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How To Sleep With Piriformis Syndrome?

How To Sleep With Piriformis Syndrome?

Are you also affected by piriformis syndrome and haven’t had a peaceful sleep since then? Do you want to know the appropriate way to sleep with piriformis syndrome?

Sleeping with piriformis involves using the right sleeping position, pillow, mattress, and bed. The most essential thing to do to sleep with this condition is to keep your spine aligned and support it alongside your hips. Doing so will ease your discomfort and pain and help you sleep better.

Below, we will learn all about this condition in detail and its treatments as well. Keep reading as we start this journey to help you sleep better and recover quickly from this painful condition.

What Is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is a spasm of the piriformis muscle. This muscle is located in the buttock region. It causes pain and discomfort around the area. It can also make it difficult to sleep. Following are the causes and symptoms of this condition:


Piriformis syndrome could be caused by several potential reasons. Here are some of its most common causes:

  • Overuse or repetitive strain
  • Muscle tightness or spasms
  • Injury or trauma to the buttocks
  • Anatomical variations in the piriformis muscle
  • Inflammation of the piriformis muscle
  • Compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle
  • Muscle imbalances or weakness in surrounding muscles
  • Prolonged sitting or sedentary lifestyle
  • Foot and gait abnormalities
  • Piriformis muscle hypertrophy

Symptoms Of Piriformis Syndrome

Following are some of the common symptoms of piriformis syndrome. If these sound familiar, you are probably suffering from this disease.

  • Pain in the buttocks
  • Sciatica-like pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the buttocks or down the leg
  • Difficulty sitting for prolonged periods
  • Increased pain during activities that engage the piriformis muscle
  • Muscle spasms in the buttocks
  • Limited range of motion in the hip joint
  • Discomfort or pain when transitioning from sitting to standing
  • Pain that worsens with prolonged sitting or walking
  • Radiating pain down the back of the thigh

Tips For Sleeping With Piriformis Syndrome

Since the piriformis muscle is located below our buttocks, it has a lot of impact on our sleep. If you are infected by this condition, it can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Let’s take a look at some practical tips to help you improve the quality of your sleep.

Find The Right Pillow.

Using the right pillow can also help a lot in getting relief from piriformis syndrome. It will eventually help you sleep better. The pillow choice depends on your sleeping position. Let’s help you find the right pillow for yourself.

Suitable Pillows According To Your Sleeping Positions

Here is how to select the right pillow for your sleeping position. Let’s start uncovering it from the most common back sleeping position.

  • Back sleepers: A medium-firm pillow is best for back sleepers to maintain proper posture and minimize pressure on the piriformis muscle. It is essential to provide adequate support for the neck and keep the spine aligned.
  • Side sleepers: An extra-thick pillow is best for side sleepers to fill the gap between the neck and shoulder. It also helps in preventing the pelvis from rotating and reducing strain on the piriformis muscle. A contoured or body pillow is also beneficial in this case.
  • Reclining sleepers: Using a wedge pillow is best for sleeping in a reclined position. It will help elevate your upper body. This elevation reduces pressure on the piriformis muscle and helps you get a more comfortable sleep.

Use A Good Mattress

A high-quality mattress is essential for individuals with piriformis syndrome. Usually, the medium-firm mattress is considered the best option because it provides proper support for the spine along with flexibility and comfort. Memory foam mattresses are also a good option, as they contour to the body’s shape.

Correct Sleeping Position

Your sleeping is very important with Piriformis syndrome. The right posture can help you get quality sleep, while an inappropriate position can worsen the condition. Let’s check it out in detail.

  • Sleeping on Your Back: Sleeping on your back is considered one of the best positions for piriformis syndrome. Place a pillow under your knees to maintain a natural spine curvature and reduce pressure on the piriformis muscle.
  • Sleeping on the Side: The second most common position is to sleep on your side. Place a pillow between your knees if you sleep in this condition. This helps align the hips and reduces strain on the piriformis muscle. Ensure that your pillow supports the natural curve of your neck.
  • Reclined Position: For those who find comfort in a reclined position, consider using an adjustable bed or a recliner chair. It will relieve pressure on the piriformis muscle and help you sleep better.

Try Stretching Exercises.

Stretching exercises are also beneficial for your piriformis syndrome. Try gentle stretching exercises before sleeping. Focus on stretching the hip and piriformis muscles. Consult with your doctor to learn suitable stretching routines according to your condition. These are the 10 best stretching exercises for this condition.

  • Supine Piriformis Stretch
  • Seated Piriformis Stretch
  • Standing Piriformis Stretch
  • Figure-4 Stretch
  • Knee-to-Chest Stretch
  • Child’s Pose
  • Pigeon Pose (Yoga)
  • Butterfly Stretch
  • Cat-Cow Stretch (Yoga)
  • Happy Baby Pose (Yoga)

Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach.

Sleeping on your stomach can worsen this condition. It is because it puts additional stress on the lower back and pelvis. Try to avoid this position and go for back, side, or reclined sleeping positions. These put less pressure on the affected area and are comfortable.


There are multiple treatment options for piriformis syndrome. Your doctor will recommend the best treatment option for you according to your condition. Your doctor will examine you thoroughly before deciding on the right treatment. Let’s have a look at all the treatment options for piriformis syndrome.

  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Ice or heat therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Injection therapy
  • Ultrasound-guided piriformis injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Resting and avoiding any activity

Final Words

Sleeping with piriformis syndrome is basically all about supporting your spine and neck. Your sleeping position, mattress, and pillow are essential to it. Using the right sleeping accessories and a good sleeping position will make you more comfortable. It will improve the quality of your sleep.

If it is still difficult to sleep even after practicing these techniques, then you should seek medical help. A doctor will help you best with the treatment of this condition and tell you how to sleep with it after examining you.


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