Select Page

Muscle Monday with Doctor Mayr

The piriformis is a muscle deep in the buttock.  It lies beneath the larger, and more well known, gluteus maximus muscle.  When you peel back the gluteus maximus you reach the external rotators of the hip, largest of which is the piriformis.  The piriformis is an important muscle because one of the major nerves in our leg, the sciatic nerve, passes right through the center of it.  When tight it can place pressure on this nerve and cause pain in the buttock and leg.  To help prevent this you can try some of the stretches shown below.  Be sure to warm up before stretching and consult a physician before starting an exercise program if have any unusual symptoms.

Three ways to stretch the piriformis and gluteals:

Lying on back stretching piriformis

Click to enlarge

Seated stretching of piriformis

Click to enlarge

On 1 knee stretching piriformis

Click to enlarge