A common disorder that often rear its’ ugly head for athletes is Piriformis Syndrome.
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Basically, it is pain created by the piriformis muscle pressing on or into the sciatic nerve. Understanding the causes that lead to Piriformis Syndrome (PS) is key to managing it and hopefully preventing it in the future.
The Cause of Piriformis Syndrome
The cause of PS basical falls into two categories – biomechanical inefficiencies or overload.
Basically, biomechanical inefficiencies relate to muscle imbalances within the body. These imbalances can be in flexibility and strength. They can also be due to faulty body mechanics or in gait disturbances (running or walking with your toes pointed out too far or in), in poor posture, or just how your body moves in general.
Other causes can include spinal issues, improper alignment, tight stiff muscles and or fascia in the low back, hips and buttocks.
Overload simply means the muscles were worked either too hard or too long without adequate rest and recovery. Below are common examples of overload in addition to some less obvious causes.
- Going running after spending a few months sitting around, not doing much.
- Increasing your mileage too quickly – even if you have been running consistently.
- Increasing interval intensity aggressively – stressing your body when it wasn’t ready.
- A spur-of-the-moment intense game of tennis or golf with little preparation.
- Sitting for extended periods of time – whether at a desk, couch, driving or traveling via airplane.
In fact, any form of sitting for extended periods of time will shorten the piriformis muscle which in turn will place pressure on the sciatic nerve. Ouch!
There are other factors that can cause PS, but typically these are main reasons for this most uncomfortable and sometimes very painful conditiob.
AVC Elite Training continually works on keeping muscles balanced, flexible and strong. In addition, proper recovery and rest is constantly stressed along with being responsible with good home care such as foam rolling.
Piriformis Syndrome doesn’t have to be your destiny if you train smart.