5 Best Sciatica Stretches for Piriformis Syndrome – Ask Doctor Jo

5 Best Sciatica Stretches for Piriformis Syndrome – Ask Doctor Jo


hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you my top 5 sciatica stretches for piriformis syndrome. so
let’s get started. If you haven’t already subscribed, make sure and click on the button down there. so
these specific stretches are for sciatica when it’s entrapped or press on
with that piriformis muscle. so this is a little different if it’s coming from the
herniated dis,c or a disc issue, this is that piriformis muscle right on the butt
area there. and that sciatic nerve runs right under it, so when this muscle is
irritated or not working properly, a lot of times it can push on that nerve. so
the first stretch is just going to be lying down on your back and this is
gonna be a figure four stretch. so with this one you can lie on the floor, you
can lie on your bed, you can lie on the couch, so if you have a hard time getting
up off the floor, lie on something else. don’t don’t get on the floor and then
not be able to get back up. so take the side that you want to stretch and cross
it over where your ankles just above the knee on your thigh area. and the reason
it’s called a figure four is because if you look down, it looks like a four. so
with this for some people just getting in this position if that piriformis is
really tight, you’re going to feel that stretch, and that’s that’s fine. you can
just hold the stretch right here. if you want just a little bit more of a stretch,
you can take your heel of the other foot and slide it closer to your bottom and
that will start getting a little bit more stretch right through there. if you
still need a little more of a stretch, take your hands and grab the other leg
and just gently pull it towards you. so this is a pretty big stretch right here.
you want to be able to hold it for 30 seconds, so if it’s too much, come back
off of it just a little bit. now if you’re really tight and you’re having a
hard time trying to grab underneath your leg there, you can take a belt or a strap
or something and wrap it down there and then just pull your leg up that way. if
this is still a hard position for you to get into, I’ll show you a different way
to do it at the end so stay tuned for that. so for the stretches, you want to do
them you want to hold it for 30 seconds and do three of those. even if you just
have one side that’s bothering you, I would really stretch both sides just to keep everything even. so after you do that one,
then you’re going to do another piriformis stretch what that’s called
the knee to opposite shoulder. so I still kind of again in that figure-four because
it’s starting position. not everybody does. I feel like it’s just a little bit
easier this time take your opposite hand and grab that knee, and you want to pull
that knee up and over like it’s going towards your opposite shoulder. so not
just over across your body, but you’re going up and over. so again you should be
feeling a stretch kind of through that bottom area right there. sometimes it’s a
little bit different than that figure-four so that’s why I think it’s
important to try both. if one feels better than the other, you don’t have to
do both, but I do feel like it stretches it just a little bit differently. so you
can just hold it with one hand. some people if they have a lot of flexibility
kind of like to grab and hug on to that side. you can do that as well. some people even feel a little bit better having that other leg down. as long as it
doesn’t irritate your low back that’s okay. so you want to get in a position
that’s comfortable and gives you the best stretch. so again you’re holding
that stretch thirty seconds, doing it three times. I really do recommend doing
it on each side. so the next one you’re gonna kind of sit up a little bit. the
leg that you want to stretch, you’re gonna bend it up and place it over
towards the other side. so one leg’s out. the one you want to stretch is bent up
and over and then you’re just gonna twist your body to take the elbow to the
outside of that knee. so you’re just coming over and twisting this way. so I’m
getting that little bit of stretch here. I’m also getting a stretch in my trunk
area, so if that tends to bother your back for some reason, you might want to
hold off on this one. sometimes when you have that sciatica even if it’s from the
piriformis, or your back is a little sore, so this might actually feel pretty good.
so definitely up to you. holding that stretch again for 30 seconds and then
doing three on each side. so just crossing over and then twisting this way.
so again, if you feel like you need your back to stretch a little bit, that’s great if not then you might want to just try the other ones. so the fourth
one is going to be kind of a modified pigeon stretch. a lot of times people
tell me the pigeon stretches a little bit too much for them, so that’s fine, you
can do it in a modified position. the pigeon stretch is kind of a yoga pose
and it is pretty intense, so for the modified one the side you want to
stretch you’re gonna put it in front of you. I’m gonna turn towards the camera a
little bit so you can see. it you want to have your hip going forward this way,
your thigh hip area, and then your knee bent at a 90 degree angle kind of in
front of you. then you’re gonna take that back leg and put it back behind you. so
you can see here that I’m kind of a almost a 90 degree angle here, and then
almost a 90 degree angle there. so getting into this position might be a
little uncomfortable for some people. it just depends on how flexible you are.
with a full pigeon you take this leg and go straight back so that’s even a lot
more. a lot of times people get can get in this position, but make sure you have
your leg kind of straight here. if it’s tucked up behind you it’s not quite the
same stretch. you’re gonna feel it more on this side, but you’re trying to get
the stretch on this side, so once you get into this position keep your upper body
straight forward, and then just lean in a little bit this way, and you should feel
that stretch underneath the bottom area right where that piriformis is. so again
this might be a difficult position to get into, it might not be you might feel
a lot yo,u might not feel a lot, so again you the more you bend forward the more
of a stretch you’re going to feel. so hold that stretch for 30 seconds, come
off of it, I like switching sides just to give the other side a break, and then do
three on each side. so the last one is going to be sitting in a chair. this is
what I was talking about that if you can’t really do it very well lying down,
you can do it sitting in a chair. so the last stretch is going to be a seated
figure four stretch. so it’s the same kind of motions as when you’re lying
down. take the leg that you want to stretch and cross it over where your
ankle’s just above your knee on your thigh. and this time you’re gonna keep
your back straight but you’re gonna bend forward at your hips. that’s where it’s different. you’re not pulling the legs up towards you, you’re
leaning forward, but make sure you keep your back straight. sometimes people curl like this are like “I don’t feel anything,” but you’re getting
the stretch from the hips, so that’s where you want the movement. so again
some people just in this position might feel that piriformis stretch. if it’s
really tight and is pushing on that sciatic nerve, you might feel some just doing this, and it might reproduce that numbness
tingling feeling, but as long as once you stop it goes away, that’s alright. but if
you need a little bit more, keep that back straight and just lean forward at
your hips and you should feel that stretch right through there that bottom
area at the hip, and then hold that stretch 30 seconds and then do three on
each side. so there you have it. those are my top
five sciatica stretches for piriformis syndrome. if you’d like to help support
my channel, click on the link up here ,and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking
down there. and remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

