Piriformis syndrome is relatively common. The piriformis is a muscle in the buttocks area, and piriformis syndrome causes spasms of said muscle, which leads to intense pain. However, what you may not know is that this muscle spasm can lead to discomfort in other areas, like the hips and lower back. In some cases, professionals believe it can even lead to sciatica. Sciatica is the name for any pain or discomfort inflicted on the sciatic nerve.
With all of this in mind, it is important to keep the piriformis muscle in tip top shape. Even when it is not, you must stretch and continue to make sure that it can heal properly and be rid of pain. Here are some piriformis stretches, which in turn can reduce pain in your hips and back, too.
Piriformis Stretch (#1)
– Lie down flat on your back on the floor or a comfortable, flat surface.
– Bend your knees and place both feet flat onto the floor.
– When you are ready, pull your right knee up to your chest, hold it there with your left hand, and pull the knee towards your left shoulder.
– When you feel the stretch, hold it. Repeat this for both sides.
– Do this three times a day, and to begin, hold each stretch for 5 seconds, gradually increasing over time.
Different Piriformis Stretch (#2)
– Begin in the same position as number one, with both feet flat on the floor and knees bent.
– Cross your right ankle over the knee of the left leg and rest it there.
– Use both hands to pull your left leg towards your chest and hold it there. Repeat this for both sides.
– Hold the stretch for 5 seconds, and perform this three times a day.
Supine Stretch (#3)
– Lay flat on the floor with your legs stretched out.
– Raise your left leg and place your left foot on the opposite side (or outside) of your right knee.
– Pull your knee towards the right side of your body using your right hand or a towel, whatever is easier for you.
– When you begin to feel the stretch, hold the position for 30 seconds, then slowly return to the beginning position. Repeat this for the opposite side.
Buttocks Stretch (#4)
– Start the stretch on all fours, like a dog.
– Place your left knee outside the âtrunkâ of the body (near your midsection) by bending your leg and keeping it perpendicular to the body underneath you.
– Extend your right leg back and straighten it as much as you can, and keep your hips and pelvis straight.
– Slowly scoot your hips backwards, keeping the leg underneath you in place, and lean forward on your forearms. Do not try to force your body to the floor, but continue until the stretch is felt.
– Hold for 30 seconds, return to starting position, and repeat for the other side.
Hamstring Stretch (#5)
– Place two chairs in front of each other, facing the other. Sit in one, and place your ankle on top of the opposite one.
– Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch on the back of your thigh.
– Hold the position for 30 seconds, then do the other side.
There are tons of piriformis stretches out there. For more information and more exercises to reduce pain in the hips and back please click here.