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Piriformis muscle

piriformis muscle picI see a fair few problems relating to this one muscle, and the end result is often sciatica. That’s an inflammation or irritation of the sciatic nerve that can come from the spinal outlets but also from direct pressure from a tight piriformis.

The piriformis attaches at the anterior surface (the inside) of your sacrum and the greater trochanter (the lump on the outside of your hip) of the femur. It essentially externally rotates the hip (turns your foot out) but also abducts your femur when your hip is bent.

Problems arise when the muscle becomes too tight. This can often be from poor habits that we get into, such as walking or standing with the toes pointing out. Be aware when doing exercises such as squats that the feet should point roughly forward and not be in a Charlie Chaplin stance. Tension in the piriformis can cause the belly of the muscle to put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is quite thick.

In a small percentage of people, the sciatic nerve can actually pass through the piriformis muscle, heightening sciatic pain. It is important to also build the gluteus maximus to take pressure of the deeper muscles of the buttocks. 

Bowen Therapy or remedial massage should aid in reducing tension that is present.

Try this piriformis stretch.

piriformis stretch position
piriformis stretch underneath

20 Comments to Piriformis muscle:

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