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Piriformis Release

Piriformis is a deep glute muscle that can cause a ton of pain in the tailbone and outer glute area [1]. Piriformis release can be difficult with standard massage devices, but fortunately QL Claw is a lethal, targeted Piriformis release tool. Scroll down to Piriformis Pain Symptoms to determine if Piriformis is causing you pain.

Piriformis Release Tutorial

Piriformis Release Placement:

Piriformis Release Tool

Piriformis Release Video Walkthrough:

Piriformis Release Written Tutorial

Placement: Sit with the tailbone directly on the ramp (the big end) of the Claw, and let the leg fall to the side - the trigger should dig right into Piriformis. You may need to reposition or squirm around a few seconds to find the Piriformis. You will know you are on it when you feel a very taught, tender spot in the outer buttock area.

Motion: Light motion is best for Piriformis release. Move the leg on the massage-side up and down for a nice Piriformis trigger point release.

Additional Pressure 1: Cross the massage-side leg over the opposite knee in a figure-four position. Tilt the body into and away from the trigger (in a back and forth rocking motion) for deep, active Piriformis release.

Additional Pressure 2: From Additional Pressure 1, elevate the upper body onto the elbows. This will shift weight that is currently on your upper back directly into the Piriformis muscle for release.

How to know you've released a trigger point: When you release a knot/trigger point, you will feel the muscle give and will simultaneously feel the device sink in to your body. A massage generally feels less painful under higher pressure once a trigger point is released.

Piriformis Pain Symptoms

Piriformis Anatomy & Function:

Piriformis is a deep glute muscle that connects from the sacrum (tailbone) to the top of the femur. It lies underneath the large Gluteus Maximus muscle and causes a ton of complications when tight. The main function of Piriformis is to rotate the leg outward as an external hip rotator [1]. Piriformis works hard during activities with lateral movements like tennis and basketball. It is during these activities that Piriformis pain can originate due to overworking the Piriformis muscle.

Piriformis Release Muscle Anatomy

Piriformis Muscle

Piriformis Symptoms & Pain Patterns:

Piriformis pain will typically occur at the tailbone and outer buttock regions. See the bright red region in the image below for reference.

Piriformis injuries typically originate during a high impact activity, but become aggravated from sitting. Sitting may feel very uncomfortable, like you can't sit still for consecutive minutes without pain [1].

Piriformis Release Tool Pain Pattern Chart - Travell & Simons

Piriformis Pain Pattern (left) and Piriformis Muscle (right) [1]

Piriformis Syndrome:

Piriformis Syndrome occurs when the Piriformis muscle is so tight that it compresses on the sciatic nerve. This can cause pain, numbness, or tingling running down the leg all the way to the foot. See a Piriformis Syndrome Test here.

Piriformis Syndrome Visual - Davies

Piriformis Syndrome Nerve Compression [2]

Piriformis Release:

Scroll up to see how effective QL Claw is as a Piriformis release tool!



Check out our other tutorials for releasing other low back-pain-inducing muscles below!



[1] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

[2] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

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