Piriformis syndrome is when the piriformis muscle (muscle located in the pelvic region that sits around the hip joint) compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, causing serious pain.
This syndrome can also cause of sciatica.

Piriformis syndrome is very common among athletes and physically active people due to repetitive rotation and movement of the hip and extensive femur extension.


Most of the time, signs of piriformis syndrome starts with tingling sensations, numbness and severe pain in the buttocks. The symptoms can spread anywhere along the length of the legs where the static nerve sits.

Aside from pain around the hip bone, patients with this condition may also experience severe discomfort when:

  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Climbing stairs
  • Walking steep inclines
  • Applying pressure directly to the piriformis muscle
  • Having sex

After studying each patient’s medical history and conducting thorough clinical evaluation, Burak Ozgur, MD uses MRI and other imaging procedures in the lower back area and around the pelvic region to diagnose piriformis syndrome, even if the diagnosis mostly relies on physical exams and existing symptoms. Doctors may also use other imaging devices like:

  • X-rays
  • Computerized TOmography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show detailed images of the body
  • Electromyography (EMG) to test the electrical activities happening in the muscles
  • Ultrasonography

Most doctors often first recommend non-surgical or conservative treatments to relieve the pain of this condition. Piriformis syndrome can sometimes improve on anti inflammatory medications and other pain medications. Physical therapy and stretching exercises can also be useful in order to slowly reduce spasms and pain in the piriformis muscle.

If the basic conservative methods do not ease the pain, doctors may recommend patients to use piriformis injection. This injection contains corticosteroid and local anesthetic and is directly injected to the piriformis muscle to quickly reduce pain and spasm. The objective of the injection is mainly to help patients keep their muscles stretched and relaxed during their physical therapy.

Burak Ozgur, MD can address piriformis syndrome with holistic and minimally invasive procedures or request an appointment for consultation by calling (949) 383-4190 or toll free 888-64-SPINE or Contact Us ➲.