5 Best Sciatica Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome – Ask Doctor Jo

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Sciatic pain can be caused by a few different things. These are my 5 favorite exercises for sciatica from a tight piriformis. See more piriformis syndrome stretches and exercises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqQDmakOvN8&t=0s&list=PLPS8D21t0eO8bRyNBvm5NULZeCKPsnP3Q&index=21

The first sciatica exercise is hip abduction in hooklying with a band. This is good to strengthen your hip abductors as well as your hip external rotators.

The next exercise is bridging with a band. A bridge is great for the gluteus maximas and hamstrings, and when you add in the band, it gets your piriformis and gluteus medius as well.

Then there is the clamshell exercise. This one is harder than it looks, and it’s best to start out without the band until you can the correct technique. It strengthens all the glute muscles.

Now you will roll onto all fours, or quadruped. This exercise not only uses the muscles to stabilize one side, but it also uses the muscles on the other side to move the leg.

Finally you have squats with a band. Squats are a great lower body work out, and by adding the band, it makes all the muscles work together including the piriformis.

Related Videos:

Sciatica – Is it Piriformis Syndrome or a Herniated Disc?:

Relieve Hip Pain with This Real Time Piriformis Stretch:


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5 Best Sciatic Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome:

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AskDoctorJo says:

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Gothic/Doom Metal Fan says:

Hello Dr. Jo, what type of pillow are you using for this video?

Lazaro Cedeno says:

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Very helpful.

Kavi Mani says:

Hi madam
Left side leg tightness continue this excersice one time try so pain full for leg move please find tha solution
4 years this problem


Wonderful video. Simple technique but very effective. Plz suggest any video for hiatus hernia

Clyde Wellman says:

How often should you complete these?

Zhao Chen says:

How to i do any of these without a resistance band…

russell stoner says:

Hi Dr. Jo. 45 yr old male here. I had piriformis pain from sitting leaning 4ward @ my desk for 20 yrs, now glute & tailbone plus hip rotator pain all severe. Has caused severe constip action. I ‘ve stretching these muscles 20 yrs. tried the clam shell exercises & made constipation worse ( I assume from strengthening the piriformis/ gluteus. Kegels do the same thing when I try.PT tell me I need to strengthen muscle but that makes things worse.
Sitting in hot sitz bath several time a day helps constipation. I assume the pelvic floor is tight. Any suggestions
I have already had internal work by PTs 4 pelvic floor tightness. Any suggestions? Russ Thx! Email rstoner @twc.com

Hasnain Tanoli says:

Hello Dr Jo stretching cause much pain in my thighs and legs but these don't cause any pain sensation should I stretch piriformis or just focus on strengthening them

Grez says:

Excellent clear information
Thanks Joe.

Lara Lyndy says:

Hello Dr. Jo, I always benefit from your videos and your dow to earth help and style, thank you. I have a question about this video – I'm not quite sure that I understand why one is doing strength instead of stretching? I believe and just you and others who are helping us with Piriformus. I would like to understand this a little more. Also, how often do you suggest we do this video, I don't recall hearing that information, and lastly, as someone else asked, should we also stretch the piriformus or give that I break for now? Thank you so much.

J R says:

Super helpful! Why is it that some exercises help better than others?! Even though they're all for piriformis syndrome?

Reyes Fútbol says:

This was great. Just started day 1 today. Feel the relief already. I've had this issue for years and this was the best result I have ever felt. Will plan to do this as a daily ritual. Thank you

오케이고 says:

Could you explain why strengthening gluteal muscle is helpful for piriformis syndrome?

Kaidi Zhao says:

These are great. Should I continue stretching (figure 4) or is excerise and stretching countering each other

Terri Schmidt says:

I've had sciatica pain for two months, I just had an MRI that showed deterioration of the lumbar facet joints, but it couldn't rule out piriformis, which could still be the cause and I think may be. Will doing these exercises cause any problem with the facet joint issue?

Cindi Johnston says:

Thank you that really helped I'm in so much pain I need something to help relieve it besides the cold pack

Christopher K. says:

Thank you so much Dr Jo, these have helped me tremendously. My only confusion is I have a tight piriformis but I also feel I have a weak one as well. Would you recommend I stretch and strengthen? And if so, should I strengthen or stretch first? And how many times a week/day would you recommend doing these exercises? Thanks again!

murad alhajmamoud says:

Hi dr.
I used to put my wallet in the back and set on it for long time, I stopped this bad habit when I started to feel the pain exactly at same point of the wallet and spread to my leg, I am suffering from this pain since 9 years ago, I had visited a lot of doctors and did 3 times MRI with clear reports, message for long time, shock waves, stretching exercises, medicine, without any kind of response, do you think the exercise in this video will help? Do I need to stretch the muscle or shrink it?…appreciate your reply

Sue Newberry says:

These exercises made an amazing difference even on the first day I did them. Thank you!

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