The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body, located deep in the buttock, beneath the piriformis muscle. It runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When this nerve gets irritated, it causes a sharp hip and lower back pain, which spreads to the limbs and feet.
This sciatic nerve can pass through the piriformis muscle which connects the lower region of the spine to the top of the femur and supports hip, upper leg, and foot movements. This leads to sciatica symptoms known as piriformis syndrome. The piriformis syndrome is characterized by pain in the hips, lower back, poor movement.
How is this medical condition treated? The treatment involves medications like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, antidepressants. It can even lead to therapy and surgery.
However, instead of ending up on medications for the rest of your life, try to follow the instructions of these 10 proven piriformis stretches.
Below are 10 piriformis stretches to help you get rid of this unbearable pain.
Before you do them, first, please make sure you consult a doctor. If everything is fine, warm up for a few minutes and don’t overdo them.
1. Supine Piriformis Stretch
-For this exercise, you need to lie down on the ground with your knees bent upwards.
-Then, cross the affected leg over the other leg, by bending it upwards toward your chest.
-Hold the knee with one of the hands and the ankle with the other and pull towards your shoulder in line with your ankle until you feel the stretch in the buttock muscles.
-Hold it for 30 seconds, and then release slowly.
2. Supine Piriformis Side Stretch
-Lie down on the floor. Your legs should be flat and your back straight.
-Bend the affected leg upward, placing the foot on the outside of the other leg near the knee.
-With your opposite hand, pull the knee of the affected leg across the midline of your body.
-Your hips and shoulders need to be on the ground; don’t lift them. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
-Then, go back to the starting position and switch your legs. This process needs to be repeated 2-3 times.
3. Standing Piriformis Stretch
-As the name states, you should do this exercise standing. While standing, place the affected leg over the other leg’s knee.
-Lower your hips towards the ground at a 45-degree angle.
-While you extend your arms aligned to the ground, lean your torso upfront. Make sure your spine is straight.
-Stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat it with the other leg.
– You can use a wall to help you with the balance.
4. Side Lying Clam Exercise
-Lie on the side with the harmed hip high.
-With your legs bent backward, try to form an L shape.
-Keep your legs parallel and one foot over another. Make sure your spine is straight.
-While keeping your feet together, raise the top knee upward.
-Slowly return the knee to the first position.
-Repeat it 15 times.
5. Hip Extension Exercise
-Get on the ground with your hands and knees.
-Make sure your hands are in line with your shoulders.
-Raise your affected leg while keeping your knee bent.
-Lower your leg to the starting position and do this exercise 15 times.
6. Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch
-Lie on your back and bend the affected leg upward.
-Place the foot near the back of the knee of the other leg.
-Tuck your foot behind the knee of your other leg and twist the leg to the opposite side. Make sure your knee is touching the ground.
-Place your hand where your knee is and raise your other arm in the air.
-Slowly lower the other arm toward the opposite direction of the knee and try to touch the shoulder to the ground.
-Stay in this position for 20 seconds. Then, switch legs and repeat.
-Go back to the initial position and stretch your legs. Bend your knees together and with your hands, slowly pull them towards your chest.
-Make sure you don’t force yourself in the attempt to touch the ground with your shoulder on the first try. Nothing is lost. Try again.
7. Buttocks Stretch For The Piriformis Muscle
-Place your hands and knees on the floor.
-Pull the affected leg’s foot underneath your body and twist it towards the opposite side, while pointing with the knee toward the shoulder.
-Lower your head until your forehead touches the ground. Use your forearms for support.
-Stretch the non-affected leg and push your hips slightly towards the floor.
-Stay in this position for 30 seconds and go back to the initial.
-Repeat it 2-3 times.
8. Long Adductor (Groin) Stretch
-Sit down and stretch your legs as far apart from each other as you can.
-Gently tilt your torso forward towards the ground. Your hands need to be placed next to each other.
-Try to touch your elbows on the ground by gently leaning forward. Make sure it’s comfortable to you. If you feel pain, you should stop.
-Hold for 20 seconds and release.
9. Short Adductor (Inner Thigh) Stretch
-Sit down and put your feet together in front of you.
-Hold the left foot ankle with your right hand, and the right foot ankle with your left hand.
-Gently push downward with your knees trying to touch the ground with them.
-Hold it for 30 second and release. Move your legs in a fluttering position like a butterfly for 30 seconds.
This video will help you make it right.
10. Seated Stretch
-Sit on a chair and cross your affected leg over the knee of your other leg.
-Make sure your chest is upfront and your spine in a straight line. Keep this position for a few moments.
-Try and bend yourself slightly further.
-Hold this position for 30 seconds and slowly release.
-Repeat the process using the other leg.