Today we are looking at the Piriformis.
The Piriformis originates at the front surface of the Sacrum and inserts on the top of the Femur. It laterally rotates the hip joint and abducts the thigh when the hip is flexed. Breast stroke legs in swimming heavily utilise the Piriformis muscle. It is a significant muscle as the Sciatic nerve can run over, under or through the Piriformis. Through studies, they have found that 15% of the population have the Sciatic nerve running through the Piriformis and they are highly likely to experience pain in the buttock region and down the leg. When this muscle is tight it may squeeze or compress the Sciatic nerve causing 'Piriformis Syndrome' i.e sciatic pain which begins in the buttocks. This syndrome is often mistaken as Sciatica. Therefore it is important to keep this muscle both strong and supple.
🎾To massage, using a ball roll around until you feel a tight spot and then begin to rotate the hip joint out to the side and back. Same movement as a Clam exercise. See Video 1.
🧘🏽♀️To stretch the Piriformis use the same exercises that we have looked at for the Gluteal muscles. See Photo's 2 & 3
💪🏼 To strengthen, there are many ways to do so however one Is a variation of the Clam exercise usually performed in the side lying position however by taking it on to all fours, keeping back straight and your foot on the floor you are also working both the right and leg gluteals. See video 4.
🎾 Video 1.
🧘🏽♀️Photographs 2 & 3
💪🏼 Video 4.