The Sciatic Nerve and the Piriformis Muscle The sciatic nerve typically runs below the piriformis muscle. Problems with this muscle, or muscle spasms, can lead to sciatica-like symptoms. Further Reading: What is Piriformis Syndrome? Related Articles Sciatic Nerve AnatomyCauses of Leg Pain and Foot Pain Related Videos Piriformis Syndrome VideoPiriformis syndrome is an irritation of the sciatic nerve caused by the contraction of the piriformis muscle.Sciatica Animated VideoSciatica is leg pain caused by a problem in the low back. Watch an animated video that details the causes and symptoms of sciatica. Sciatic Nerve Anatomy VideoWatch an animated video detailing the anatomy of the sciatic nerve.