Helpful Tips

Relieving Hip and Leg Pain

Click here to read this as a PDF file.              ** For persistent pain, consult your helathcare professional **

piriformis muscle

So you say you have hip and/or leg pain. Well, the problem may be in your butt!!

It’s true. Often hip and leg pain is caused by a muscle in the gluteal/pelvic region called the piriformis.

When the piriformis muscle is inflamed, it can entrap the sciatic nerve and other major nerves and blood vessels often causing points of pain called trigger points.

Massaging the trigger/pain points can help relax the muscle, increase the blood flow and relieve the pain.

Common Symptoms

pain pattern for piriformis

Causes and Perpetuation of Trigger Points

 

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Self-Help Information

Tennis Ball

So, what is the best way to relax your piriformis muscle? Massage!

But if you are in a lot of pain and can’t get a massage, here are a few techniques for self-treatment:

Tennis Ball Treatments

A surprisingly effective treatment involves a tennis ball! Yes a tennis ball or even a smaller ball like a racket ball or a rubber ball (cat toy, dog toy or child’s toy will work).

Treatment While Seated

  • Sit on the floor or a hard chair.
  • Place the ball under your buttock in the painful spot
  • Gradually ease your body weight onto the ball.
  • Roll the area slowly, taking note of sensitive or painful spots (trigger points).
  • Continue for 15 seconds and continue rolling. This mimics a massage (not exactly) and can help break up the trigger points, relaxing the muscle and increasing blood flow to the area.
  • Repeat in any other painful spots
  • Rub buttock after treatment

Treatment While Laying Down (pictures at right)

tennis ball treatment
  • Lay face-up on a firm bed or the floor, with your knees bent.
  • Place the ball under your buttock in the painful spot
  • Keeping your knees bent, relax your weight onto the ball
  • Roll the area slowly, taking note of sensitive or painful spots (trigger points).
  • Continue for 15 to 30 seconds.  This mimics a massage (not exactly) and can help break up the trigger points, relaxing the muscle and increasing blood flow to the area.
  • On the side with the ball, drop knee to the side while keeping knees bent. Relax
  • Remain for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat in any other painful spots
  • Rub buttock after treatment

 

 

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Stretches

Stretching can also be good for keeping the piriformis relaxed.

side stretch for pififormis

Side Stretch

Lay face-up, and cross your right foot over the outside of your left knee.

Use your right hand to pull down on the right front of your pelvis.

Use your left hand to pull down on the right knee toward the floor to assist in a stretch.

Inhale and exhale deeply, focusing on relaxing the muscle on the exhale.

Repeat on the opposite side.


 

bellydancer stretch for pififormis

Belly Dancer Stretch

While standing, place your hands on your hips

rotate your hips around in as full a circle as is comfortable.

Then rotate in the opposite direction.


 

 

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Other Helpful Tips

 

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If the Pain Persists

If the pain persists, you may need to consult a doctor such as a chiropractor, osteopathic physician, acupuncturist or other specialist to rule out other causes.

 

 

 


Information in this article is taken from the following sources:

 

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