This week we've posted a very effective stretch for a muscle on the side of the hip typically called the piriformis. However, this is a bit of a misnomer as there are a group of muscles with the same action collectively known as the hip external rotators. Of these muscles, the piriformis is the most infamous because it can be involved with a few clinical entities, such as "piriformis syndrome." These conditions often involve pain in the side of the hip with activity and possibly radiating pain/numbness down the leg.
A word of caution: if you feel tight in this area with activity (ie, not with stretching or by pushing on it), then you may in fact be overly stretched here. We often perceive being tight in muscles that are actually over stretched. People can actually do themselves harm by stretching an already over stretched structure. Movement correction and gait training drills can often correct these conditions, but must be assigned by a knowledgeable musculoskeletal professional. Otherwise, this activity is great as part of a regular stretching routine.
Enjoy and until next time, stay active!
Kirk Iodice, DC, ART