Sciatica relief | Number 1 Stretch

chiropractor Greenwood Village shares about sciatica relief

If you’re dealing with a sharp stabbing sensation running down the back of your leg, this article on the number one stretch for sciatica relief will help you.

Does it seem to come at random, with no rhyme or reason?  Sciatica can be very complex due to the numerous factors involved.  And it’s typically not considered back pain.  

However, there is a simple stretch that can help get sciatica pain relief for a good portion of the population.

The stretch involves the piriformis muscle.

The piriformis is a deep muscle beneath the gluteus muscles in your butt.  It’s main job is external rotation.

The important thing to know about the piriformis muscle is the sciatic nerve runs through the muscle belly in a percentage of people.

Therefore, when the piriformis muscle gets tight, or overworked, it has the potential to clamp down on the sciatic nerve.

This leads to sciatic symptoms down the back of the leg.

Technically, it’s not sciatica.  It’s actually something known as Piriformis Syndrome.  But the symptoms are very similar.

So, for all intents and purposes, we’re going to classify it under sciatica.

Why does the piriformis get tight?

The piriformis muscle gets tight when we do a lot of sitting.  Sitting in a car, in a chair, or on the sofa.  The muscle is responsible for external rotation of the leg, and in the sitting position it gets shorter and tightens down.

sciatica relief piriformis muscle
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The tightening down is what leads to increased pressure on the sciatic nerve, which then leads to pain and discomfort.

If you’re looking for sciatic relief, this piriformis stretch may save you…

  1. Simply cross your right leg over top your left leg in a figure four formation.  Your right ankle should be hovering near the top of your left knee.
  2. Sit nice and tall.  And lean forward
  3. For a deeper stretch apply pressure down on your right knee and pull up a bit on your right foot.
  4. Hold this position for around 20-seconds.
  5. Repeat on other leg.

Try this stretch the next time you need sciatica relief and let me know how it goes!  And if you want more exercises, check out our in-depth article, Sciatica Pain Relief: 4 Ultimate Exercises.

And if you want expert help, schedule a complimentary consultation with Denver Chiropractor, Dr. Matt Penetti.