What are the functional biomechanical deficits and adaptations associated with piriformis syndrome?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020
  • Author: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA; Chief Editor: Ryan O Stephenson, DO  more...
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Because there is no definitive method to accurately diagnose piriformis syndrome, treatment regimens are controversial and have not been subjected to randomized, blind clinical trials. Despite this fact, numerous treatment strategies exist for patients with this condition.

Functional biomechanical deficits associated with piriformis syndrome may include the following:

  • Tight piriformis muscle

  • Tight hip external rotators and adductors

  • Hip abductor weakness

  • Lower lumbar spine dysfunction

  • Sacroiliac joint hypomobility

Functional adaptations to these deficits include the following:

  • Ambulation with the thigh in external rotation

  • Functional limb length shortening

  • Shortened stride length

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