One condition that causes pressure on those nerves is called piriformis syndrome. Maridav / Getty Images Cause . As this video clearly shows, the piriformis is a small muscle located deep in your buttock. Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain. Symptoms may include pain and numbness in the buttocks and down the leg. Piriformis syndrome is sciatic nerve pain caused by an injured or overused piriformis muscle. You may feel the pain in your hip or down your leg. – Move on to the next tight spot. ; Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle, which is located in the deep buttock area, compresses and irritates the sciatic nerve. What causes a tight piriformis muscle? How to do it: Piriformis syndrome often causes the area to feel tender. (Your sciatic nerve shoots through your piriformis. The piriformis muscle sits underneath the glutes and attaches to the sacrum and the greater trochanter of the femur. Causes. Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that develops due to irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve near the piriformis muscle. When the piriformis muscle is tight it can pinch on the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle also can irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain). So what causes the piriformis to become a menace? Piriformis syndrome is characterized by pain in the area of the buttock and hip area, although the discomfort can also extend down to the lower leg. It can cause symptoms very similar to sciatica. Like any muscle, it can get short and tight, but its distinction is that it sits on top of the sciatic nerve. Causes and Symptoms of A Tight Piriformis. The two most likely causes of Piriformis Syndrome are when the Piriformis muscle is tight and inflamed and continuously irritates the Sciatic nerve or the position of the pelvis is incorrect. The piriformis muscle connects the legs to the spine at the back of the body and if you think of someone getting out of a car and lifting the first leg out, that is the work of the piriformis. The piriformis muscle helps the thigh move side to side; piriformis pain related spasms can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause symptoms. The piriformis muscle connects the lowermost vertebrae with the upper part of the leg after traveling the "sciatic notch," the opening in the pelvic bone that allows the sciatic nerve to travel into the leg. That’s … When the piriformis muscle, which connects from outside of the femur (leg) bone to the front portion of the sacrum, goes into spasm or is habitually tight, it can press on the sciatic nerve creating the afore-mentioned pain. The pain is caused when this muscle pinches your sciatic nerve. It’s also a major hip stabilizer. Its functions include external rotation of the hip, hip abduction and hip extension. The piriformis muscle is located deep with the buttocks, just underneath the gluteus medius. The piriformis muscle can be involved in painful complaints through a few distinct and very different mechanisms of action: Injury or pathology can affect the piriformis itself, causing soft tissue pain that might last for several days to several weeks. The path the sciatic nerve takes as it travels to the lower extremity is a factor in whether your piriformis muscle causes pain or other problems. The piriformis runs over the sciatic nerve, and piriformis syndrome is thought to develop when the muscle becomes tight or spasms and places pressure on the sciatic nerve. Being seated at a desk for extended periods deprives the piriformis of a good deal of its blood supply and will cause tightness. If you are experiencing hip, buttock pain, or symptoms of sciatica, there is a high probability that the piriformis is involved. Piriformis syndrome is an irritation of the sciatic nerve caused by an inflammation of the piriformis muscle If you experience pain in the buttocks that radiates along the rear thigh, you may be suffering from piriformis syndrome. Being the longest and thickest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve is easily pinched by a short, tight piriformis muscle. The problem is, piriformis syndrome is often mistaken for sciatica. Piriformis syndrome. It has so many important functions: it accelerates and decelerates hip external rotation, abduction, and extension. Now any nerve pain is intense, but what you get with sciatica is a burning, electrical pain down your leg. This tightening may be caused by other tight muscles groups putting strain on the piriformis or other weak muscles that cause the piriformis to perform roles that it is not designed to do. There are a number of reasons the piriformis muscle can become tight. The Piriformis Muscle: Functions. This stretch not only relieves piriformis muscle tension, but also may take stress of the sciatic nerve as well. In almost a quarter of the population, the sciatic nerve penetrates the piriformis muscle, and that’s a little too close for comfort. This helps by putting the piriformis in a nice stretched position. Mechanisms and Causes of Piriformis Pain. Injury or irritation of the piriformis muscle can cause muscle spasms, tightness, and swelling. We look at the anatomy of the hip and which yoga poses can help. Other causes of piriformis syndrome include muscle imbalances (like weak gluteal muscles) and tightness in parts of the leg – including tightness in the opposite leg! ; Risk factors for developing piriformis syndrome … These symptoms may increase in intensity during any activity or physical position that causes the muscle to press against the sciatic nerve, such as running, climbing stairs, or even sitting. Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which a tight piriformis muscle compresses against the sciatic nerve, causing symptoms of sciatica into the lower extremity. Piriformis Syndrome . ... nerve runs below the piriformis muscle and on some people it actually travels through the fibres of the piriformis muscle. If the piriformis muscle becomes tight it can compress the sciatic nerve and cause pain which can radiate down the leg, commonly known as sciatic pain. What are the signs and symptoms of piriformis syndrome? Running underneath the piriformis (and sometimes threaded directly through) is the sciatic nerve. The pain is centered. This can cause pain in the lower back and/or pain that radiates to the buttocks and down the leg. Several situations can cause a tight piriformis that can put pressure on your sciatic nerve. When people are diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, it is thought that the piriformis tendon may be tethering the sciatic nerve, causing irritation to the nerve.While it has not been proven, the theory supported by many physicians is that when the piriformis muscle and its tendon are too tight, the sciatic nerve is pinched. You will probably be aware of how tight muscles can be uncomfortable – take sitting all day in a chair in the office, or holding a baby for hours a day, and imagine how your neck and shoulders feel. It’s a hip external rotator that attaches to the sacrum. Piriformis syndrome is a condition which is believed to result from compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. While both conditions interfere with sciatic nerve function, sciatica results from spinal dysfunction such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. A tight piriformis is one of the major causes of sciatic pain. Causes may include trauma to the gluteal muscle, spasms of the piriformis muscle, anatomical variation, or an overuse injury. The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the buttock near the top of the hip joint. This spasming may also aggravate a nearby sciatic nerve root, which in turn sends sciatica-like symptoms racing down your large sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a deep buttock muscle . What Causes Piriformis tightness? – Find a tight spot and hold it for 30-60 seconds. – The piriformis muscle is one of the smaller muscles Advertisement The piriformis muscle extends from the front of the sacrum through the pelvic cavity to attach at the top of the femur and covers part of the sciatic nerve. Piriformis syndrome is caused by tightening of the piriformis muscle. Piriformis syndrome is a relatively common injury amongst runners, where the piriformis muscle, gets chronically tight and creates pain either locally to its position in the buttock region, or pain referring down the path of the sciatic nerve into the back of the thigh. The two most common causes of piriformis pain are the development of trigger points in the muscle and piriformis syndrome. In many cases, the cause of sciatica pain is actually a tight or misaligned muscle. The piriformis muscle lies underneath the gluteus muscle, or buttock. The sciatic nerve usually exits from the internal pelvic cavity into the buttock/gluteal region between the piriformis and the superior gemellus muscles. This muscle is chronically tight for many people and is the cause of the condition known as piriformis syndrome where the piriformis muscle in spasm presses on the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain). Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain. The most common include sitting for too long, over-exerting yourself, or an injury or accident to that part of the body. The tight muscle irritates or compresses the sciatic nerve in its vicinity and causes pain, tingling, or numbness along the buttock down the back of the leg and into the thigh. Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle (located in the buttocks) tightens, swells, or spasms, aggravating the sciatic nerve. Often symptoms are worsened with sitting or running. Next, Piriformis Muscle Stretches: 1. Sitting for long periods of the day can cause piriformis syndrome due to the weakening and shortening of the gluteal muscles. Piriformis syndrome affects the sciatic nerve creating pain that centers in the butt and often runs down the affected leg. Your piriformis and your sciatic nerve both pass through a small opening in the pelvic bone called the sciatic notch. Piriformis syndrome, on the other hand, occurs when the piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttock, compresses the sciatic nerve. The piriformis is a small muscle in the hip that can cause unrelenting pain and discomfort. One simple issue is a short, tight piriformis muscle. Synopsis. It is usually overuse which causes the piriformis muscle to go into spasm resulting in pressure on the sciatic nerve. Standing Piriformis Stretch. When your glutes and piriformis are tight and fatigued they can cause you to have a sore lower back and hamstrings, poor balance, and even shooting nerve pain down your leg due to sciatica. It is a rotator muscle that lets you turn your legs and feet away from your body. The result? A tight piriformis muscle can be caused by under use situations such as sitting at a desk all day. This is a muscle inside your buttocks that helps you move your leg. Meet the piriformis muscle. Applying pressure can cause discomfort or pain not only at the point of contact but also down your leg. Tight piriformis muscles can lead to lower back pain, and ultimately disrupt the function of the sacroiliac joint. The piriformis is a muscle that extends from the front of the sacrum. If the piriformis muscle becomes tight, irritated, or inflamed, the sciatic nerve bears the brunt of it. Piriformis syndrome is defined as a condition in which your piriformis muscle spasms and causes pain in your buttock.