11 Piriformis Stretches to Relieve Sciatica, Hip, and Lower Back Pain

Sciatic nerve plays a very important role in the body, as it binds the spine and the femur, allowing the movements of the upper legs, hips, and feet.

However, numerous people safer from sciatica, which is a condition characterized by pain running down the back of the leg. The pain usually starts from the lower back. This name is given to any sort of pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve (the longest nerve in the human body).

This pain can be caused by body injuries, spinal stenosis, or ruptured disc. When that unbearable and intense pain occurs doctors advise patients to immediately check their lower back and hips.

The NSPC explains that this health problem is accompanied by a set of painful symptoms, such as: 

1)         Leg Pain

The pain is feeling in the back of the leg, and much worse when sitting than standing up.

2)         Burning and Tingling

These feeling sensations are present anywhere along the length of the leg.

3)         Weakness or Numbness

The weakness or numbness in the leg and difficulty moving the foot or toes are other commonly diagnosed sciatica symptoms.

4)         Chronic Pain on One Side

Sciatica usually tends to only affect one side or the other of a patient’s body. In most cases, it may extend all the way from the lower back down to the foot or toes.

5)         Acute Pain When Rising

When rising from a sitting position, the affected person may experience acute, sharp pain.

6)         Most Relief When Lying Down

By standing or sitting, most sciatica symptoms are aggravated, but the pain is relieved for a time if the patient lies horizontally.

In order to relieve the pain people turn to painkillers (ketoprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants), but the best treatment is to start exercising regularly.

In this article, we offer you the best stretches for the sciatic nerve pain, but you should always warm up before doing them.

1st Exercise: Supine Piriformis Stretch


–           Lie down and bend the knee,

–           Cross the painful leg toward the chest,

–           Hold the leg with one hand for 30 seconds


2nd Exercise: Standing Piriformis Stretch


–           In a standing position put the affected leg above the knee of the other leg,

–           Lower the hip to a 45-degree angle

–           Bend upfront, with the spine, straight extending the arms to be aligned to the floor

–           Hold this position for 30 seconds

–           Repeat with another leg.


3rd Exercise: Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch


–           Lie down with the affected leg bent, and the foot near the ankle of another leg

–           Curling the leg to the opposite side, touch the floor with the knee,

–           Raise the hand of the painful side

–           Lowering the arm in the opposite direction of the knee, try to touch the ground with the shoulder

–           Hold this position for 20 minutes

–           Repeat on another side.


4th Exercise: Long Abductor Stretch


–           Sitting down, stretch the legs out and far apart,

–           Bending forward, put the hands on the ground

–           Trying to touch the floor with the elbows hold this position for 20 seconds.


5th Exercise: Short Adductor Stretch


–           Sitting down put the feet together in front of the torso,

–           Hold the left ankle with the right hand, and the right one with the left hand

–           Pushing down the knees hold this position for a minute

–           After a minute break, wave the legs rapidly.


6th Exercise: Side-Lying Clam


–           Lying on the painful side, tilt the legs back into an L shape

–           Put one foot on another and raise the painful hip

–           Raising the top knee hold this position for a few seconds

–           Repeat 15 times.


7th Exercise: Hip Extension


–           Start with all fours on the ground, aligning hands with the shoulders

–           Elevating the painful leg, keep your knee tilt,

–           Lower the raised knee, repeating 15 times


8th Exercise: Supine Piriformis Side Stretch


–           Lying on the ground with the legs flat and the back straight, raise the painful leg up

–           Keeping the shoulders and hips on the ground, put the foot on the outside of the other leg, near the knee

–           Strain the knee of the affected leg to the middle of your body

–           Hold this position for 30 seconds, repeating with the other leg.


9th Exercise: Bottom Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle


–           Begin on all fours, with the foot of the painful leg under the stomach

–           Curl the painful leg toward the opposite side, near the hip, and the knee toward the shoulder

–           Stretch another leg, touching the floor with the forehead and pushing the hips towards the floor

–           Hold this position for 30 seconds

–           Repeat the movements three times.


10th Exercise: Seated Stretch


–           Sitting on a chair, cross the affected leg over another, keeping the chest up front and the back straight

–           Breathing deeply, bend slowly

–           Hold this position for 30 seconds

–           Repeat with another leg.


11th Exercise: McKenzie Press Up


–           Lying on the floor with the face down, hands near the body, rest for a few minutes

–           Then, place the elbows on the ground,

–           Stay in this position a while and breathe deeply. 

–           Go down and relax for 2-3 minutes

–           Then, press your hands under your shoulders into the press-up position, pushing the top half of your body, as far as your pain permits

–           Go down and relax for 2-3 minutes



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