Many people suffer from lower back pain that spreads downward to the legs and feet. This can often be alleviated by doing a deep piriformis stretch – a stretch that releases tight gluteal muscles, and stops irritating the sciatic nerve. When the piriformis muscle is inflamed it can irritate the sciatic nerve because they lay in close proximity to each other. When the piriformis presses on the sciatic nerve, the result is pain (either in the lower back or thigh), numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot.
This condition can be very painful and debilitating to live with!
The Piriformis – explained
The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep in the buttock, behind the gluteus maximus. It originates at the sacrum and inserts at the top of the femur, allowing outward rotation and extension of the leg.
The sciatic nerve passes underneath, above or in some people, right through through the muscle, leading to sciatica symptoms caused by a condition known as piriformis syndrome. Women are 6 times more likely to get it than men.
The ‘figure 4’ is my favorite stretch for the gluteal muscles and piriformis.
- Place the ankle of the affected leg on top of the other knee in seated position.
- Have your shin in a straight line under the knee not with a foot ahead of you.
- Very important to sit-up straight creating a long spine,
- Lean forward with a straight back toward your calf muscle, while pushing down on knee.
- You should feel a stretch on the side and glut of the top leg.
Continue to do this stretch several times a day, and call me for a massage! I have helped many people completely eliminate their piriformis pain with massage. Their are trigger point techniques which soften the muscle and reduce tension on the sciatic nerve. Don’t suffer needlessly, contact me today to help your body recover!