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Piriformis Syndrome: Exercises


Here are some examples of exercises for you to try. The exercises may be suggested for a condition or for rehabilitation. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercises if you start to have pain.

You will be told when to start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Hip rotator stretch

Picture of hip rotator stretch exercise
slide 1 of 3
slide 1 of 3, Hip rotator stretch,
  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Put the ankle of your affected leg on your opposite thigh near your knee.
  3. Use your hand to gently push your knee (on your affected leg) away from your body until you feel a gentle stretch around your hip.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
  6. Switch legs and repeat steps 1 through 5.

Piriformis stretch

Picture of piriformis stretch exercise
slide 2 of 3
slide 2 of 3, Piriformis stretch,
  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Lift your affected leg and bend your knee. With your opposite hand, reach across your body, and then gently pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder.
  3. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat with your other leg.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times on each side.

Lower abdominal strengthening

Picture of lower abdominal strengthening exercise
slide 3 of 3
slide 3 of 3, Lower abdominal strengthening,
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Tighten your belly muscles by pulling your belly button in toward your spine.
  3. Lift one foot off the floor and bring your knee toward your chest, so that your knee is straight above your hip and your leg is bent like the letter "L."
  4. Lift the other knee up to the same position.
  5. Lower one leg at a time to the starting position.
  6. Keep alternating legs until you have lifted each leg 8 to 12 times.
  7. Be sure to keep your belly muscles tight and your back still as you are moving your legs. Be sure to breathe normally.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

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