Natural Solutions for Muscle Spasm in the Piriformis Muscle

A spasming piriformis can cause serious back pain.
Image Credit: Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

Your piriformis muscle is located next to your gluteal muscles in your hips and helps to laterally rotate each hip. Occasional twitches or spasms in this area aren't usually cause for concern, but if you experience chronic spasms, you could have something called piriformis syndrome -- a condition that can irritate your sciatic nerve and cause serious lower-back pain. Talk to your doctor before beginning any home treatment routine.

Eat Your Way to Health

Just like the rest of your body, your muscles need quality nutrients to function properly. Nutritional deficiencies, particularly in magnesium and potassium, can cause muscles all over your body to twitch and spasm. Try high-magnesium foods, such as spinach, quinoa and raisin bran, and load up on bananas, which are high in potassium. A multivitamin can also help you get the nutrients you need, but talk to your doctor before trying a new supplement.

Massaging Out Pain and Tension

Massage is a powerful weapon in the fight against muscle spasms. Try gently massaging the spasming area, feeling for muscle knots. If you feel a knot, press firmly on it, massaging only in one direction for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat at least once a day to gradually reduce muscle tension, which can contribute to painful muscle spasms.

Stretching for Healthier Muscles

Regular stretching can help loosen up your muscles, reducing pain and spasming in your piriformis. Try a yoga class or do gentle stretches at home. To stretch your piriformis, lie on your stomach and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Keep your knees together and move your feet apart until you feel a stretch. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

Regular Exercise

Sitting in a chair all day can cause your piriformis to tense up, resulting in painful muscle spasms. Take frequent breaks during your workday -- every 30 minutes to an hour. Get daily cardiovascular exercise. The CDC recommends 75 minutes of intense cardio or 150 minutes of moderate cardio every week. Weight training, which the CDC recommends you do at least twice a week, can also strengthen your muscles, reducing pain.