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Disease Profile

Piriformis syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.



US Estimated


Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Hip socket neuropathy; Pseudosciatica; Wallet sciatica;


Musculoskeletal Diseases


Piriformis syndrome is a rare neuromuscular condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle in the buttocks presses on the sciatic nerve. The condition is primarily associated with sciatica; however, other symptoms may include tenderness, aching, tingling and/or numbness of the buttock and pain when sitting for a long period of time, climbing stairs, walking or running. Piriformis syndrome is caused by damage, irritation or overuse of the piriformis muscle which can make the muscle swell or tighten. This puts pressure on the nerve beneath it (the sciatic nerve) which leads to the signs and symptoms of the condition. In many cases, medical treatment may not be needed and home remedies (such as avoiding activities that trigger pain, over-the-counter pain medications, ice packs, heating pads, and stretching exercises) can help alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, muscle relaxants, electrotherapy, or even surgery may be recommended.[1][2][3]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Piriformis syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Piriformis syndrome. MedlinePlus. November 2014; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000776.htm.
  2. Shishir Shah, DO. Piriformis Syndrome. Medscape Reference. January 2017; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/87545-overview.
  3. Piriformis Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/piriformis-syndrome-information-page. Accessed 3/21/2017.