Sciatica is the pain experienced when the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, which travels from the lower back to the foot, becomes damaged, inflamed, or pinched. It should not be confused with piriformis syndrome. If you look up everything about sciatica in buttocks symptoms, you are likely to actually read about piriformis syndrome. This is mainly because the pain is very similar, and because the piriformis muscle, which causes the pain in the buttock, can lead to sciatic nerve pain.

Everything about Sciatica in Buttocks Symptoms:

You first have to learn about the piriformis muscle, which is a small muscle behind the gluteus maximus. It:

  • Begins at the bottom of the spine, connecting to the upper surface of each thighbone
  • Is there to help us turn the foot and leg outward and rotate the hip
  • Runs in a diagonal line. Just beneath it, and sometimes through it, is the sciatic nerve

So what causes piriformis syndrome? Unfortunately, that isn’t exactly known. This is also because different people seem to experience different causes, with some of the most common ones being:

  • Spasms within the muscle itself, often caused by an irritation of the muscle. That said, it can also be caused by an irritation of the hip or the sacroiliac joint.
  • The muscle tightening as a result of a spasm or injury
  • The muscle swelling as a result of a spasm or injury
  • Blood loss in the area of the muscle

When the piriformis muscle is affected, it causes buttock pain that feels very much like sciatica. This is why it will come up when you look up everything about sciatica in buttocks symptoms. This is also because the sciatic nerve is likely to be affected, which leads to numbness in the foot, calf, or back of the thigh, resulting in a tingling sensation and pain. One of the bigger problems is that it is almost impossible to diagnose whether the problem is sciatica or piriformis syndrome.

Symptoms Specific to Piriformis Syndrome:

There are some symptoms that are commonly described by people with piriformis syndrome, including:

  • Acute pain in the buttock
  • Sciatic pain
  • Dull aches in the buttock
  • Pain when walking up inclines or the stairs
  • Pain after sitting
  • The hip joint having less of a range of motion

Oftentimes, people with piriformis syndrome find that the symptoms get a lot worse if they sat down for a long period of time, or if they run or even walk. But if they lay down on their back, they may start to feel better. Diagnosis must be done by a medical professional who will run a number of diagnostic tests and examinations, often ruling out other things before determining that piriformis syndrome is the culprit. This can be a lengthy process, as a physician is likely to assume sciatica, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, or lumbar disc herniation first. Only when those conditions do not respond to treatment will it slowly become obvious that the problem is actually different.