The diagnosis and management of Piriformis Syndrome: myths and facts

Can J Neurol Sci. 2012 Sep;39(5):577-83. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100015298.


Piriformis Syndrome (PS) is an uncommon, controversial neuromuscular disorder that is presumed to be a compression neuropathy of the sciatic nerve at the level of the piriformis muscle (PM). The diagnosis is hampered by a lack of agreed upon clinical criteria and a lack of definitive investigations such as imaging or electrodiagnostic testing. Treatment has focused on stretching, physical therapies, local injections, including botulinum toxin, and surgical management. This article explores the various sources of controversy surrounding piriformis syndrome including diagnosis, investigation and management. We conclude with a proposal for diagnostic criteria which include signs and symptoms, imaging, and response to therapeutic injections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Humans
  • Piriformis Muscle Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Piriformis Muscle Syndrome / therapy*