Pain in the butt?

Your piriformis may be the issue.

Why this matters:

The sciatic nerve follows a very long path, from your brain and all the way down to your foot. This means that there are many structures (joints and muscles) that the sciatic nerve comes in contact with during its journey. Many times the sciatic nerve gets irritated at the low back (lumbar spine). But in some cases, it is caused by a tight or overstretched piriformis.

Piriformis issues also get worse with sitting (because of sheer pressure); as do herniated discs (because of a flexed spine). A way you can figure out if it is your low back vs your piriformis is to see if there’s a difference in your pain when you’re sitting vs standing; but also see how your symptoms behave when you bend forward, backward, lean side to side, and twist. If those back motions don’t do much, it’s’ time to move down the chain. If you notice that your piriformis is tight, the following stretch may be helpful.

Action steps:The piriformis opener allows you to move the muscle without having to put too much pressure on it (as compared to sitting). Lying on the floor gives you an opportunity to move the hip without restriction as well as stabilize your back. I usually recommend 10-15 pulses per side, with the big priority being on the tighter side.


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