Health and Fitness

Piriformis Stretches for Sciatica

Today I re-tweeted an article titled “How to get a deep piriformis stretch to get rid of sciatica, hip and lower back pain”. In it, , the author demonstrates multiple piriformis stretches.The piriformis is a muscle that runs diagonally over the sciatic nerve. It contributes to sciatica pain in multiple different ways. In general, sciatica pain radiates from the low back down our legs and calves to the outside aspect of our feet. Because of muscle guarding and spasm, the piriformis muscle contributes to the pain.

I learned from personal experience that doing piriformis stretches for sciatic pain can be invaluable. Piriformis syndrome contributes to sciatica by causing additional compression on the sciatic nerve or in some individuals the sciatic nerve may pass directly through the piriformis muscle.

Because of our sedentary lifestyles, with excessive amounts of sitting, our muscles can become very tight. This makes piriformis stretches all the more essential.

I found the supine piriformis stretch to be the most beneficial for me. To perform it, you lie flat on your back facing up. Pull the leg that is affected by sciatica toward your chest externally rotate it and place the outside of your ankle on top of the knee of the unaffected leg.. Then reach underneath the painful leg with both hands below the other knee and flex your unaffected knee and hip toward your chest. This stretches

the piriformis muscle deep in their gluteal region. Do this several times daily on both sides and you will experience significant pain relief and improve flexibility.

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