Could This be Causing The Pain in Your Bum?

The piriformis muscle is a small muscle that sits deep in your buttock. Considering it’s so tiny, it does a lot of work.

piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is when this muscle spasms, and causes pain all around the hip area. If you have piriformis syndrome you may have the following symptoms:

  • A dull ache in your buttock.
  • Pain down the back of your thigh, calf and foot.
  • Pain when walking up stairs, or uphill.
  • Pain after you’ve been sat down for a while.
  • Reduced movement in your hip.

Piriformis syndrome can irritate your sciatic nerve. So if you are suffering from sciatica, it could be this syndrome that is causing your problems.

What causes piriformis syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is usually caused by your piriformis having to do too much work. Vigorous repeated activity such as long distance running can cause piriformis syndrome, as can prolonged sitting. If you’ve had a trauma to the hip area, this could be a cause too.

How can you relieve the symptoms of piriformis syndrome?

There are a variety of techniques that people use to relieve their piriformis syndrome symptoms.

  • Some people find that lying or sitting on the floor with one or two tennis balls under their buttocks, and then rolling around, using the balls to self massage is very satisfying. Other people use a foam roller.
  • A deep sports massage can provide a lot of relief to a tight or spasmed piriformis muscle. Acupuncture can reduce muscle tightness around your bum and hip.
  • Ideally, you would avoid the activities that had caused your piriformis while you were in pain. Like spending less time sitting, or changing your running routine to avoid hills and sharp turns.

Your piriformis syndrome needs to be diagnosed properly to rule out other conditions. A physio will be able to assess whether the pain in your buttocks is caused by your piriformis muscle, or by something else. Your sciatic nerve irritation could be caused by something like a bulging disc in your lower back but be giving you the same symptoms as piriformis syndrome. Whether it’s a bulging disc, or piriformis syndrome, your physiotherapist will be able to provide you with therapies that will treat your pain. Your physio may take a look at your biomechanics to see what is causing the syndrome to provide a long term solution, not just temporary symptom relief.

If you would like to see a physiotherapist about your buttock or sciatic pain, or you have already been diagnosed with piriformis syndrome and would like to book a session for acupuncture or with a sports massage therapist, then call us on 0114 268 6677 or email Alternatively you can book online. 

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The Author

Lewis Payne

Lewis graduated from The University of Nottingham in 2013 with a First Class Honours in Physiotherapy, worked as Sheffield F.C.’s first team Physiotherapist, and now runs a leading-edge private clinic in Sheffield. With over ten years of experience, he specialises in manual therapy, advanced technological treatments, and exercise-based approaches, focusing on spinal and joint conditions, sports injuries, and specifically complex spinal issues like disc pathology and scoliosis. Lewis leads in IDD Therapy, performing over 6000 treatments, offers MRI referrals and reviews, and employs a holistic treatment philosophy viewing the body as a Tensegrity structure. He excels in postural analysis, soft tissue release techniques, and prescribes biomechanical corrective exercises to enhance natural movement.