Stretching the Piriformis
Piriformis stretches can create space where the impingement of the sciatic nerve causes pain and discomfort. Crossing one ankle over the opposite knee in any position can facilitate a piriformis stretch that might help to alleviate this type of distress.
The sciatic nerve forms directly in front of the piriformis muscle after five nerve roots travel from the base of the spine cord to meet up at the piriformis. If the piriformis muscle goes into spasm or is unduly tight it can press on the sciatic nerve creating a pain that often radiates or shoots down the leg.
Massage and a regular home-stretching program can often create an environment that relieves the symptoms of both piriformis syndrome and sciatica, as well as paying closer attention to ways that we walk and stand.