10 Piriformis Stretches To Help You Get Rid Of Sciatica, Hip And Lower Back Pain

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Lower back pain is usually caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve and can affect the limbs and the feet, too. It is a common health problem for many people, which is affecting their daily routine.

The piriformis muscle, which connects the top of the femur to the spine, and allows for outward movement of the hip, upper leg, and foot from the body, may irritate the sciatic nerve.  Irritated sciatic nerve leads to the pain, which sometimes is very tough.

The treatment of sciatica involves physical therapy, medications, and can even lead to surgery. Besides the oral over-the-counter medications patients can also be given muscle relaxants, pain medications for more severe pain, and antidepressants for chronic lower back pain.

The whole treatment and the therapy can last for as long as the nerve is irritated, so the focus of healing should be on releasing the nerve.

Exercises for alleviating sciatica pain

There are some piriformis stretches that can be performed within the comfort limits. If you, in any case, feel additional pain you should not perform it as it may complicate your condition.

Also, you must warm up before you start stretches, by doing taking a walk, marching in place, or climbing up and down.

Follow the instructions for the next 10 stretches:

  1. Supine Piriformis Stretch

1)         Lying down bend your knees upwards.

2)         Crossing your affected leg over the other leg, bend it in the direction of your chest.

3)         With one hand grab your knee and the ankle with another hand and pull slowly toward the shoulder, until you feel a stretch through the glutes in the buttock.

4)         Hold  this stretch for 30 seconds to a minute

5)         Release the affected leg.

Here’s a video to demonstrate:

  1. Standing Piriformis Stretch

1)         From the standing position, place the affected leg over the other leg’s knee, forming the number 4.

2)         Slowly lower your hips toward the ground, until 45-degree angle, bend your standing leg’s knee appropriately.

3)         Leaning forward with the torso extend the arms parallel to the ground, while your spine should be straight at all times.

4)         Hold this position for 30-60 seconds,

5)         Switch legs when done and repeat.

In case it is difficult to balance your body use the wall as support and follow the steps above.

Here is a video with the instructions:

  1. Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch

1)         Lying on your back, bend the affected leg upward, while your foot should be close to the back of the other leg’s knee.

2)         Tucking your foot behind the other leg’s knee, twist your leg to the opposite side trying to touch the ground.

3)         Place the hand on the same side where the knee is raising the other arm in the air.

4)         Lowering your other arm, slowly, toward the opposite direction of the knee, try to touch the shoulder to the ground.

5)         Hold this position for 20 seconds and switch legs.

6)         Returning to the lying position, stretch both legs.

7)         Then bend the two knees together and gently pull them with your hands in the directions of your chest.

Here’s a video to demonstrate:

  1. Long Adductor (Groin) Stretch

1)         Sitting on the floor stretch your legs straight out, as far apart as you can.

2)         Tilting your torso toward the ground, place your hands on the floor next to each other.

3)         By gently leaning forward, try to touch your elbows to the ground, tilting forward as long as you feel a comfortable stretch.

4)         Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds and release.

Here is a video with the instructions:

  1. Short Adductor (Inner Thigh) Stretch

1)         Sit on the ground, and put the soles of your feet together in front of your pelvis.

2)         With the left hand hold the right ankle and vice versa.

3)         Push downward with your knees trying to touch the ground with them. If any pain occurs stop immediately.

4)         Hold this position for 30 seconds, and release,

5)         Then flutter your legs in that position (like a butterfly) for 30 seconds.

Here is a video with the instructions:

  1. Side Lying Clam Exercise

1)         Lying on your side, position the affected hip on top.

2)         Bending your legs backward form an L shape, while your feet are one over the other and your legs parallel to each other.

3)         Keep your body and spine straight.

4)         Raise the top knee upward, keeping your feet together

5)         Slowly return the knee to the initial position.

6)         Repeat 15 times.

Here’s a video to demonstrate:

  1. Hip Extension Exercise

1)         Start on the ground on all fours. Hands need to be in line with the shoulders.

2)         Tilting your weight off the affected leg, raise the leg upward toward the ceiling.

3)         Slowly lower your leg, returning to almost the starting position.

4)         Repeat 15 times.

Here is a video with the instructions:

  1. Supine Piriformis Side Stretch

1)         Lying on the ground keep your back straight and your legs flat.

2)         Bending the affected leg upward, place the foot on the outer side of the other leg, near the knee.

3)         Gently pull the knee of the affected leg across the midline of your body, by using the opposite hand.

4)         Keep your shoulders and hips on the ground.

5)         Hold this position for 30 seconds,

6)         Return to the starting position and switch legs.

7)         Repeat the whole process 2-3 times.

Here’s a video to demonstrate:

  1. Buttocks Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle

1)         Start on all fours on the ground.

2)         Bringing the affected leg’s foot underneath your trunk, twist it toward the opposite side, near the hip.

3)         Lowering your head, trying to touch the ground, lean your forearms on the ground for support.

4)         Stretch the non-affected leg out behind you, keeping your pelvis straight.

5)         Push the hips slightly toward the floor.

6)         Hold this position for 30 seconds and return to the initial position slowly.

7)         Repeat 2-3 times.

Here is a video with the instructions:

  1. Seated Stretch

1)         Sitting on a chair, cross the affected leg over your other leg’s knee.

2)         Bringing your chest forward, bend slightly forward. Your spine should be straight at all times.

3)         Hold this position for a couple of breaths, trying to bend a bit further.

4)         After 30 seconds in this position slowly release.

5)         Repeat with the other leg.

Here’s a video to demonstrate:

 

Source: curiousmindmagazine.com

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