What Is Piriformis Syndrome?

piriformisPiriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasms and causes pain. This muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve which can cause pain and numbness and tingling along the back of the leg.

The piriformis muscle, along with other muscles, functions to assist in rotating the hip and turning the leg outward.  It is located deep to the gluteal musculature.  It originates on the sacrum (tailbone) and attaches to the hip.  The sciatic nerve travels directly beneath it.  In a small percentage of people the nerve actually runs directly through the muscle.

The condition can be aggravated with prolonged sitting and standing.  Both joint motion and the soft tissues must be treated for this issue to fully be resolved.

Here are two stretches that are effective at stretching the hip rotator muscles including the pirifomis.

piriformis stretch

Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Rest the ankle of the right leg over the knee of the left leg. Pull the left thigh toward the chest and hold the stretch. Repeat for each side.

Start in a seated position.  Place one foot is flat on the floor and cross the opposite ankle over the knee.  Next, leading with the chest, slightly lean forward until a hip stretch is felt.  Avoid bending the spine.

More Recommended Reading:

Understanding Hip Pain

What You Need to Know About Sciatica

For more information contact Shaw Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center at (515) 987-6332 or visit our website at www.shawchiroandsport.com.

Social tagging: > > >

Leave a Reply