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Piriformis Syndrome.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Hello all,

I have suffered a setback in my training due to a severely pulled piriformis muscle. In turn the spasm has affected my S.I joint and sent it into lockdown as well. Through Chiropractic and Active Release Therapy I have been able to get the S.I joint moving again but the piriformis is still in spasm. I have stopped training anything that will aggravate it (pretty much breathing aggravates it im finding) and will continue to lay off till it returns to normal.

After numerous chiro, massage and accupuncture sessions its going on 6 weeks and the pain has not diminished. In fact I now feel pain down the hamstring and through the calf muscle too. The calf and the bottom of my foot feel all pins and needles like and my hamstring feels like it too is now strained. My chiro and RMT have assured me this is the normal process of healing for piriformis syndrome as it usually worsens before getting better but man is it getting frustrating. Not only has my training suffered but now that I'm back in my final year at college all this sitting is making it nearly impossible to heal up.

My question is this. If anyone has had this type of pain and or injury please get back to me as to what you have done to heal up. What worked and how long did it take. I have been unable to find anyone who is experiencing the same type of problem and all the articles online give such mixed feedback as to the process to heal up that I need some first hand advice.

Thank you in advance and as this is my first post please reply if more info is needed.


Stats if needed
age 37
ht 6'2"
wt 235
bf% 14
yrs training 15+


  • Hi Tess,

    I do not have PS. I wanted to welcome you to Spine health. there are many here who do suffer PS and someone should be along shortly.

    My concern is that you have gotten significantly worse. How long has this been going on? I have found it to be true that after any kind of spinal manipulation I would hurt for a day or two, but not more than that, and not any nerve radiculopathy.

    Have you seen any other specialist other than a Chiro?

  • Chiro, acupunturist, RMT, ART specialist, Family GP etc...

    Im convinced its the piriformis trapping the nerve as the pain in that area is intense and it worsens due to sitting and pressure on the muscle
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  • Chiro, acupunturist, RMT, ART specialist, Family GP etc...

    Im convinced its the piriformis trapping the nerve as the pain in that area is intense and it worsens due to sitting and pressure on the muscle
  • Tess, have you had an MRI to rule out lumbar problems? These symptoms can all come with lumbar disc/spine issues as well. What are you training for? Welcome to SH. This is a great site of information and support. Keep posting!
    >:D< Cali-Sue
  • There are a lot of injuries that cause pain while sitting. My first diagnosis was piriformis syndrome, the second was an MRI that revealed grade one spondy with bilateral forminal stenosis, and today I was told that the spondy/stenis was probably there for quite some time, it is actually ishial bursitis that is bothering me..

    I ran for decades, and the predominant pain that I have is when sitting. I think you should get another opinion if you can, and perhaps an MRI.

    So far I have had PT (still ongoing), traction, epidural to the L5/S1, and now today a epidural to the ishial bursa...

    MRI, xrays, flexon/extension xray, bone scan.

    I'm still trying to figure out for sure which of the three diagnosis are correct, or perhaps I have pain from all of them.

    btw, I still work out pretty regularly with exercises provided by the PT. Perhaps I shouldn't be.
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  • Tess,

    Have you ruled out the pain originating from S1-L5? I've had spondy for 15 years and have dealt with various levels of sciatica during that time. This past year I've noticed more pain in the right hip and buttock and in August it finally became unbearable. My husband was certain it was SI pain and from there we did several stretching exercises (he's a collegiate coach and used to seeing the athletes go through these stages). Unfortunately, these exercises only made things worse, so we quit and I kept taking the Naprosyn for the pain. I finally went to see a neurosurgeon a month ago, and he looked at an MRI I had done 3 years earlier after knee surgery. He said he knew right away that the pain was coming from the L5-S1 where the nerve root was severly damaged (and that was three years ago). He said that most of the time folks come in with what they think is SI joint pain but most often is L5-S1 issues. I recently had an updated MRI, CT scan and exray and I'm meeting with the surgeon tomorrow to go over the results. All that I know is that the nurse said I needed to have surgery soon, but that's all she would disclose over the phone.

    Please go get this checked out and save yourself more discomfort. I'm certainly not looking forward to surgery, but I don't care to have this level of pain forever. It's really dictating my lifestyled and at 45, I'm not ready to slow down.

    Good luck and let us know what you find out.
  • Hi Tess, as pointed out earlier, I think you should rule out the possibility of your pain originating from the lumbar area. In my case, it was ruled out. I'm a 45-year old female with chronic back pain and have been in pain for 2 years and 3 months. I went hiking in April 2009 which cuased the onset of pain. After a round of massage, physio, chiro,and spinal decompression, I have not found any relief in my lower back, hip joint and leg pain. I started to experience numbness and tingilng down my left leg over a year ago as well. It was originally thought that there was nerve compression in L4 and L5 judging from the X ray and MRI taken. However, I recently started going to a chiro and he said there was no disc narrowing in L4 or L5 which could compress on the nerve. He said that my SI joints were "locked" and that causes the piriformis muscles to tighten and compress on the sciatic nerve, hence the sensastion down my left leg. The therapists I've seen previously only said that the SI joint has weakened and never said it was causing the pain. Several months ago, I also started experiencing stiffness in both my knees and now find it difficult to walk for an extended amount of time or to rotate my left knee. The chiro said the irregular shape of my knees is compensatory. Apparently, I also have a overpronated(flat arch) left foot which may or may not be the source of my problem.
    I hope you find relief soon!
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