Managing Piriformis Syndrome: The Benefit of PT

hip pain

Physical Therapy for Piriformis Syndrome: Managing Pain and Promoting Recovery

Physical therapy has become an important part of injury recovery for many people, especially those with Piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is a condition that causes pain in the buttocks and hip area due to inflammation or injury of the piriformis muscle. It can be caused by sitting too long, running, lifting heavy objects, or any activity that puts extra strain on the muscles in the hips or buttocks. Physical therapy can help reduce pain and improve function in individuals with Piriformis syndrome.


Piriformis syndrome is a condition that affects the muscles in the buttocks and hips. The piriformis muscle runs from the lower spine to the top of the femur bone and helps stabilize and rotate your hip joint. When this muscle becomes strained or inflamed due to overuse, injury, or prolonged sitting it can cause pain in these areas as well as difficulty walking, standing up straight, or even sitting down comfortably. Fortunately, physical therapy plays an important role in helping people suffering from Piriformis Syndrome manage their symptoms so they can live fuller lives.

What to Expect at Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for piriformis syndrome involves assessing suitable exercises, frequency, and lifestyle adjustments to relieve associated pain. Your therapist may use modalities such as heat/cold therapy, electrical stimulation, massage, ultrasound, taping, or injections to further reduce pain and promote recovery.

Therapy modalities vary based on your needs. Heat or cold therapy may help with pain. Ultrasound or electrical stimulation aids muscles, inflammation, and blood flow. Massage and taping ease tension. Injections provide pain relief. Trust your therapist to suggest the best modalities for you.

What Types of Exercises You Might Do

Your therapist will prescribe a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs, but there are some basic exercises that can help people suffering from Piriformis Syndrome:

Gluteal stretches – Stretches of the glutes and hips can help reduce tightness in the muscles and improve the range of motion.

Pelvic tilts – Lying on your back with knees bent, use your abdominal muscles to tilt your pelvis towards your chest and then away from it. This helps increase flexibility in the pelvic area.

Hamstring stretching – Stretching the hamstring muscles can also help reduce tension in the buttocks and hips. • Core strengthening – Strengthening exercises for the core muscles surrounding the spine can provide extra support for this area.

Squats – This exercise is great for strengthening the glutes and lower extremities, which can help reduce pain caused by Piriformis Syndrome.

Why These Exercises Help

Exercises that focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles surrounding the hips can help reduce tightness in these areas and improve the range of motion. Strengthening exercises can also provide extra support to the spine, helping to prevent further injury or discomfort.

How Long Recovery Takes

The length of time required for recovery from Piriformis Syndrome varies depending on a variety of factors such as age, activity level, and how long you have been suffering from the condition. In most cases, physical therapy sessions are done two to three times a week for six to eight weeks. After that, you may be advised to continue with home exercises to maintain the gains made during physical therapy.

How Physical Therapy Prevents Reinjury

Physical therapy can provide relief from pain and fatigue caused by Piriformis Syndrome, as well as increase flexibility in the muscles surrounding the hip area. This helps ensure that the body is better equipped to handle daily activities without further injury or discomfort. Additionally, strengthening exercises can help protect against future injuries by providing extra support and stability for the spine.


Piriformis Syndrome can cause immense discomfort and pain, but physical therapy provides an effective way of managing it. Stretching and strengthening exercises tailored to your individual needs can reduce pain, increase mobility, and help prevent further injury. With the right physical therapy plan from a trained professional, you can be on your way to feeling better in no time.