100 Replies to “5 Best Sciatica Stretches for Piriformis Syndrome – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Thank you! These exercises really help. My question is, I have had an issue since my car accident 11 years ago. Is there a way to be completely healed or is it something chronic i will have to live with?

  2. i did this once and i experience relief , but when i was trying it out the day after i did this i experience pain with this exercise.. Is that a sign I'm not doing it correctly ?? or that this is not the correct exercise for me? thank you..

  3. I have pain in the right buttock as well as stiffness in the calf area and pain in the heel.Please suggest some exercises.

  4. hi Doctor Jo . Thanks for the video. can we teach last stretch for spinal cord paraplegia patients while sitting in chair. please and thank you.

  5. Hi Dr Jo after sitting for a long time while getting up buttocks are painful. No pain after I got up . It is found mainly after bike riding and sitting on hard surfaces. Suffering for last three months . Please suggest for this

  6. I have been suffering from pain in left hip and left knee associated with left knee swelling since 7years…Please suggest me the exercises for the relief

  7. I have developed most of these stretching movement incorrectly somehow by myself.but with ur scientific explanation I am doing the moves correctly .tnx doctor pain relief

  8. I'm not sure if I have piriformis. My left butt cheek and part of my groin is numb and has been for two days. Will these exercise help?

  9. I will give this a go. I did some exercises from elsewhere on youtube as I have Fibromyalgia and also neck issues from a herniated disc in the past. Unfortunately the exercises did something unpleasant to my right buttock/hip region. Sigh. Thanks so much.

