Monday, November 09, 2015

Piriformis Syndrome?

Having felt something "go" a couple weeks ago playing only my third game of ball hockey this season I have since been dealing with an miserable ache, stiffness and numbness in my upper left leg. Initially I though I was dealing with a level two hamstring pull but now suspect I suffered a piriformis muscle strain.

Any extended period of time sitting brings on the symptoms and upon standing there is tightness in my hamstring and hip. Thanks to Ian who had suggested I look into piriformis stretches I now have a better understanding of my possible issue.

Piriformis syndrome is "a condition in which the piriformis muscle becomes tight and/or spasms and irritates the sciatic nerve....patients often complain of deep pain within the hip and buttocks...."

Bingo! I can now confirm I am a legitimate "pain in the butt" (wink)

Seeking the causes of PS to further my understanding I discovered several that have a direct correlation to my condition....

a - exercising on hard surfaces - Yes. Ball hockey is played on a hard gym floor.

b - Beginning a activity after a long layoff period - Yes. Ball hockey just started again after a couple months and I recently re-joined a gym.

c - Increasing exercise intensity or duration - Yes. See above after a "lazy" summer.

d - Sitting for long periods of time - Yes. I have a desk job.

e - Wearing worn out shoes - Yes. My runners need replacing.

f - Poor running mechanics - Yes. I have over pronation issues.

I definitely exhibit both biomechanical and over usage indicators of PS.

"Piriformis syndrome is commonly associated with sports that require a lot of running, change of direction and weight bearing activity."

That is ball hockey in a nutshell.

Piriformis Stretches

I will immediately begin a PS stretching routine in an attempt to treat my symptoms. There seems to be some variations so I will try an assortment to see what ones work best for me. I will not rule out physio or massage either as I have benefit coverage for both forms of therapy. My next scheduled chiropractic appointment is next week so I will consult Dr.J as well.

I have tried some of stretches which seem effective and just feel real good. As well I will check out the idea of rolling out my hip on a foam roller/ball.

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