When you feel shooting pain down in your buttock down to your leg, you may be experiencing piriformis pain.
At the root of it is the piriformis muscle in your buttock spasms, presses, and irritates the sciatica nerve that runs beneath the piriformis.
When this happens, you experience nerve pain, irritation, tingling, and even numbness along the leg from your buttock.
One convenient and accessible way to ease piriformis pain is to practice a stretching exercise.
In particular, do the stretch that loosens the piriformis muscles and releases the pinched nerve to bring fast pain relief.
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The Piriformis Muscle
The piriformis muscle has an opening through which the sciatic nerve travels. Because of this, extreme tightness in the piriformis effectively “pinches” the sciatic nerve, causing the symptoms described above (1).
This muscle functions to rotate and move the hip in various directions. By stretching and strengthening the piriformis, you can decrease your chances of developing sciatica or piriformis syndrome.
The Supine Piriformis Stretch
This exercise is one of the most comfortable and effective piriformis stretch variations. Most people with tight piriformis muscles will feel this stretch almost immediately.
How to Perform
- Lie flat on your back on a comfortable, yet firm surface.
- Starting with your left leg, pull your knee toward your right armpit, as your right leg remains flat on the ground.
- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat on each side 4 times per session, one session daily.