A piriformis stretch may help to relieve the symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica is a form of neuralgia, which is felt as a sharp or dull consistent pain or tingling. This pain is experienced along the length of the sciatic nerve, from the back of the thigh to the calf muscles.
The reason that the piriformis muscle is identified with this condition, is that it is situated close to the sciatic nerve and if the piriformis muscle is in spasm, then it can irritate this nerve causing pain or at least discomfort.
I have discovered from one of my many conversations with various health care practitioners, that if this muscle has a weakness on both sides of the body, it can indicate jaw problems, specifically the TMJ, of which massage to certain muscles in the face and around the side of the head can correct!
It is said that true prevention of disease is mineral balance. Magnesium, collodial minerals and vitamin E are said to help and support this muscle, but please check with your GP/Kinesiologist/Osteopath before beginning any new supplementation regime.
The Pigeon Pose from yoga is very intense and helps to relieve the pain. It is useful for keeping the piriformis flexible so that it can help to prevent further episodes of pain. Please refer to the video above to find out how to perform this stretch.
Alternative piriformis stretch: this is great after working out, as it also stretches the glutes:
If the pain is felt in the left leg, then:
A piriformis stretch is wonderful for releasing all kinds of tension in the hips and can also help prevent stiffness after exercise.