Video presented by Ron Miller, PT

This video accompanies the article: Stretches and Exercise for Sciatic Pain from Piriformis Syndrome.

Video Transcript

A common problem with tightness in the pelvis is the piriformis muscle. We have many ways of stretching the piriformis muscle. These are some of the easier exercises. Begin by lying on your back. I like your legs to be flat to begin with. And then pull one knee up and grab your ankle with your opposite hand. Pull with that ankle so that knee is coming towards the opposite shoulder. Oftentimes this can place a little bit of stress on the knee so feel free to pull with the knee as well, but do not lead with the knee.

For some people an even easier method is beginning with your legs flat, crossing one leg over the opposite knee, reaching up, grabbing your knee or your thigh, and pulling it straight across the body. Here it is very important that your hip does not roll up. Keep your hips on the floor. Give a gentle pull so you feel the stretch behind the hip.

A piriformis stretch that will add lumbar flexion at the same time can be accomplished by crossing one knee over the other, reaching down behind the lower knee, and pull that knee towards the shoulder on the same side. Be careful not to pull it straight up to the middle and stay to the side.

Now a more aggressive stretch which will add more hip stretching. Starting on all fours, swing your ankles to one side, step over your leg with the opposite, and slide your hips back so your shoulder is coming towards the opposite knee. Be careful not to let your foot fall straight back.