I have recently discovered that my previously diagnosed Piriformis syndrome is actually herniated L4-L5 disc left side. Had been doing exercises to try and stretch piriformis muscle by lying on back pulling knee to chest and then slowly moving knee across to opposite shoulder. Felt the stretch and was able to get more flexible over time (2 weeks). However pain getting from bed in mornings and getting going is/was horrific, made head swim etc. Sought second opinion, had MRI and discovered aforementioned herniated disc.
Now I have different exercises to do mostly lying on stomach, raise up on elbows, keep hips on ground and increase duration of holding this position. Another is next step by doing slow pressup also with keeping pelvis on ground and hold for short duration. These are designed, they say to move pain from lower extremities back into the lumbar region of the actual injury, in my case from central buttocks region to anywhere and including tips of toes. This varies considerably from dull constant ache in calf, to the sensation of someone touching a match to ankle bone, sharp stabbing pain of different durations and regions, you name it. Problem is these stretches are, along with simple core exercises are failing to produce these results (3 weeks). Even in the stretch itself when the disc is supposedly moving away from nerve root, I still feel these sensations in lower leg (left).
I guess my question is could I be battling 2 conditions with the first diagnosed Piriformis syndrome preventing the relief that was suggested. I did a careful trial and attempted to do a slight stretch on the piriformis muscle again and indeed found this seemed very tight again with nowhere near the flexibility I had achieved with it before Herniation diagnosis. Not sure if these knee to chest exercises may undo all the good the disk exercises may have done. Anyone have any ideas or similar issues?