  10. Will the pain eventually go away ? I’ve been having pain on my left buttock I’ve doing the exercises they do help but once i relax again the pain is they’re

  11. Thanks for the video. I like the variations of stretch, especially the one while sitting. Something to add to my routine.

  12. Hello doctor.. I have severe back, buttocks and hips pain on right side..and some times on left also when I walk or climb more ..I think it's due to sciatica after my delivery of twin babies i.e., by c section…it's getting worse after 4 months. I can't even sleep straight on my back.. I tried this exercise but it's hurting me while performing stretches…is it ok.. should I continue to exercise or I should consult a doctor..I'm breastfeeding my babies by sitting is it ok..
    Please reply soon

  13. When I do the first stretch, I feel it in my butt and back of my (r)leg, but when I do the second stretch, pulling that knee up and over, I feel a bit of pain and tightness in the front of the bent leg, like in the crease of the leg, towards the groin. It’s really uncomfortable.

    With the sitting stretch with one leg extended and one crossed over, one leg, the one with the tight piriformis (right leg), it feels like a good stretch for it, but when I do it on the other leg, I get that sensation of pain and tightness in the crease near the groin.

    The right leg sometimes feels like there’s a lump under the sit bone, and the back of the leg is tight.
    I’ve been seeing my chiropractor for it, and stretching. It’ll get better, then get worse again. I’ve been dealing with this for about three months now.

    I get slight numbness in my middle toes on the right foot when standing or walking, and at first I thought it was the peroneal tendon, as there was some ankle pain.
    I found your video on that, and did those calf stretches and exercises, which helped. I still do them, as I think I may have had my ankle get slightly out of place, which put everything off kilter, and it took a while for it to manifest in the symptoms involving tight hamstring, piriformis, peroneal tendon, toe numbness, ankle pain with certain movements.

  14. I have SI problems and Sciatica but also experience pains across the front of the pelvis? Is this common and is there a stretch or exercise I can to to relieve the symptom?

  15. i have been suffering from this pain for a year plus now my doctor keep prescribing medicine after medicines, i will try out this exercise . God bless

  16. I cant cross my legs over each other.The pain is in my right butt from 5 days.
    When the muscle get tight it hurts like hurting in the bone.
    When ever i stretch it hurts due to muscle tightness.
    PLEASE help me!

  17. Thanks for the video tips. I am currently experiencing very excruciating sciatic nerve flaring that often hit me like I just got fired at close range. The numbing pain usually snake down from under my right butt, outer hamstring, calf, chin, ankle and under my foot, btw my second and third toes. I am going to definitely try out your recommendation, though the only one that seems to work for me is to lie down on my belly, with two two pillows stack directly under my pelvis

  18. Great lecture I’ve been suffering for quite some time I will start these stretches today how long does it take to fix Piriformis Syndrome?

  19. Hi Dr Jo…im suffering of piriformis tightness,,,i had sciatica pain ,i saw a dr.he examined me..it was not from disk herniation, my sciatica pain is gone but i have dull pain and tightness right at my piriformis area, at right side…my question is: can i still do workout s??i have stopped my Hiit or Tabatha almost 3 weeks and i miss it so much… thanks Dr Jo

  20. I don’t know what I have and I think it’s sciatica or pyriformis syndrome I have pain right underneath my butt please help

  21. I have trying these stretches and they seem to be helping with the pain in my hip. But I also have a sharp in pain the calf as well. Are there any exercises to help with that?

  22. My orthopedist gave me an ultrasound guided hydo dissection shot to separate the adhesions in my gluteus medius and minimus. I am not having any relief. Do you know any stretches that could help with shooting pain down my leg caused by these adhesions in my gluteus medius and minimus. I think the doctor also called it piriformis syndrome. I have tried all of these stretches you are showing in this video, but stretching does not make it easier to walk or alleviate the pain down my leg.

  23. Thank you so much Doctor. I have been suffering from this syndrome for the past 3 years, so can it be cure by doing this exercise only or how can it be cure. Need help!

