What is the Piriformis?
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What is the Piriformis?

If you have a persistent pain in the butt, you've probably discovered the piriformis. This tiny muscle, attached from the hip joint to the sacrum,  can become irritated and pinch the sciatic nerve, aka. sciatica. Irritation happens with constant impact from running and jumping, but it can also happen from prolonged sitting. I discovered this recently after I pulled a hamstring. Although the hamstring has healed, I had a pinpoint pain at the hip joint on the seat that caused cramping in the back of my thigh. Later, pain that ran down into my calf during long car and plane rides. It also made cycling very uncomfortable. The solution? For me, foam rolling and stretching. I thought that some of you may be experiencing this with summer exercise.

*NOTE: Do not use this information as a substitute for proper medical attention! Please, see your doctor for appropriate treatment.

Here are two ways easy ways you can stretch the piriformis:

  • Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Pull the right knee up to the chest, hold  the knee with the with left hand and pull it towards the left shoulder and hold the stretch. Repeat for each side.
  • 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.

Each stretch should be held for 5 seconds to 30 seconds, and repeat three times each day (Spine-health.com).

Enjoy your summer exercises outdoors more pain-free by wearing the proper shoes for the activity.  Have a personal trainer who specializes in running or your activity help you perform your activity correctly to reduce your chances of this problem. May God bless you!


1 Comment to What is the Piriformis?:

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reflexology back pain on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 12:14 AM
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