10 Piriformis Stretches To Help You Get Rid of Sciatica, Hip & Lower Back Pain


Back pain in the lower part of the body spreading from limbs to feet. A deep perifomis stretch helps to lessen the pain since it releases piriformis muscles that are tight and sciatic nerve.

This muscle is located buttock having gluteus maximusinfront.

Furthermore sciatic nerve gets affected resulting in lower back or thigh painwhen the piriformis muscle gets tightened; since those two are located very closely. The features of ths are the pain and the numbness that spreads along the lower back down to foot.

What Is The Piriformis?

This is the muscle that gives incredible flexibility to hip; majorly supports hip, upper leg and foot away from the body. Piriformis has this capability since it is connected to the spinal cord to the top femur.

The sciatic nerve goes under this muscle to the thigh. But for some people this nerve goes via piriformis muscle causing severe pain with difficulty in mobility and poor balance. And that is called Piriformis Syndrome.

Causes of Piriformis Syndrome

Actually specific causes have not been identified for piriformis.

6-8% of the people who are experiencing back pain have issues with the piriformis muscle.

Some causes that have been identified through observation and estimation are given below.

Muscle tightening in injury, piriformis muscle swelling and numbness, pain in a nearby joint or muscleand bleeding in piriformis muscle region.

Difficulty and pain while sitting and when changing postures is a symptom of this syndrome.

For an example this could also cause in an excessive wrong stretching in yoga resulting in severe pain in butt and will take 1-2 years to get fully healed.

10 Deep Piriformis Stretches

Below stretches are ideal to lessen the pain and to gain a sciatic nerve which is triggered.

And please have more concern on the accuracy of the exercises because over stretching could end in a disaster. Instead keep calm and engage in light and gentle stretching.

So that make sure to engage in exercises in order to warm up your muscles before you stretch. That will prevent you from being a victim of injury. You can make it happen by simply walking, marching in place or climbing up and down in a staircase.

Doing stretches and exercises for piriformis are crucial for your fitness and wellbeing. Try out the below 10 stretches for that:

1. Supine Piriformis Stretch
  1. Body should be lied on back and legs should be kept flat.
  2. The affected leg should be pulled towards the chest, knee should be held with the hand on the same side and the ankle should be grabbed by the hand on the other side.
  3. Then knee should pulled towards the opposite shoulder until the stretch is felt.
  4. The posture should be held for 30 seconds, before being returned to initial position.

2. Standing Piriformis Stretch
  1. In case of a difficulty in balancing; your back should be leaned against the wall,the feet should have 24 inches from the wall and the knees should be positioned over the ankles and hips should be lowered 45 degrees towards the floor.
  2. Right foot should be taken off the floor and outside of your right ankle should be placed on your left knee.
    3. Chest should be lowered towards the knees by leaning forward. But make sure to keep your back straight at the same time.
  3. The exercise should be stopped when you feel too much stretched.
  4. The posture should be held for 30-60 seconds and then the legs should be switched.

3. Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch
  1. Right knee should be bent while lying on your back.
  2. Right knee should be pulled over the left side using your left hand. Back should be kept on the ground and the stretching in hip and buttock should be felt by you
  3. The posture should be held 20-30 seconds and the same criteria should be repeated to the next leg.

4. Long Adductor (Groin) Stretch
  1. Legs should be stretched apart as far as you can by sitting on ground
    2. Your upper body should be tilted forward and hands should be straightened and placed next to each other.
    3. Elbows should be dropped to ground if possible when leaning forward. Stretching should be felt to your pelvis.
    4. The posture should be held for 10-20 seconds and released

5. Short Adductor (Inner Thigh) Stretch
  1. Soles of your feet should be kept together while sitting on the ground.
    2. Downward pressure should be given to the knees by using elbows in order to increase the stretching.
    3. Stretch on your inner thighs should be felt. For more results your torso should be bent forward while ensuring your straightened back
    4. The posture should be held for 30 seconds , released and then legs should be fluttered for 30 more seconds.

6. Side Lying Clam Exercise
  1. Laying should be done on the side with the hip.
  2. The knees should be positioned bent and positioned forward and the feet should be in line with spine.
  3. The back should be kept straight and top hip should be placed above everything.
    4. Ankles should be kept together, upper knee should be raised and moved away from the bottom one. Moving back or tilting your pelvis should not be done.
  4. Then the knee should be returned to the initial position and it should be repeated for 15 times

7. Hip Extension Exercise
  1. The body should be positioned on all fours with shoulders above the hands. The weight should be lifted off the legs.
  2. The knee should be bent and raised from the floor; the foot should move towards the ceiling.
    3. Leg should be lowered slowly back to initial position and the scenario should be repeated for 15 times.

8. Supine Piriformis Side Stretch
  1. The legs should be kept flat and the damaged leg should be raised
  2. The knee of the bent leg should be gently pulled towards the midline of the body.
  3. This piriformis stretch should be held for 30 seconds and the legs should be switched.
    4. Same criteria should be repeated for 3 times.

9. Buttocks Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle
  1. Laying should be done keeping stomach on the ground and the affected foot should be placed across the body.
  2. Non affected leg should be extended and the pelvis should be kept straight
  3. Hips should be moved back towards floor while keeping affected leg in place; make sure to lean on the fore arms until a stretch is felt.
  4. The position should be held for 30 seconds and repeated for 3 times

10. Seated Stretch
  1. Your right leg should be crossed over left knee while being in the seated position.
    2. Back should be kept straight while slightly bending forward.
    3. This should be held for 30-60 seconds. And should be repeated on the other side.

Trigger Points and The Piriformis Muscle

Trigger point therapy is one of the major highly effective medication or sciatic nerve pain.

According to the Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, with the authors who are doctors namely Janet Travell and David Simons; main cause for sciatia  ismyofascial trigger points in excessively worked gluteus minimus and piriformis muscles placed in buttocks.