What is piriformis syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a condition characterized bytightening of the piriformis muscle, which is the muscle located at the lowerspine that has the role to connect each thighbone. This condition is one of themost common causes of sciatica, which is a medical term for the pain thatradiates down the leg. This pain occurs because the sciatic nerve is irritated,and since it passes through the hip and goes all the way to the foot, the painis felt in these areas as well. However, the most frequent causes of piriformissyndrome are inflammation of the piriformis muscle and incorrect position ofthe pelvis. This all leads to the irritation of the muscle in question, whichis why the pain is inevitable.
What are the best piriformis syndrome exercises?
Besides anti-inflammatory medications that help in reducingthe inflammation and relieving the pain, massage and physical therapy also playan important role in the treatment of piriformis syndrome. Particularly importantare exercises that help the hip rotator muscles to become more stretched and strengthenedand among these exercises are buttock stretches and thigh cross.
The first requires sitting on the floor with the injured legcrossed over the other thigh. The foot should be next to the knee, which shouldbe grabbed with the opposite arm and pulled gently across the body. It isrecommended to hold the position for some 30 minutes, and to repeat theexercise for two times.
The second exercise requires lying on the back and lifting the injured leg straight up. Then the same leg should be lowered across thehip, while the other leg should be straight and shoulders flat on the ground. Thisposition is also to be held for some 30 seconds and repeated two times.
There are several stretching exercises that help inrelieving the pain, and one of the most effective is actually a yoga pose calledthunderbolt stretch. The person should be in a sitting position with straight backand hands on the top of the legs. Lower legs should be under the thighs, andfeet should be turned inward. It is necessary to lean back a little, exactlyuntil the glutes press down on the inside of the feet. This position should beheld for 60 seconds, and the person should breathe deeply through the nose, notthrough the mouth. It is possible that the ankles will begin to stiffen, and ifthis happens, the person should not insist on holding the position, but quit untilthe feeling goes away and then do it again.