This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Piriformis syndrome is a rare neuromuscular condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle in the buttocks presses on the sciatic nerve. The condition is primarily associated with sciatica; however, other symptoms may include tenderness, aching, tingling and/or numbness of the buttock and pain when sitting for a long period of time, climbing stairs, walking or running. Piriformis syndrome is caused by damage, irritation or overuse of the piriformis muscle which can make the muscle swell or tighten. This puts pressure on the nerve beneath it (the sciatic nerve) which leads to the signs and symptoms of the condition. In many cases, medical treatment may not be needed and home remedies (such as avoiding activities that trigger pain, over-the-counter pain medications, ice packs, heating pads, and stretching exercises) can help alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, muscle relaxants, electrotherapy, or even surgery may be recommended.
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