Duration of piriformis syndrome


The piriformis syndrome is a relatively common syndrome that sometimes causes severe pain and restricted mobility. Therefore, for those affected, the question of the duration until the symptoms are relieved and the disease is healed is of particular importance, as is the duration of the treatment.

Further information on causes, symptoms and cures can be found here: Piriformis Syndrome


The cause of the piriformis syndrome is a tense or enlarged piriformism muscle, which leads to irritation of the sciatic nerve in the immediate vicinity. There is pain in the buttocks, thighs and sometimes also in the lower back. Unfortunately, the piriformis syndrome is often overlooked and the cause of the pain is e.g. suspected a herniated disc. This can lengthen the time to adequate treatment. In addition to the correct diagnosis and optimal therapy, the cooperation of the patient is a decisive factor when it comes to the question of the duration of piriformis syndrome. It is not possible to make a definitive statement about the duration, as each case must be considered individually. But this article can give a rough classification of the duration of the piriformis syndrome.

Duration of illness

The duration of the illness in piriformis syndrome depends on several factors. Above all, the severity of the disease and the therapy derived from it influence it. Just like the fact whether the clinical picture is acute or already chronic. In addition, much is in the hands of the patient, as the behavior and physiotherapeutic exercises in piriformis syndrome are followed. However, every body reacts differently to the treatment, so that no universally valid information can be given. In patients diagnosed early and treated well, the duration of the illness is usually no more than 4 weeks. This information applies to patients without complications who have been treated conservatively with painkillers, massages and possibly substances that relax the muscles.

If piriformis syndrome goes undetected for a long time, the illness can last for months. In some cases, and especially if it is protracted, an inflammation develops that spreads to the neighboring sciatic nerves. Then the duration of the illness and the appearance of the symptoms can be significantly longer than 4 weeks, since the inflammation of the nerve must also be treated.

Surgical procedures may be used for complicated piriformis syndrome. Even if a surgical procedure for piriformis syndrome is usually chosen as the last step, the duration of the disease is significantly shortened. In this way, light stress can be resumed as early as 2 weeks after the operation.

You might also be interested in: What is the best therapy for piriformis syndrome?

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Duration of pain

As with the duration of the illness, many factors influence the duration of the pain in piriformis syndrome. However, this should always be shorter than the actual illness itself. This is because the pain can be relieved or switched off through medicinal measures. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Aspirin®, Diclofenac®) in the form of tablets or injections with local anesthetics into the affected area work very well. The duration of great pain after diagnosis is only a few days. However, slight pain will keep recurring until it is definitely healed. Therefore, the duration of the pain depends on the type of therapy, the patient's participation and the extent of the underlying disease. As a rule, the piriformis syndrome should no longer cause pain about 1-2 weeks after the start of treatment at the latest. However, when a nerve becomes inflamed, it increases the duration of the pain significantly. Because inflamed nerves are more difficult to access for pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory measures. If the piriformis syndrome becomes chronic, patients can repeatedly complain of pain in the affected area for months or years.

Read more on the subject below Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome

Duration of treatment

Treatment for piriformis syndrome can be conservative or surgical.

For the duration of the treatment, it can be said that a surgical approach to piriformis syndrome is faster and eliminates the cause immediately. However, this is accompanied by an intervention and a healing time of 2-4 weeks.

The duration of treatment with conservative measures is longer. Physiotherapy, which takes place 2-3 times a week, relaxes the muscles and corrects poor posture. Physiotherapy usually lasts 2-3 months. But the duration of the treatment often exceeds the duration of the symptoms to be felt in order to stabilize the result. In general, information on the duration of the treatment must always be viewed individually. Because the participation of the patient and the extent of the illness, as well as the occurrence of complications, influence the duration of the treatment. It can be said that the patient with uncomplicated piriformis syndrome is pain-free after a few weeks, which in complicated cases can extend to months.

For more information on treating piriformis syndrome, see:

  • Physiotherapy for piriformis syndrome
  • Stretching exercises for piriformis syndrome
  • Healing from Piriformis Syndrome