Piriformis Syndrome? MAYBE NOT!

Pain in the butt? Do you think you have “Piriformis syndrome” but no matter what you do to your piriformis (stretch, roll, ball, etc) the pain doesn’t go away? Maybe you are addressing the wrong muscle? I’m here to shine some light one of the other lateral rotators of the hip…the Quadratus Femoris. This sneaky little muscle can have symptoms similar to that of the Piriformis. You can see from the picture that the sciatic nerve sits on top of the QF whereas it runs underneath the Piriformis. The QF has a pain pattern that mimics the Piriformis (I.e. ‘sciatic’ like pain), it can also mimic insertional hamstring tendinosis. It can also appear like acetabular and / or femoral impingement symptoms. It is most active in the gait cycle when weight is taken on the same side of the muscle and increases activation with running. It is best stretched when the leg is abducted (taken away from the body) and internally rotated (toes in position). When Trigger Points are treated in this muscle, the symptoms of pain can be abolished and range of motion, hip flexibility and gluteal strength / balance can return.

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