If you are a runner, you may have heard (or even experienced) piriformis syndrome. Symptoms of piriformis include pain, tingling, or even numbness in the gluteus maximum, the rear end. This area is so affected because of its role in rotating the hips as you run. This guide will help you deal with piriformis syndrome and get hopefully get back to running as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome
When your bottom becomes swollen and inflamed due to piriformis irritation, you may actually feel it more in your lower back. You may even think you have sciatic pain instead and seek treatment for that. Then, you might start to feel some sort of electric signal shooting down your legs. The pain is not intense and sudden; it comes on slowly and then refuses to go away.
How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome
Your physical therapist may recommend that you take time away from running so that you can relax the muscles that continue to tighten up in the bottom. Your therapist will also recommend some stretches you can do to prevent injury in the future when you begin to run again.
Your physical therapist will also examine the mechanics of how you run. Many runners end up with piriformis syndrome because of the way they run. A medical professional may be able to help you fix your stride, arm movements, and other possible issues that could be hurting your form.
Your work does not end post-workout either. You should always use a foam roller to loosen up those aching muscles after a tough run, but when it comes to reaching the piriformis, you may need something more firm. Foam rollers tend to reach those muscles that are on the surface. A small ball can reach the muscles underneath.
With proper treatment and attention paid to running mechanics, you can eliminate your piriformis problem in a matter of weeks. In the meantime, you may be able to continue working out in other ways, like swimming or biking. This allows you to stay healthy without doing more damage to your piriformis and the surrounding region.
When to Call the Doctor
You should always pay attention to the level of pain you feel when you are working out or even just walking. If you feel more intense pain that affects your daily activities, or you experience additional pain in your back, you may want to get in touch with your doctor or physical therapist. Also contact a medical professional if the pain is getting worse or does not go away after you have followed your physical therapist's suggestions for treatment and recovery.
For more information, contact a company like Annapolis Family Physical Therapy.