We've covered FIVE out of SIX Deep Hip Lateral Rotators so far: Obturator Internus & Externus, Superior Gemellus & Inferior Gemellus , and Quadratus Femoris!
Our Sixth and final Hip Rotator is PIRIFORMIS!
Of all six, Piriformis is definitely the most talked about.
PIRIFORMIS is short and flat & lives under Glute Max, extending from the front of the sacrum to the top of your thigh, more specifically:
PIRIFORMIS Muscle Attachment Points:
Origin: anterior surface of the sacrum
& the sacrotuberous ligament
Insertion: Greater Trochanter of the femur
PIRIFORMIS Muscle ACTIONS:
Piriformis is unique in that while it is primarily known as a lateral rotator, but when the hip is flexed (knee to chest), this muscle also helps to medially rotate and abduct the thigh.
Medial Rotation (when hip is flexed)
Abduction (when hip is flexed)
Piriformis & Sciatic Nerve
Of all six hip rotators, Piriformis is the only rotator that lives superficial to the SCIATIC NERVE (closer to the surface of body - 'on top of') whereas the other five rotators are Deep to the sciatic nerve (underneath)
The sciatic nerve comes from the sacrum, is thick and travels through the butt and down the back of the thigh.
Because Piriformis are next door neighbours, (oh! definitely worth noting that in a small percentage of people, the sciatic nerve actually runs through the piriformis muscle!)
When the piriformis muscle is upset, over-worked or tight, the sciatic nerve can get angry too!
This can be referred to as Piriformis Syndrome, which which is literally a pain in the butt that can travel down the back of the leg - even past the knee! Tingling and numbness may also be present!
Piriformis Syndrome is commonly called "Sciatica" (which actually is just an umbrella term for 'pain and numbness in butt that travels down leg.) Let's complicate things further! Disc Herniations or Disc Bulge (bulging disc) also presents itself with Sciatic-like symptoms
There are all kinds of causes for Piriformis Syndrome - ranging from overworking or underworking the muscle, existing postural dysfunctions, hip issues..
But guess what? There are all kinds of natural and non-surgical solutions. Simple exercises, hydrotherapy, and of course Massage Therapy!