End Hip Pain With This One Stretch

I love to run fast. In fact, if I had my way, I would be at the track doing intervals all the time. But alas, my body has other views on all that fast running.

Over the years, I have suffered through a number of running injuries due to having one leg slightly longer than the other (yes, too many people have pulled on my leg and it has finally caught up with me).

Since I am aware of my shortcomings (like my one inch shorter left leg and the fact I really am not that fast), I know that I need to do certain exercises and stretches so that I am able to run freely and comfortably.

One of the muscle groups that I need to stretch is the pirformis muscle, and through my years of personal training I have observed a great deal of others out there with a need to stretch this muscle too.

The piriformis is a small muscle located deep within the buttocks, and it is responsible for externally rotating the hip and leg. This means that it helps to turn the leg and foot outwards, so it works very hard with every step that we take – be it running or walking.

The piriformis is a small muscle located deep within the buttocks, and it is responsible for externally rotating the hip and leg. This means that it helps to turn the leg and foot outwards, so it works very hard with every step that we take – be it running or walking.

A tight piriformis can cause pain on one or both sides of the hip and buttock, as well as low back pain.

Sitting is usually difficult with people suffering from an inflamed piriformis muscle.

I know that when mine is flared up I do not like to sit – not that I like to sit much anyways.

If you have a tight piriformis muscle, you may also encounter pain, numbness or tingling radiating down the back of the leg.

This is because the sciatic nerve runs right through the piriformis and when it is tight it can squeeze and irritate the sciatic nerve, mimicking sciatica.

To keep the pain in your butt down to a dull roar, give these two stretches a try.

Prior to getting into these stretches make sure you warm up first. This can be achieved by simply walking around and doing some housework, or having a hot bath or you can also cheat and use a heating pad.

Aim for a 15-30 second hold, and important tip: if you can hear your muscle ripping away from it’s attachment you have taken the stretch too far.

In other words, hold these stretches only until you feel them. There is no extra benefit to taking it deep and making the stretch painful.

Please note: these stretches are not meant to diagnose your injuries. If you have a chronic pain in the hip/buttock area, please go see your local physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are equipped to diagnose and prescribe the best treatment for you.