It's never just one muscle that causes your muscle pain.
It doesn't matter if you have sciatica, piriformis syndrome, plantar fasciitis or even a herniated disc. You aren't a jumble of separate body parts randomly put together; you're a living, breathing, constantly changing system, controlled by the brain and coordinated to move as a whole, efficient, coordinated system. That's the way your sensory motor system sees it. I know it often can feel like, "if I can only relax my X muscle, then my life would be grand." It would be nice if that were the case, but it's not.
Yes, you can have a piriformis muscle that feels like the culprit, but it's important to ask yourself: Why is my piriformis muscle only hurting on one side of my body?
Muscle pain is the result of a FULL BODY PATTERN of contraction.
Once you learn to regain control of the painful muscle and its synergists, then you can regain efficient, effortless movement as well as pain relief for that pesky piriformis.
In the case of piriformis syndrome the unconscious part of the brain (the part responsible for habits/learned movement/reflexes) is contracting the piriformis constantly because the pelvis is out of balance — twisted and rotated in most cases. This is called a Trauma Reflex.
Most people don't consider the connection between the command center (our brain) and what our muscles are doing. Our muscles do not have a mind of their own – they respond only to the brain. In order to release all muscles involved in the pattern of the Trauma Reflex and regain balance in the center of the body, you must learn:
Which movement pattern got you into the problem in the first place
How to prevent your pain from coming back (Somatic Exercises!)
How to be more aware of your body as you move on a daily basis
How to create more efficient and coordinated movement
This functional muscle problem needs a functional solution: sensory motor retraining of the brain-to-muscle connection in order to teach the frozen, contracted muscles involved in the pattern of piriformis syndrome to relax and release. The end result is relaxed and coordinated muscles, restored muscle function, a greater sense of body awareness, and no more pain.