The piriformis is a flat, pyramid-shaped muscle in the buttocks area, underneath the gluteus maximus muscle. The piriformis works with rotators such as the gemellus inferior and the obturator externus to help rotate the hip. When extended, the piriformis muscle rotates the thigh. This particular muscle is also close to the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. If you feel pain in that region, you might have piriformis syndrome. Keep reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments.
1. What Is Piriformis Syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a common neuromuscular disorder. More than 200,000 new cases develop in the United States every year. The condition occurs when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. Pressure causes the muscle to spasm, leading to pain, numbness, or tingling in the buttocks. It might even extend down the back of your leg into the foot.