9 Stretches To Try If You Have Piriformis Syndrome

Get rid of that pain in your butt.



Piriformis syndrome happens when the piriformis muscle puts pressure on your sciatic nerve causing pain, numbness, and tingling deep in your glutes, says Dr. Suzanna Wong, DC. To relieve the ache, it helps to move around more — and do stretches like these regularly.

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Pigeon Stretch

Wong recommends this classic yoga pose to stretch the piriformis.

- Lie on the floor.

- Bend one leg at a right angle in front of you.

- Stretch your other leg back behind you.

- Ease into the stretch.

- Hold for 2 minutes on each side.

- Repeat every day.

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Standing Clam

Trainer Rachel MacPherson likes this move:

- Feet shoulder-width apart, band above knees.

- Hinge slightly forward, weight in right foot.

- Stand on ball of left foot.

- Rotate left leg out to side, then back to center against resistance of band.

- Do 10 reps each side.


Figure 4

Camilla Moore, DC, suggests this stretch to open your hips.

- Lie on back. Place left foot on right knee.

- Grab under right thigh with right hand, outside of left knee with left hand.

- Lift both to chest.

- Press left knee down.

- Hold 30 seconds each side.

- Do 3x, twice daily.


Bridge Pose

Yoga pro Anita Perry recommends this move for piriformis syndrome:

- Lie on your back, feet on the floor, knees bent.

- Rest both arms by your sides.

- Inhale and lift hips to ceiling.

- Keep weight evenly in shoulder blades.

- Gradually lower.

- Repeat 10x.


Piriformis Stretch

Trainer Jesse Feder says this stretch will relieve tightness and pain.

- Lie on back, extend legs.

- Lift one leg off ground, bend it 90 degrees.

- Use opposite hand to grab knee.

- Pull knee towards body to feel stretch in the hip/glute area.

- Hold 30 seconds each side.

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Cross Body

Trainer Jake Dickson suggests this stretch.

- Lie on back, extend legs.

- Bend right knee and pull it across your torso until you feel a stretch in glutes.

- Hold for 30 seconds.

- Repeat 3x both sides.


Kneeling Hip Flexor

This one relieves tight hip flexors, which can cause the piriformis to spasm, says physical therapist Shannon Leggett.

- Half kneel with one knee up, affected knee on floor.

- Send pelvis, torso forward.

- Stretch will be felt in groin of affected leg.

- Hold 30 seconds, 3x.


Seated Figure 4

Leggett says you can also perform a figure 4 stretch in a chair, which will come in handy if you start to feel pain at work.

- Sit up high.

- Place right ankle on thigh.

- Hold for 30 seconds.

- Repeat 3 times with both legs.


Nerve Glides

This move mobilizes the sciatic nerve, says myotherapist Emma Grill.

- Lie on back. Lift leg up to comfortable heigh, knee slightly relaxed.

- Tuck chin to chest, support head on pillow.

- Keep chin tucked, flex toes toward chin, then point toes to ceiling.

- Do 15 reps.