Regularly stretching my Piriformis Muscle has kept my L5 Vertebrae in place. Staying limber keeps me riding bike, snowshoeing, canoeing and camping! It keeps me going.
Around six years ago I tore my right Hamstring. I certainly felt the pain, including the moment it happened. Instead of nursing it with ice, compaction and staying off it, I carried on, albeit to a limited degree. A few days later I knew I did some serious damage as I could barely walk. Once I got into the surgical consult I learned that getting about on the torn Hamstring popped my L5 out of place. Whoa does that buldging disc cause pain! Then I made a good decision, I opted to go thru physical therapy as opposed to surgury.
It was in PT where I learned about the load-bearing and flexibility functions the L4-L5 segment performs. I also learned about how Hamstrings are connected to the L5 Disc via the Piriformis. Most importantly though, I learned how to keep my Piriformis limber on a daily basis to keep me mobile! That brings me to the picture above. The belt loop goes around 1 foot at a time, I lay on my back flat on the ground, and I pull on the belt to lift the leg into a 90 degree angle. I hold there for 30 seconds, three times per leg. I can literally feel tightness and cramping disappear.
That one stretch is a part of a daily stretching routine I perform (including Hamstring stretches) to physically be able to guide bike, snowshoe, canoe and camping tours on demand without falling apart. I’m not alone, that Piriformis stretch will help your physical longevity too.
For more see www.upnorthguidedtours.com. We are a fat bike, snowshoe, canoe and camping guided tour outfitter in the Cable Area of Northwest Wisconsin US. Thank you for reading, enjoy getting out there for the longterm. -Josh