3 exercises for back pain: piriformis stretch

Sciatic nerve pain can be prevented and relieved by following a piriformis stretching program. The latter is a trochanteric pelvic muscle that functions as an extensor of the spine and external rotator of the femur. When sitting or running, the piriformis can compress the sciatic nerve precisely at the point where it emerges.

The piriformis muscle extends from the anterior surface of the sacrum to the top of the greater trochanter, which is a bony protuberance located on the upper lateral part of the femur, exactly where the tendons of the hip muscles insert. Likewise, the piriformis muscle passes behind the femoral neck and causes external rotation of the femur through its contraction. If the latter is fixed, internal rotation of the pelvis is caused by unilateral contraction. However, a malfunction of this movement mechanism can cause pyramidal syndrome.

What is pyramidal syndrome?

Sciatica pain is also known by the name of pyramidal syndrome and popularly as buttock pain. This problem occurs due to the compression of the sciatic nerve, which in turn is a consequence of injuries, prolonged exposure to cold or humidity and, above all, by making an improper movement when running or doing some other sport. This is pyramidal syndrome and its symptoms are spasms and contractures . Likewise, the piriformis muscle and its pain can be felt in one buttock, on one side of the body, and from the end of the leg to the foot.

pyramidal stretch exercises

In case you suffer a pyramidal injury or want to carry out a preventive treatment with stretching for sciatica, then you may be interested in this list with 3 stretching exercises to relieve pyramidal syndrome . However, for greater effectiveness, it is necessary to take time to perform each exercise, since it is a routine that lasts approximately 15 minutes. In case of pain during practice, it is advisable to reduce effort and range of motion.

It’s important to remember that every body works differently, so start low and work your way up. Also, it is advisable to have a yoga mat to perform any of these pyramid exercises, since they require supporting the body on the ground, which can be uncomfortable during practice.

1. Stretch the piriformis: pigeon pose

Pigeon pose is inspired by a famous yoga position and can be a good option if you’re wondering how to stretch the piriformis. The first thing you should do is get on all fours on the floor and take a step back with your right leg. In this way, it is possible to place the left ankle under the right hip. Now, you have to bring your right leg back until it is in a totally straight position, while your right hip should make contact with your left foot. Once we have reached this point, we can make two movements.

Movement 1

It is necessary to move the hands back to place them on both sides of the pelvis. Then, push yourself to straighten your chest as much as possible. In this way, you can increase the extension of the right hip and therefore cause a stretch of the right iliopsoas. For the next step, just take a deep breath and exhale slowly, trying to increase the stretch with each inhalation. In this case, you can do 7 breathing cycles.

movement 2

You can gradually move your hands forward until your chest is down and your forehead can rest on the floor. In this way, you should feel your piriformis stretching inside your left glute. Finally, you just have to take a deep breath and increase the stretch with a deep inhalation. In this case, you should also do 7 breathing cycles.

2. Strengthen the hip muscle: side cladding

On the right side you should rest your elbow and knee on the ground, maintaining a completely vertical angle between your shoulders and the elbow that supports the upper part of the body. Now, you have to lift your pelvis so that it is in line with your shoulders. Meanwhile, the knee should be as high as possible. In this position, it is recommended to stay for 30 seconds with a deep and regular breath. If you do not meet the recommended time, there is no need to worry, since it is a matter of gradually strengthening the muscle. Once you fully control the exercise, you should aim to keep your transversus tight and your lumbar spine in a neutral position.

3. Strengthening of the piriformis: kick in four

You have to get on all fours and lift your right knee to the side. In this case, it is very important that you lift your leg as high as you can. Meanwhile, it is necessary to take the foot as far as possible to fully stretch the piriformis. Then, we bring the leg back to the starting position and repeat with the other. Likewise, it is recommended to do 20 repetitions back and forth on each side.

Both right piriformis syndrome and left piriformis syndrome can be caused by misuse of the piriformis muscle, which could lead to piriformis pain and reduced mobility, in the worst cases. Therefore, it is very important to opt for preventive treatment and perform exercises that favor stretching of the piriformis.

In this case, training in biomechanical disciplines is recommended, which are generally focused on stabilizing the pyramidal region and strengthening internal rotation. Finally, we must mention that the recovery time for pyramidal syndrome will depend on your physical condition and the perseverance to perform the exercises.

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