This leaflet provides you with information about a piriformis injection and how the procedure is carried out.

What is a piriformis injection?

It is an injection into the buttocks. The piriformis is a muscle in the buttock area that goes from the side of the tailbone to the side of the thighbone. The muscle can become inflamed, tight or go into spasm, causing pain in the buttock and leg.

What is injected?

The procedure is carried out in either a day case clinical area or in an outpatient area. An appointment will be sent to you by the pain clinic secretaries stating the location for the injection.

On arrival

  • You may be asked to put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie on an X-ray trolley.
  • X-rays images (pictures) may be used to guide the needle.
  • The area to be injected will be cleaned with antiseptic.
  • The consultant will numb the area with local anaesthetic, if needed, before injecting the anaesthetic and steroid.
  • You may feel some discomfort during the procedure. This is a good sign, as it helps the consultant to know that the needle is exactly where it is needed

How long will I be in hospital?

Although the procedure itself only takes about 15 to 20 minutes, you may be on Chedworth Suite for a couple of hours, so please come prepared for this. After the procedure, you will be offered a drink and allowed home shortly afterwards.

Can I eat and drink?

You may eat and drink as normal, unless your consultant advises you otherwise.

Can I take my usual medication?

Continue to take your medication as usual on the treatment day. If you are diabetic and your blood sugar is above 15mmol/l on the day of your procedure you may not be able to have your injection, this will be decided by your consultant. If your blood sugars are above 15mmol/l leading up to your injection please contact the consultant’s secretary for advice.

Can I drive home?

In the days following your injection you may have:

  • mild discomfort around the injection site. This is expected and should settle by itself.
  • an increase in your normal pain, this is usually temporary. You can take your normal pain relief to reduce any discomfort. If the pain is severe, please contact your GP for advice.
  • temporary weakness and numbness in the limb or area that was treated. If it was safe to do so you may have been discharged home with these symptoms. Please take care to protect the area/limb until normal sensation returns; this will help to prevent accidental injuries.
  • an allergic reaction to the injection, which results in redness and itching around the injection site. This is not serious, although we need to know about it for future treatments.
  • facial redness or flushing which is a normal response to steroid injection treatment.

What happens next?

About 6 weeks after your procedure, you will either be asked to telephone our medical secretaries to give a progress report, or your pain consultant will give you a form to post back to us. Either way, the next step in your treatment will be decided according to the amount of benefit you have had from the injections.

If your pain has improved significantly, you will not need a routine follow up appointment. Instead, you will be given a patient initiated follow up which is valid for a year, unless otherwise stated. During this time, you can contact us should the same pain become difficult to manage again. Unfortunately, you cannot request a further appointment to discuss any pain that we have not already assessed.

Contact information

For injection treatment follow up, please contact your consultant’s secretary, Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

To rearrange an outpatient appointment, contact the Booking Office on 0300 422 5327

Dr Young’s secretary: Tel: 0300 422 3383

Dr Makins secretary: Tel: 0300 422 2558

Dr Harper’s secretary: Tel: 0300 422 3383

Dr Bodycombe’s secretary: Tel: 0300 422 3198

Dr Rea’s secretary: Tel: 0300 422 2804

Dr Patel’s secretary: Tel: 0300 422 2558

For all other queries please contact the:

Clinical Nurse Specialists: Tel: 0300 422 2976

An answerphone will be in operation at all times, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

For urgent calls please contact your GP or NHS 111.

Further information

For further information, see our pain management services pages

Printable version of this page

Piriformis injection (GHPI1349) Department: Pain Service Review due: April 2025 PDF, 224.6 KB, 4 pages
Reference number GHPI1349_04_22
Department Pain Service
Review due April 2025