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The following was written on September 29, 2022, by Carolyn Steber for Bustle.com.
Piriformis syndrome is when the muscles in the glute area spasm or tighten and cause pain, numbness and tingling in the legs, says physical therapist Janelle Fleites, DPT. It is often caused by muscle weakness, which is why doing these nine exercises for piriformis syndrome can help!
- Side-Lying Hip Abduction: Lie on side with bottom knee bent, top leg straight. Lift top leg up to ceiling. Hold for 2 seconds. Return to start. Do 10 reps per side. Add ankle weights for a challenge.
- Knee to Opposite Shoulder: This simple move helps improve piriformis pain. Lie on back with legs straight. Lift a leg and bend the knee. Use one hand to bring that knee to your opposite shoulder. Repeat this motion for 3 sets of 30 seconds on each side.
- Monster Walk: Strengthening the outer glutes and hip flexors reduces tightness in the hips and allows the piriformis to relax. Place band above slightly bent knees. Take step forward at 45-degree angle. Bring back leg forward. Walk forward.
- Clamshell: Lie on side, knees bent, legs stacked. Keep heels together as you lift top knee to ceiling. Slowly lower knee to start. Do 10 to 12 reps per side, 3x. Add exercise band above knees for a challenge.
- Side-Lying Leg Circles: Lie on side, legs stacked. Lift top leg high then lower, 10x. Lift top leg to hip height. Rotate foot in a circle in each direction, 8x. Repeat on other leg.
- Figure-4: Mercy’s own Dr. Mark Slabaugh, M.D., says doing this move daily will increase blood flow to the area and reduce inflammation. Lie on back, cross affected leg, rest ankle on opposite knee. Bring knee in to chest. Hold for a count of 10. Repeat 5 times.
- Contact & Release: Sit with back against a wall, both knees bent. Place hand on outside of affected leg. Press knee into hand. Push back with hand so knee doesn’t move. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 5x.
- Book Opener: Lie on side, knees bent, arms straight in front of you. Lift top arm, open it to other side. Hold 15-30 seconds. Return to start. Repeat 3x per side.
- Lying Twist: Lie on back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place one ankle over opposite knee. Twist lower body by rotating hips until sole of top foot reaches floor. Hold 30 seconds.
Keeping you and your family active and healthy is one of our top priorities at Coppermine. We are proud to provide you with priority concierge access to Mercy’s team of top physicians and surgeons. Need assistance? Call 833-Mercy-4u to work with Mercy to get you or your athlete back on the field or court ASAP!