Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Exercise of the Month-Figure of Four

This month we are back with a stretch rather an exercise. A lot of patients with lower back and pelvis issues find this stretch really helpful.

It stretches one of the deep muscles in the buttock called the piriformis - sometimes if this muscle is tight it can put some pressure on your sciatic nerve and cause a strange sensation down your leg.


As you can see from the above pictures there are 2 ways that you can do this stretch,

Picture 1 - start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet placed on the floor, bring the leg on the side you wish to stretch across to rest on the knee of the opposite leg, then lift the leg still on the floor towards your chest. You should feel the stretch across your buttock and down the side of your leg.

Picture 2 - this is the best way to do the stretch if you have problems with your sacroiliac joints as this puts less pressure on these joints of the pelvis as you do the stretch. You can also use the technique shown in picture 2 with your bottom leg bent up.

Make sure you keep your back flat to the floor as you do the stretch and don't twist over to the side as this can put some pressure on the lower joints of your back.

Hazel Dillon is a Chiropractor at the Octagon Clinic

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