Piriformis syndrome is pain caused from spasm of the piriformis muscle. Locally, this would be characterized by pain in the lower buttocks, but in some severe cases the pain can radiate down into the leg. The radiating pain is due to an anatomical variant, which occurs in about 15% of the population. In this low percentage of individuals, the sciatic nerve actually travels through the belly of the piriformis muscle. Spasm of the muscle would then imitate sciatica type symptomology.
Causes of piriformis syndrome are usually related to increased walking, running, or in some cases, can be due to increased time standing with poor foot support. Even sitting cross legged for long periods of time can irritate this muscle. A fall on the buttocks can also cause damage to the piriformis muscle, thus initiating the syndrome.
Because piriformis syndrome is a physical problem it needs a physical solution. Realignment of the sacrum and femoral head by a chiropractic adjustment has been shown to be very effective for this sometimes difficult to manage condition. Stretching exercises and application of ice, in addition to adjustments, may also be used to restore biomechanical stability to the pelvis.