Back Pain Exercise Video: Piriformis Stretch

Purpose
The piriformis muscle can compress your sciatic nerve, especially when the muscle is tight.  This piriformis stretch may decrease tension in your low back (lumbar spine) and hip area. 

Recommended exercise for the following spinal condition(s)
Sciatica (caused by Piriformis Syndrome)

Instructions

  • Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Using your affected leg (the leg experiencing sciatica and/or other symptoms such as tingling), cross that ankle over the other knee.
  • Slowly raise your unaffected leg, bringing your knee towards your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch in your affected buttock.  You can use your hands or a towel to help you stretch more deeply.
  • Hold 10-20 seconds.
  • Lower your leg, then do the piriformis stretch again.
  • Repeat 3 times. 

Disclaimer
Only do the exercise shown in this video if a qualified spine specialist has recommended it.  Only do the exercise within the limits that your spine specialist has advised.  Do not do the exercise without your spine specialist's approval; it could lead to serious injury.  Always contact your spine specialist if you have any questions regarding your back or neck condition or about the suitability of this specific exercise.

Updated on: 10/12/15
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