Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain.
The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. This muscle is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. This enables us to walk, shift our weight from one foot to another, and maintain balance. It is used in every motion of the hips and legs. In sports that involve lifting and rotating the thighs.
The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain).
Piriformis syndrome is usually caused by sports or movement that repeatedly stresses the piriformis muscle, such as running or lunging, prevention is often related to good form. Avoid running or exercising on hills or uneven surfaces. Warm up properly before activity and increase intensity gradually. Use good posture while running, walking, or exercising. If pain occurs, stop the activity and rest until pain subsides.
Piriformis Syndrome Treatment
If the pain is caused by sitting or certain activities, try to avoid positions that trigger pain. Rest, ice, and heat may help relieve symptoms. A doctor or physical therapist can suggest a program of exercises and stretches to help reduce sciatic nerve compression.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment has been used to help relieve pain and increase the range of motion. Some health care providers may recommend anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or injections with a corticosteroid or anesthetic.
Other therapies such as iontophoresis, which uses a mild electric current, and injection with botulinum toxin (Botox) have been tried by some doctors.
Using the paralytic properties of the botulinum toxin, botox injections are thought by some to relieve muscle tightness and sciatic nerve compression to minimize pain.
Tightness in the piriformis can also cause
- One leg is slightly more rotated out than the other (predominant during squats)
- Chronic lower back and gluteal pain
- Difficulty retaining guard in BJJ due to poor hip mobility
⚠Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Before attempting a new exercise, take into account factors such as flexibility, strength, and overall health to determine whether or not a particular exercise is appropriate for you.
1) HOW TO PROPERLY STRETCH THE GLUTES By @lustrengththerapy
To properly stretch the piriformis, follow these steps:
- Sit on the edge of a chair and cross the affected leg over the opposing leg
- Lift the chest upwards while maintaining a neutral spine
- Slowly hinge forward from only the hips until a gentle stretch is felt in the glutes
This stretch is perfect for anybody experiencing excessive tension in the piriformis that may be causing irritation to the sciatic nerve. It is also a great way to increase your overall hip flexibility/mobility to take unwanted stress away from the lower back.
Aim anywhere for 30 - 60 seconds and be sure to stretch both sides
2) PIRIFORMIS STRETCH by @prophysix
Weak or tight piriformis muscles can lead to a variety of problems, both in sports and in everyday life. Stretching can help alleviate or prevent the pain you can experience from this muscle that lies deep in your buttocks.
3) Sciatica Piriformis Rehab using lacrosse ball & Foam Roller by @oldaccount.sara
3 ways to release the tension of the Piriformis muscle:
- Self-myofascial release with foam roller and ball
- Dynamic stretching
- Static stretching
One more thing...
Piriformis Release Massage by @bryanna_lmt
How to Release the Piriformis through deep tissue massage:
1. Pin glute muscle or where it's sore with your fist.
2. Bend lower leg at the knee.
3. Move leg horizontally. (You should feel the muscles move under your fist)
4. Move fist to pin different areas of the muscles as you move the leg.
5. For a more intense stretch, move leg at the hip outward and repeat 1-4.
6. If you're feeling really fancy and wanna get even deeper, pin those muscles with your elbow.
Be sure to take it slow, because chances are it’s going to be tender!
It is important to note that, if you suffer from a lower back condition in addition to piriformis syndrome, certain kinds of hamstring stretches can make your lower back pain worse. This is why it is important to speak with your doctor prior to starting a stretching program.
- Body Spex: Foam Roller Prirformis Video
- ExRx.net: Lying Piriformis Stretch
- Sissel-Online: Seated Piriformis Stretch
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