Piriformis Muscle Attaches To The Very Low Back – The Sacrum
The Piriformis muscle is categorized as one of the lateral rotators of the hip. This means it helps turn your knee and foot away from the middle of your body. And, as mentioned above, it’s one of only two muscles that connect the legs to the spine.
The Piriformis muscle starts and attaches on the front portion of the sacrum. This is the larger part of what people usually call the “tailbone.” It travels on the backside of the body and attaches to the top and lateral (outside) of the thighbone.
The Piriformis is involved in a number of actions. It assists in turning the foot outward, and in drawing the leg away from the body—but only when the knee is flexed and the hip joint extended (think of the dog and the fire hydrant).
The Piriformis Muscle Works With The Psoas Muscle
Another essential role of the Piriformis is the Articular balance it seeks to create with the Psoas. It pulls on the sacrum at the back of the body, and this balances out the work of the Psoas pulling on the front of our back. The outcome helps us to keep our balance when we’re standing up.
Also, since the Piriformis is the only rotator muscle that connects to the front portion of the sacrum, it has a direct influence on the sacroiliac joint, which is another player in lower back pain. (“Oh, my achin’ sacroiliac!”)
The Piriformis muscle needs lots of hip rotational movements to stay limber and flexible. A tight Piriformis will limit hip rotation (or your ability to twist or turn when your feet are planted and you are standing). It will also limit the mobility of your sacrum. Both of these, in turn, will directly affect the quality of movement in your low back.
The Piriformis Muscle Can Cause Sciatica Symptoms
A tight Piriformis may even cause sciatica type symptoms sending jolts of pain down the back side of your leg. This can make life miserable for most people.
This condition is referred to as Piriformis Syndrome. It can be caused by prolonged sitting. What happens is the sciatic nerve gets trapped between the Piriformis and Gluteal muscles which causes pain and other types of sciatica symptoms.
Stretching the piriformis muscle will frequently relieve the problems. Staying regular with a piriformis stretching routine is a good way to help maintain a healthy back.