  24. These are great stretches for piriformis. Another tip, if you carry a wallet in your back pocket…STOP. Sitting with a wallet in your back pocket will irritate and inflame the piriformis over time. It took 20 years to happen to me. Now I keep my wallet in my front pocket or jacket pocket, plus I do these stretches. It works!

  25. HI! Thank you for such great videos to explain the stretches. I love the purple pillow. Would you mind share what kind it is and where it can be purchased? Thank you!

  26. Doctor, how do we know we are progressing? Being able to hold for longer periods of time( Being able to hold longer than 30 secs eventually)??

  27. Thank you so much for this my mom has been in so much pain I got scared nothing could help but this has helped her a lot

  28. Thank you so much. I’ve always been sitting with my foot tucked under the opposite thigh, it’s the only position where I could get the relief you’re explaining.

    I have what’s called spinal stenosis. Am I wrong when I say that this relieves a lot of pain for that condition?

  29. Doc, i've had a herniated disc and just got it treated, but the piriformis and sciatic pain is not going.
    And i cant put my leg on the other leg as the pain is intolerable as in the 4 position, could you help me with this!

  30. Thank you so much! These are great. I suffer from low back pain and sciatica. Been doing these exercises for a week (in addition to other methods, like McKenzie extension) and already feel so much progress! Do you have any suggestions for more challenging versions as well as any upper body exercises to round it out?

  31. How can one know that it's the piriformis muscle that's causing the pain? I usually feel it with very small movements like rotating my pelvis a bit or stepping on a step. It's not a constant pain for me, but I feel it when I move about. The pain usually feels inside the the upper glutes and the pelvis and not on the surface.

  32. Doct thank you very much ilove this vedio almost 1year i suffer this pain piriformis syndrom yesterday only i see in youtube i fllow you stretching but now its small pain wow im happy doct

  33. Dr. Jo- These stretches are awesome. Thank you! Have been doing them for two weeks and feel great. Should I be doing all the stretches you recommend at one time or pick one or two. I do three sets on each side. Also how long should I continue to do these stretches.

  34. Doctor i have pain in left leg while sitting or walking..and have a burning and tingling sensation in my left foot…please help
    And how much time it takes to cure

  35. Jerre Divelbiss
    Hi. I have been diagnosed with Piriformis Syndrome/ Fascial Adhesions/Tendinosis, (left hip) by my orthopedic doctor. Will an Injection directly into the Piriformis muscle help? I’ve had injections directly in the hip joint and tendons and even had injections into my lower back and nothing helps.

  36. Hello thanks for the video! Do you know of any hip related conditions that can affect the sciatic nerve? I haven't received a diagnosis but for 6 weeks I've had a stabbing pain between the piriformis muscle and hip(left side). It is very painful and it goes down the left leg too. I'm thinking of having a MRI done. Any thoughts?

  37. I’ve been struggling with sciatica pain for awhile that stretch when u sit down man that really helps a lot thanks for video

  38. I’m trying this. Already, I’m not feeling shooting pains going from my butt to my foot as much as before. I’m going to keep trying. About how many times per day do you recommend doing these exercises?

  39. Does pirformis syndrome radiate pain into the outside of the thigh, outer hip, psoas, and gluteus medius? Will these stretches help with the radiating tenderness and pain of those other muscles?

  40. Thank you Dr Jo. . . I had been suffering for 8 weeks from piriformis pain. I saw very little relief from PT. I've been doing your recommended stretches for just four days and I am clearly feeling better, by the day. I can't thank you enough. You are amazing!

  41. Nice one Jo – at last some stretches that hit the spot. Nice progression. I found the knee to shoulder and chair lean forward variations really helpful but work up to them with the others as warm up. I've had a hip replacement on that side (which may be contributing to my issues). Are there any precautionary measures I should be taking?

  42. I have a shooting pain while doing any of these stretches (a regular badminton player and I had been struggling with lunges and any piriformis stretches and now its aggravated to the extent that crossing my leg while sitting has gotten a little painful). Do you have any recommendations that I can do?

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