Keep Your Piriformis in Good Form.

The piriformis muscle lies deep to the gluteal muscles in the buttocks. It is an important lateral rotator, the position your leg is in while kicking a ball with your instep, and a essential stabilizer of the pelvis. Because of its importance in our mobilization and balance, it is not only used in vigorous exercise and sports, but also in activities such as getting up from a chair or walking. We are constantly putting demands on this muscle, yet because of the depth and location many are unaware they have a tight piriformis.

If this muscle remains tight it can irritate surrounding structures, such as nerves, which may result in pain. This pain can show up as low back pain, buttock pain, or pain running down the back of the leg. Other symptoms may include numbness, tingling, or a decrease in sensation in those areas.

Perpetuating factors include sitting for extended amounts of time and sitting with your legs crossed, quite common with the desk work and travel demands of todayʼs world. Climbing stairs, squatting, or running might exacerbate the discomfort our tight piriformis might be creating. This can be a frustrating cycle… we want to exercise because we sit all day… but when we sit all day, our tight piriformis might make certain exercises uncomfortable.

Talking with your personal trainer, massage therapist, yoga instructor, or another member of your self-care team, can help you build a great plan to keep your piriformis in good form. Static stretching, foam rolling, hydrotherapy, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release, are all great treatments for a tight muscles. Donʼt let your piriformis cause you to lose form, chat with your team and learn what you can do to help it!

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