Millions of people suffer from sciatica, which is an irritation of the longest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve. There are many different causes of sciatica (a herniated disk, arthritis, etc.), but one of the most overlooked ones is piriformis syndrome says a local chiropractor.

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region and the sciatic nerve runs right through it. When the piriformis muscle gets tight, it can compress the sciatic nerve, causing tingling, numbness or even pain.

The piriformis can get tight from overuse, which happens when they have to help out because the larger glute muscles aren’t engaging when you run or do other types of exercise. The best way to relieve this situation, according to a Doylestown Chiropractor is to activate the muscles in the hip and pelvis area, which will take pressure off the sciatic nerve.
Here are a couple of simple exercises that will help you do that.
1. Piriformis Release. Sit on the floor with a lacrosse ball under one glute muscle, and put your weight on the ball. Extend your legs, but bend the corresponding leg (e.g., if the ball is under the right glute, bend the right leg). Point the knee toward the ceiling, and keep that foot on the floor. Rotate your leg from one side to the other. Repeat for up to two minutes, then switch sides.
2. Glute Step-Backs. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, move one leg backward, trying to keep your knees at 90-degree angles. There are three variations of this, and you should do 15 repetitions on each side for each variation:
A. Keep shoulders square and face forward while you do the movement.
B. Rotate your upper body toward front leg while you do the movement.
C. While facing forward, tilt your body to the side opposite from the front leg.

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