Do you face what seems like a never-ending battle against piriformis syndrome, a very common type of sciatica that involves one of the body’s deepest muscles, the piriformis?

Even you only have a suspicion that what is causing your one-sided gluteus pain is piriformis syndrome, it’s important to get to a chiropractic physician and have it checked out.

Piriformis Syndrome (PS) Definition

There are many different varieties of PS, but the most common one that people experience is when there’s moderate to severe pain in their buttocks muscles, usually on either the right or left side, but not both sides at the same time.

If you have PS, you’ll likely feel that the sensation is actually moving from one area of the body to another, namely from the lower back to the thigh muscle, then down the leg towards the lowest part of the foot.

Whenever the body’s sciatic nerve is impinged in any way, or when it’s irritated under pressure, PS begins in the back, toward the lower part of the torso. The entire process actually begins within the pelvis.

When a sciatic nerve is under pressure because of a swollen or dysfunctional piriformis muscle, you likely have a textbook case of piriformis syndrome.

The Muscle

Many people have never even heard of the piriformis muscle, which is understandable. It’s not often the source of common physical problems except in a few cases. For one thing, the muscle is hard to see when you look at your body. That’s mainly because it’s very deep and positioned under several other layers of gluteus musculature.

The origin of the muscle is deep within the sacrum. From there, it travels in a side-ward fashion above the higher part of the thigh bone. Anytime your piriformis is hurt, inflamed, or otherwise not functioning properly, it is susceptible to all kinds of problems.

Some people with inflammation notice that there’s an obvious amount of unnatural pressure on one of their sciatic nerves, either on the right or left side.

For most sufferers of PS, discomfort, and pain spans the entire spectrum, often beginning as very mild but later developing into a nearly unbearable sensation of pain on one side of the body. Fortunately, chiropractic physicians can use a large number of strategies for treating PS no matter how much pain and discomfort a person is experiencing.

Step one for anyone with PS is to visit a chiropractor who has a track record of dealing with it, and who knows how to give sufferers some relief through proper diagnosis and effective treatment.

PS Basics

With any medical condition, it’s always wise to begin with a healthy dose of self-education. For example, if you suffer from any of the common symptoms on the list below, do yourself a favor by visiting a chiropractor at your earliest convenience. In the meantime, do a little research on the condition and learn the fundamentals about causes, symptoms, effective treatments, what people are most at risk for developing PS, how to prevent it, and why early intervention is the best course of action.

What are the key points that you should understand about PS? The following list highlights the important facts:

  • Work-related injuries and sports mishaps are the cause of a large percentage of PS cases
  • There are dozens of types of sciatica, of which PS is one of the less common varieties
  • When your sciatic pain is directly caused by a malfunctioning piriformis muscle, a licensed chiropractor will usually diagnose the condition as piriformis syndrome
  • Chiropractors who treat PS do not use drugs or surgery to bring relief to patients. Instead, they use natural methods like spinal adjustments, massage, and physical therapy exercises to deliver relief within several days or weeks after treatment begins
  • Your chiropractor can choose from a long list of treatment modalities to help you get relief from PS, based on how severe your pain is and what the exact cause of the condition is

The Most Common Symptoms

Anyone who suffers from PS should learn about the most typical causes and the most frequent, telltale symptoms of the condition. What do chiropractic doctors discover from treating hundreds of PS sufferers? For one thing, they learn that the syndrome can lead to extreme pain and physical disability. Not only that, PS usually starts in the rear part of the leg or near the lower back. What are the usual symptoms that indicate a person has a problem with their piriformis muscle? For the most part, sufferers often display symptoms like the following:

  • Pain in the buttocks muscles, or simple tenderness in the area
  • Pain that increases when you are in a seated position, either watching television, reading, eating, or doing a similar task. The longer you sit still in the exact same position, the worse the pain becomes
  • Pain that tends to increase when you raise your level of activity, like walking, jogging, or doing household chores
  • The inability to find any comfortable sitting or lying-down position
  • A feeling of numbness, to any degree, on the back of the leg, thigh, lower back, lower leg, or especially on the bottom of either the left or right foot
  • Not being able to do ordinary household chores like cleaning dishes, doing a load of laundry, showering, taking a bath, or simply standing up from a seated or lying-down position.


Unfortunately, there are dozens of potential causes of PS, which makes it an especially tough condition to diagnose unless you are a licensed chiropractic physician. For example, some of the causes include the following:

  • Car accidents of all types and levels of severity, ranging from “fender-benders” to all-out crashes that cause large amounts of damage to the body
  • Jogging, light running, long-distance jogging, racing, sprinting, and all forms of track-and-field sports, no matter the level of expertise of the participant
  • Any sports-related injury that affects the gluteus muscles, or buttocks. This is especially true if the sufferer has fallen and landed directly on the buttocks during a sporting event or while running or walking
  • Remaining seated for a very long time, especially for more than an hour
  • Falling and landing directly on one side of the body, particularly on the buttocks, as noted above
  • Running or walking up and down stairs for more than just a minute or so

Get Professional Help ASAP

At Delaware Integrative Healthcare, we have the experience to both diagnose and treat cases of piriformis syndrome that range from mild to severe. Getting a proper and accurate diagnosis is the first step. That’s because so many other conditions mimic PS that you need a licensed chiropractic physician to check it out.

There’s no reason to suffer from PS, and like many other physical maladies, early treatment is the smartest choice for patients. When discovered and diagnosed in its early stages, PS can usually be treated and alleviated relatively quickly. However, severe cases that have been neglected for months or years can mean a longer recovery time.

At Delaware Integrative Healthcare, you can begin with a no-cost consultation with the doctor and find out if you need more help. Once you choose to undergo an evaluation, the chiropractor will be able to tell you whether you’re suffering from PS or something else. This is a crucial step in the healing process because a correct diagnosis is the most important piece of the puzzle.

Give any of our offices a call and book a no-cost consultation to begin your journey toward total health and well-being. We look forward to being part of your path to wellness.