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What to do when Piriformis Syndrome strikes!

Piriformis Syndrome
Piriformis Syndrome

Eek! Piriformis Syndrome is the worst. I hope that you are not suffering from this but if you are I am so very sorry. If you are suffering from this you will not be a happy runner!

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

This is often an overuse problem that plagues runners. According to Medicinenet, “Piriformis syndrome is usually due to compression or contraction of the piriformis muscle on certain areas of the sciatic nerve.” In more simple terms it is literally a pain in the ass! The piriformis muscle is located deep in your butt just behind the gluteus maximus. So when you have piriformis syndrome you will feel pain deep in your butt. This muscle is important, “in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body” (WebMD)

Piriformis syndrome can cause pain, tingling, and numbness. The pain can be mild to severe and can be aggravated by simple movements such as climbing stairs, difficulty sitting, and obviously running! You will know if you have this because it can be super painful and even tender to the touch.

What to do if you have Piriformis Syndrome.

Your first line of recovery is rest and ice. Avoid activities that trigger issues with your piriformis (no runner will like to hear this advice!). Taking anti-inflammatories can help. Massage directly on the piriformis muscle can help to relax this muscle and to lessen the spasms. Stretching and strengthening exercises are a key part of the treatment plan for piriformis syndrome and working on postural alignment.

Help! I have piriformis syndrome! What should I do? #runchat #injuredrunner

Here are some great resources for stretching and strengthening:

-PIRIFORMIS STRETCHES TO RELIEVE PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME

Piriformis Muscle Stretch and Physical Therapy

Piriformis Syndrome Exercises

Beginners Piriformis Stretching Routine

Have you ever struggled with Piriformis Syndrome? What helped you to recover?

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7 responses

7 responses

  1. I struggled with this for years! Thankfully, it’s been MIA in recent years, but I’m hyper aware if I feel the slightest sense it’s staging a return. Getting a convertible stand-up desk at work was a total game changer for me.

  2. Great post! I usually recommend massaging + stretching if the initial rest/ice isn’t helping! :] There’s a counterstrain technique in school that we learned that can be helpful too (would have to be performed by someone else though)!

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