Piriformis Syndrome: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 12/1/2020

Piriformis syndrome is an uncommon cause of pain in one side of the leg and buttocks. Because the pain originates from compression of the sciatic nerve, piriformis syndrome is sometimes referred to as pseudo-sciatica or hip socket neuropathy. Sports injuries or overuse injuries are risk factors for the condition.

Signs and symptoms of piriformis syndrome include

  • leg pain,
  • leg tingling, or
  • numbness in one leg.

The pain may be present all the way from the low back to the foot on the affected side. The tingling has been described as a pins and needles sensation. The pain may worsen when attempting certain movements, such as running or stair climbing.

Cause of piriformis syndrome

Compression of the sciatic nerve as it runs through the pelvis by spasm or contracture of the piriformis muscle in the buttocks causes piriformis syndrome.

Other piriformis syndrome symptoms and signs

  • Leg Pain
  • Leg Tingling
  • Numbness in One Leg


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.