Via @sportsmassagenc - Piriformis Syndrome.
The piriformis is a small muscle in the back of the hip that is notorious for causing trouble in high-mileage runners. The word piriformis is Latin for pear-shaped, since the muscle’s wide base and tapered attachment resembles a pear.
Despite its importance in protecting our femoral necks, the piriformis muscle causes a lot of trouble in runners because it sits directly on top of the sciatic nerve. In an unfortunate 2 percent of the population, the sciatic nerve runs straight through the middle of the piriformis muscle, increasing the potential for sciatic nerve injury. Because running increases activity in the piriformis muscle, high mileage running can allow the muscle to compress the sciatic nerve with so much force that the nerve becomes damaged. Common symptoms associated with piriformis-related sciatica include a toothache type of pain along the outside of the leg and/or a tingling that can travel all the way to the foot.
To treat piriformis syndrome, the vast majority of sports practitioners emphasize stretching and massaging the piriformis to soften the muscle and reduce tension on the sciatic nerve. The most effective method to lengthen the piriformis is with a dynamic stretch. Prior to performing this stretch, consider using a softball to massage the piriformis muscle. Because this muscle is thickest where it leaves the sacrum, it is important to loosen this specific area prior to stretching.
Dynamic piriformis stretch
To stretch the left piriformis, get on all fours with your weight supported by the left knee. At first, the right leg is held in a horizontal position. By using the left piriformis muscle, raise and lower the right hip up and down (arrows). Once the left hip fatigues slightly (after about a minute), touch the right leg to the ground by pulling it back and towards the left (arrow A). By varying the degree of hip flexion (arrow B) you can isolate specific muscle fibers of the piriformis responsible for limiting motion.
#piriformissyndrome #piriformis #lowbackpain #runnersinjury #dynamicstretches
#dynamicstretching #painmanagement #stretches #stretchesforrunners