Piriformis Syndrome


The piriformis is a small muscle that spans from the sacrum to the hip bone across the middle of the buttock area. The muscle is located in proximity to the point where the sciatic nerve exits the pelvis on its way down the leg. When this muscle becomes tight, inflamed, injured or swollen, it can cause low back pain, buttock pain, and radiating pain or tingling into the leg via the sciatic nerve.


The purpose of chiropractic treatment for piriformis syndrome is to restore the function of the pelvic and spinal joints that may be contributing to the problem. Your Chiropractor begins by evaluating your condition. This includes attention to the low back, as well as the sacroiliac and hip joints.

Heat is used to help the piriformis muscle relax, easing spasm and pain. Your Chiropractor may place a hot pack over your buttocks muscle.

Spinal adjustments correct any misalignments in the joints of the lower back, pelvis and hips. A restricted pelvic or hip joint may result in overload and secondary tension in the piriformis muscle. Once piriformis syndrome is corrected, specific periodic chiropractic adjustments are recommended to prevent a re-occurrence.

Hands-on treatments such as Deep Massage and specialized forms of Soft-Tissue Mobilization may be used initially. Your Chiropractor may also position your hip and leg in a way that helps to relax nerve signals to the piriformis.

The keystone treatment for piriformis treatment is stretching. Stretching is especially effective following heat and hands on treatments. Your Chiropractor will position you in ways that help you get a good stretch on the piriformis muscle. Along with the stretches you’ll do in the clinic, you’ll be shown several ways to stretch the muscle on your own. You need to do your stretches every few hours. Be gentle and cautious as you stretch to avoid overdoing it.

As your symptoms ease, your Chiropractor will gradually advance your program to include posture training, muscle strengthening, and general conditioning.

Stretch of the Month

Buttocks Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle
  1. Begin on all fours.
  2. Place the affected foot across and underneath the trunk of the body so that the affected knee is outside the trunk.
  3. Extend the non-affected leg straight back behind the trunk and keep the pelvis straight. Keeping the affected leg in place, scoot the hips backwards towards the floor and lean forward on the forearms until deep stretch is felt.
  4. Do not force body to floor.
  5. Hold stretch for 30 seconds, and then slowly return to starting position.
  6. Aim to complete a set of three stretches.

Towards Wellness

Carefully tend the garden of your mind

Your thoughts create your life. Everything that you do or create is a thought first. Your thoughts influence your moods, your feelings and even how your body functions. So, tend your thoughts well. Think happy thoughts. Have an attitude of gratitude. When something goes wrong, think about what you can learn from the experience.

Imagine how closely you would tend the garden of the mind if a dollar was given to you for every positive thought, and a dollar was taken away for every negative thought.

Imagine this were true, because as you think, so goes your life. If you dwell on your lack of money or love, you will have a lack of money or love. If you think thoughts of gratitude for all you have in your life, the floodgates of abundance will open up to you.