What is the Piriformis Muscle? And How Does it Relate to My Sciatic Nerve?
If you are suffering from Piriformis Syndrome (or think you may be), it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it. Piriformis Syndrome usually responds very well to stretching and physical therapy, but in order to stretch a muscle, you need to know where it is, right? Right. So, let’s take a closer look at this muscle that seems to be causing a lot of trouble for so many of us.
Where is the Piriformis Muscle?
The piriformis muscle is a butt muscle. It’s located at the top of your buttocks right next to your hip bone. To be technical, it starts at the anterior surface of the sacrum and the superior margin of the greater sciatic notch. If you didn’t understand all that, it’s okay to just call it a butt muscle. We did.
Anatomy of the Piriformis Muscle
The muscle fibers run almost completely in a horizontal line, and they actually get inserted into the greater trochanter of the femur (along with many other muscles). The piriformis muscle is located near the gluteus medius and the larger gluteus maximus. You see? The gluteus maximus isn’t the only muscle in the buttocks. It’s time to get to know your piriformis.
How Can a Muscle Cause So Much Pain?
If you suffer from Piriformis Syndrome, you may be experiencing pain in the buttocks, low back, and down the leg. How could one butt muscle cause pain that shoots down your leg? Well, the reason the pain radiates is because it’s not actually coming from the muscle itself. The pain you’re experiencing comes from the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is the closest muscle in your rear to the sciatic nerve; the sciatic nerve runs behind the piriformis, and in 15 to 20 percent of people, the sciatic nerve runs right through the piriformis. Since the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body - running down your back, buttocks, and legs - and at nearly three feet long (about as long as a golf putter!) that puppy hurts if it's compressed. So if your piriformis is tight, or you have inflammation or piriformis muscle spasms, your muscle puts pressure on the sciatic nerve – and that’s what causes all the pain, numbness, tingling and associated Sciatica.
What Can I Do About Piriformis Syndrome And Is It Too Late ?
The good news is that Piriformis Syndrome can usually be treated without surgery. By knowing the right exercises to do, and by doing them the right way. The little piriformis is not only a hard muscle to isolate, but most of us just aren't that flexible. That’s why Miracle Stretch® developed the Piri-Stretcher® home therapy tool. The Piri-Stretcher® is designed for leverage, isolation, and optimal control to help you gently stretch the piriformis muscle. You don’t have to memorize laborious exercises. No uncomfortable twisting, crunching, or worrying about whether you are doing it right. We make it simple for you. You just have to use the tool and relax into a focused stretch. So many folks have amazing results, alleviating pain and discomfort completely – without prescription medications, injections, or surgery. (To hear more from our happy customers, read here!)
If you suffer from this, you know it’s not fun. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can be debilitating. Each day you decide not to stretch this important muscle is another day that you can guarantee nothing will change. Instead, try giving the muscle a little stretch. We think you’ll be pleased with the results.