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A Pain in the Butt!

Posted on 12 February, 2013 at 19:58
Do you ever get that ache, deep in your seat muscle, sometimes even extending down the back of your thigh? For me it always comes after a long day of driving - too much sitting with my feet held in a turned-out position - but other people can get it after sitting at a desk for long periods of time or even after a lot of walking. The culprit is most likely the piriformis muscle, a small muscle that runs between the outer edge of your sacrum and your hip joint. It's deep in your buttock, deeper than the gluteus muscles, in fact right on top of the sciatic nerve. When it gets shortened and bunched up - which it does when the foot is turned out for extended periods of time - it can press on the sciatic nerve, causing that deep ache and sciatica-type shooting pain.

So what can you do???

Well, what's been working amazingly well for me lately is the TheraCane - a strange looking hook with knobs on. Here's a picture if that description didn't quite capture it!

To use it on your piriformis, lie on your back, put the knob of the short end of the hook under the fleshy part of your seat and use the long handle to work it back and forth, rotate it, really just whatever & wherever feels good. The combination of your body weight and just the right amount of give in the cane, is perfect for releasing that bunched up little muscle. If you don't have a Theracane handy, a tennis ball or lacrosse ball will also work really well.

Finish with a good, long stretch. Again, lying on your back, knees bent, soles of your feet on the floor. Cross the knee of your painless side over the knee of your painful side. Then, making sure your hips stay planted on the floor, use your upper leg to gently pull your lower knee towards the floor. It probably won't move very far, but you should feel a great stretch right across your buttock from sacrum to hip joint, right along the length of that piriformis.

Categories: Hip Pain

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