Piriformis syndrome, and a large percentage of ongoing hip pain, is caused by the piriformis muscle pressing on or into the sciatic nerve. Understanding the causes that lead to this, is key to managing it in the future.

Piriformis syndrome causes fall into one of two main categories; overload and biomechanical inefficiencies.

Overload simply means the muscles were worked either too hard or too long without adequate rest and recovery.

While playing a round of golf is great fun, doing it after spending a few months on the couch and not working up to the full round can cause piriformis syndrome. Trotting onto a tennis court for a match with little to no preparation, outside of grabbing a racquet, is another way overload can cause piriformis syndrome.

Additionally, trying to increase exercise intensity or duration too quickly, or simply not scheduling adequate rest periods in your training program can also lead to piriformis syndrome.

Another common, although often ignored, cause of piriformis syndrome is sitting for long periods of time. Whether it’s at a desk, behind a steering wheel, or even on the couch, sitting causes the piriformis muscle to shorten, which in turn places pressure on the sciatic nerve.

The second way piriformis syndrome manifests itself is from biomechanical inefficiencies. Biomechanical inefficiencies relate to such things as muscle imbalance (whether strength or flexibility), faulty foot and body mechanics, gait disturbances and poor posture. Essentially, how your body moves.

Other causes can include spinal problems, tight, stiff muscles in the lower back, hips and buttocks, and running or walking with your toes pointed too far in or too far out.

While there are other factors that can cause piriformis syndrome, the two main causes listed above are the umbrella for almost any reason for the syndrome. To learn more about piriformis syndrome causes and hip pain, visit our comprehensive piriformis syndrome article for additional information.

Until next time, stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.


Kind regards,

Brad Walker
The Stretch Coach


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