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Piriformis syndrome and stretchsitting

traceybolton's picture
Last seen:
12 years 2 months ago
03/24/2011 - 6:43pm
Piriformis syndrome and stretchsitting

Hi Esther,

My back pain is always lower back and piriformis muscle related. I work 10 to 12 hour days sitting at a computer and I notice it's exacerbated by hiking and moderate cardio exercise. I have started the lessons and am working on Stretchsitting, but am experiencing a lot of pain in both sides of my buttocks around my piriformis muscles which then radiates down my legs. I have had a Herman Miller Mirra chair for years and it was quite expensive so I would like to make it work. http://www.hermanmiller.com/Products/Mirra-Chairs

I am following lesson 1 as best as I can, but I am wondering if you have advice on how to modify the chair and/or my posture to alleviate the pain I am now experiencing while stretchsitting?

Thanks in advance!


charlenehannibal's picture
Last seen:
2 years 3 months ago
12/15/2010 - 7:51am

HI Tracey, 

I'm glad to hear you are working through the Gokhale Method.  A few helpful (hopefully) tips: 

1. Stretchsitting should be started with a gentle approach.  Especially if you have a sensitive back or muscles prone to spasm.  Remember; a little bit of stretch over a long period of time is the name of the game.

2.  The Herman Miller chair is workable.  I would make sure to lock the back rest so you can truly lean into the Stretchsit element whether it's a cushion or towel or blanket.  If the chair continues to lean with you that is not ideal for relaxation nor the neck. You also want to make the backrest fairly flat.  The Mirra Chair is rounded which can impede proper shoulder placement.  build out the backrest with an extra towel or sheet to make room for your shoulders to roll back.  

3. For tips particular to chairs, it is worth checking out our newest newsletter, Positive Stance (June 2012).  It is very imformative on the different aspects of an ideal chair.  It also has useful pictures.

Good Luck!


Charlene Hannibal

Gokhale Method Teacher, Palo Alto/San Francisco

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