Piriformis Syndrome

After the Kaiser half, I had been feeling some pain in my hip, lower back, and down my left leg. This was really frustrating, (a real pain in the butt!) and took some time to figure out. My self-diagnosis was piriformis syndrome. The pain would come and go but I could still run. In fact, it's better when I stay moderately active rather than laying around. What seems to be working is decreased easy mileage, stretching, warming up, and strength training. Here are some of the stretches and things I do every day, twice a day.
  • Cat and Cow Pose
  • Child's Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Leg and calf stretches from the floor, with or without band
  • Hip crossover stretch
Basically, any yoga stretches for your back. Fish oil really helps, in the morning and evening. Every now and then, I have to take an Advil. After a few weeks of stretching, I can incorporate some strength training:
  • Clamshells (with resistance band)
  • Glute Bridges (with resistance band)
  • Side leg lift (with resistance band)
  • Lunges
  • Goblet Squats, Pistol squats with TRX, Bulgarian Split Squat and other squat variations
Some good piriformis info here.

Swimming: At first,  my back would cramp up and I couldn't do flip turns. I would just stretch on the wall and incorporate some vertical kicking and dolphin kicks, with or without fins. Remember the stretching and warmup before. The cold water feels good, but have to be careful of cramps.

Cycling: Riding a bike actually offers a bit of relief and is a good activity before and after running. It helps loosen things up. It may hurt initially but then it feels really great.

Lots of rest days, especially after races. I was able to train and do the Oakland Half, just not at race pace and keeping low mileage. I can't do jumping jacks on that leg but I'm hoping the strength training will help. Though I'm not 100%, I have to count my blessings, as I have never been seriously injured and am still pretty active.

UPDATE: The doctor said I may have pulled a muscle in my low back, which is why it's taking so long for the pains to go away. I upped the protein and will do more PT.

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