down the back of the thigh, calf and foot. Typical symptoms are:

  • Pain down back of thigh, calf and foot
  • Dull ache in buttocks
  • Pain when walking upstairs or inclines
  • Increased pain after prolonged sitting
  • Reduced range of motion in the hip joint

Symptoms may become worse after prolonged sitting, walking or running, and may feel better after lying down on the back.



Some quick management tips to deal with a piriformis headache are:

  • Use a hot water bottle, hot shower / hot bath with the heat focussed on the lower back and bum
  • Stretching 

If you are still struggling, then why not book in for an assessment. Here at Physio Focus Swinton we will undergo a detailed subjective and objective assessment to determine what muscles are causing your headaches but also what day to day factor may be having any influence.

You will be provided with hands-on treatment to reduce your symptoms, a detailed home exercise programme with easy to follow instructions as well as lifestyle advice and postural information that may help to reduces the stress / strain on your muscles.

If you have any of the above symptoms and feel you may require treatment, or you would just like some more information. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0161 222 0680 or

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Acupuncture Association Of Chartered Physiotherapists
Charted Society of Physiotherapy
Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics
Health Professions Council