The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep in the buttock. When the piriformis is too tight, it can press on the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower back, runs through the buttock and down the leg. The resulting pain is called piriformis syndrome.
One reason that the piriformis can be tight is misalignments in the bones of the pelvis and spine. Chiropractic treatment can restore the bony alignment, taking the stress off the piriforimis and helping it to relax.
How to Relieve piriformis syndrome Naturally
• At the onset of pain, lie in a comfortable position on the stomach and place an ice pack on the painful area for approximately 20 minutes. Repeat as needed every 2 to 4 hours.
• It may be more helpful to combine a gentle massage with the ice. Lie on the stomach and have someone gently massage the painful area with a large ice cube. If ice is applied directly to the skin (instead of a cold pack), limit it to 8 to 10 minutes to avoid an ice burn.
• Piriformis Stretch – Lie on your back with legs flat on the floor and bring your right knee up toward your chest. Grip the knee with your left hand, then gently pull the knee toward your left shoulder and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
• Hamstring stretch – Again, lie on your back with both legs flat on the floor. Using a belt looped around the arch of your foot, and keeping the leg straight, raise the leg off the floor until it is perpendicular to the floor and at a slight angle toward your body, while helping by pulling on the belt. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
• Chiropractic Care
Involves chiropractic adjustments in conjunction with stretching and strengthening exercises. This can help correct spinal joint dysfunction (SJD) in the pelvis and low back. Evidence suggests SJD causes or contributes to tight piriformis muscles and a dysfunctional pelvis.
Trigger point therapy can also help with piriformis syndrome. During this procedure, your chiropractor applies pressure on muscles to relieve tension and remove knots (tight areas that react to stress). Trigger point therapy also increases blood flow and removes toxic waste products, which contribute to strain.