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Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis muscle goes from your sacrum to the top of your femur (hip bone) and helps with turning the leg outward.  In a small percentage of the population, the sciatic nerve actually goes through the piriformis muscle.  Therefore, hypertonicity or inflammation of the piriformis muscle can lead to symptoms of sciatica.  A tight piriformis can also cause low back pain.  This stretch can be very useful to relieve some of your pain, if you do it faithfully.

Start by lying on your back.  Now put the ankle of the affected side on the opposite knee.  Raise that same knee up towards your face while keeping the knee bent.  It may help if you interlock your fingers and grasp the shin of the unaffected side.  The end position resembles sitting in a figure four position.