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Do I Have a Herniated Disc or Piriformis Syndrome? The Correct Diagnosis Is Critical!

A herniated disc & Piriformis Syndrome have very similar symptoms. Both conditions present with buttock pain & both may cause pain radiating down the sciatic nerve into the leg. Plus, they both may cause:

  • Tingling or numbness in buttocks & legs

  • Sleep issues

  • Pain with movement or after sitting or standing for extended periods

  • Leg weakness

So what’s the difference between a herniated disc & Piriformis Syndrome?

One of the simplest ways to understand a herniated disk is to think about a jelly donut.

The outside of a disk is like the dough of the donut. The inside of a disk is like the jelly. Now imagine that the donut has a hole in it. So, if you press down, the jelly is going to squirt out. This is like a herniation. When this happens in our back & causes nerve pressure, we feel pain from the herniated disk.

Alternatively, the piriformis muscle (located in the buttock) can become over tight. The tight muscle causes local pain & may put pressure on the sciatic nerve leading to pain radiating down the leg.

Treatment is different depending on the condition, so a correct diagnosis is critical! At Triangle Spinal Decompression, we take the time to reach the correct diagnosis, explain your condition & all of your options. We’ll help you avoid the risks, pain & expense of a misdiagnosis! Call 919-469-8897 or visit

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