Piriformis syndrome is an uncommon neuromuscular disorder that is caused when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve.
Piriformis syndrome may be confused with sciatica and spinal nerve/disc herniation. Aching, sore, or shooting pain in the buttocks may be due to spasm of the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerves run through the muscle and may be irritated by the muscle spasm.
It is important that it is properly diagnosed to avoid unnecessary therapy, tests, and pain. Pain specialists are trained to recognize this condition. Therapy consists of stretch exercises, muscle relaxants, and injections into the muscle. The muscle is located deep in the buttocks and x-rays (fluoroscopy) should be used to confirm proper injection.