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Pesky Piroformis Syndrome. A Common Runner’s Ailment.

Is your piroformis muscle causing you trouble? 

Piroformis syndrome. A beginning look at how to deal with this common running ailment | Organic Runner Mom

Piroformis syndrome. A beginning look at how to deal with this common running ailment.

The ongoing battle with my back and hip issues continues. I’ll have several good days of no pain and then I go backwards and plunge back into the downward spiral into excruciating back pain and immobility. The trouble all seems to be isolated in the region of my piroformis muscle and gluteus medius (basically all in my rear end, a literal pain in the a$$). I am trying to stay positive and am continuing to do what I can to keep my body fit while also providing it with adequate rest.

I am guessing there are many of you who are plagued with piroformis syndrome as well judging by the number of comments I’ve received on my instagram and facebook pages. This article, “How to Beat Pirofomis Syndrome,” from Competitor.com passed through my facebook feed several times today and clearly explains “Piroformis Syndrome.” This is a definite must read if this is something that is affecting you and your running.

This article states that,

“the piriformis muscle causes a lot of trouble in runners because it sits directly on top of the sciatic nerve (Fig. 2). In an unfortunate 2 percent of the population, the sciatic nerve runs straight through the middle of the piriformis muscle, increasing the potential for sciatic nerve injury. Because running increases activity in the piriformis muscle, high mileage running can allow the muscle to compress the sciatic nerve with so much force that the nerve becomes damaged. Common symptoms associated with piriformis-related sciatica include a toothache type of pain along the outside of the leg and/or a tingling that can travel all the way to the foot.” (Michaud)

This is a perfect description of the pain that has been occurring. It comes and goes depending on my level of activity and pain can vary from mild to severe depending on whether or not my piroformis is inflamed.

Do you struggle with Piroformis Syndrome? Here are some resources:

If you are like me and have been struggling with Piroformis syndrome, I have rounded up some resources for you to take a look at. I would also love to hear any tips that you have for dealing with this that helped you to get back on the road to running pain free.

Hopefully piroformis syndrome is not preventing you from running (or any injury for that matter). If this is something that you have or currently struggle with I’d love to hear your best tips for dealing with it. What was your worst running or sports injury?

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7 responses

7 responses

  1. I think I have read just about everything that was ever written about the piriformis over the past few years:) But I am always open to reading new info!
    Recently my PT explained that he thinks that an unstable SI joint may be the reason why my piriformis gets so tight. My hips are constantly out of alignment despite weeks/months of soft tissue work and dry needling on the tight muscles. I think that each time it goes “out” it makes it impossible to properly activate my glutes, and the piriformis takes over (along with hip flexors on the other side, but that’s a whole other story). I always felt like stretching made it worse…which I recently figured out is because stretching it pulled me out of alignment even more! This also explains why I would have days where it felt completely fine, and then out of nowhere- bam, it would get angry again.
    Regardless of the cause, is a really frustrating issue to deal with. But I am realizing that if I don’t figure out the true cause, it will constantly come back to bother me. Good luck and I will be continuing to follow you to see if you figure out any thing that helps!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Grown-up Weekends Aren’t Much FunMy Profile

  2. Although I do still occasionally have piroformis pain, I would highly recommend seeing a PT. Mine helped me with the immediate pain and then gave me stretches to work on.

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