Exercises for sciatica: piriformis syndrome 

In this video a physiotherapist demonstrates gentle exercises for piriformis syndrome, a form of sciatica. The aim of these exercises is to stretch and mobilise the piriformis muscle in the buttocks and therefore to reduce the symptoms of sciatica. This video is part of a series on exercises for sciatica.

Learn more about sciatica

Transcript of Exercises for sciatica: piriformis syndrome

EXERCISES FOR SCIATICA PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME My name is Sammy Margoand I'm a chartered physiotherapist. I'm going to look at exercises forsciatica caused by piriformis syndrome. Piriformis isa tiny-weenie muscle in your buttock that gives us a lot of aggravation. Simply because ofits anatomical position. It's very closely aligned tothe sciatic nerve, so often by stretching itor mobilising it, we can actually help alleviatethe symptoms of sciatica, and you can do this yourself. One of the exercises thatwe're going to be doing is to stretch out the buttock muscles. So the best way to do this iscan you just ing this leg over? And can you put your handsin between your legs? That's great. Pull your leg towards you, but engageyour tummy muscles at the same time. So we're stretching outthis area of the buttock where you'll often experiencethe piriformis syndrome. As a physio, I would havegot my hands into this area and really mobilised this area. But holding that stretchfor ten seconds. And you'll feel it gives a little bit. Keep it there. And hold on to your abdominal muscles. You'll see there'sa strong contrast between the two sides. And then inging it down. Great. So, ideallyyou want to do that three times. That's a great stretch. The other thing to do is actually ing your knee up towards your chest but slightly take it overto the opposite shoulder. A different stretch, but if you haven'tquite got that part of the stretch, that's better doing.Just holding that there. And even just bouncing itover to the other side to mobilise it. So this is assuming thatthe piriformis is on this side. This is the problem side. If you feel any pain or discomfort,you need to stop. OK, and ing your leg down. Aside from that, I do some knee rolling. Just side to sideto mobilise the low back because where the sciatic nerve comesout, before it comes to the piriformis, if we're gapping that side, we can helpmobilise it a little bit as well. Even taking your kneesa little bit more, all the way over, and a little bit more, all the way over,whilst engaging your abdominal muscles. And if you feel any pain or discomfort,you need to stop. So the aim is to really stretch outand mobilise and free up the piriformis as much as possible. But it's a tricky little muscleto get into. Come back to the middle. IF YOU EXPERIENCEANY PAIN OR DISCOMFORT WHILE DOING THESE EXERCISES PLEASE STOPAND CONSULT YOUR GP. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO:www.nhs.uk/sciatica


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Sciatica is a condition that can cause pain, tingling and numbness that radiates from your lower back and travels down your leg to your foot

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