I have bee running for many years. Have done a few marathons bit mostly shorter races and for the exercise. Anyway I have had a pain in my butt that I think is Piriformis syndrome. I have had it for a few years but it only really bothered me when sitting for long times. I had had it on the other side a few years back and with PT it did go away, however this time it just kept lingering even with time off. So I just accepted it but started to increase mileage in February and it has become worse....I am planning to see doctor soon but wondering how have others dealt with this.. I am so afraid my days of long distance running may be over.
Don't hang up the shoes quite yet. IMHO Piriformis Syndrome isn't even on the radar as a running career ender. Yes - it can be frustrating - but tons of people get through it.
I found stretching and tennis ball massage helped the most. Damien Howell who hangs here, though, is a big proponent that it can be made worse if the pain is coming from over-stretching. In theory, since Piriformis is an external rotator and it's likely cauing problems because the other external rotators aren't doing their job, then strengthening the hips in general should alleviate some of the slack Piriformis has had to take on.
I'd recommend the tennis ball massage - and hopefully Damien will jump in and offer additional thoughts.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan
Thanks I will try the tennis ball and the over stretching makes sense to me. And no I am not ready to give up running...I would become too depressed! I have a group of friends running Boston Monday and so sad I couldn't train and run with them. I am still running now but only short distances, probably should not be running at all now but we are doing a relay in May...maybe after that I will take some time off :(
Take a look at this short article Pain in the Buttocks. Often buttock pain is more related to sitting than running. Take a look at Should Piriformis Syndrome be Treated with Stretching Exercises?. Not all pain should be stretched out. Some pain occurs because the tissue is stretched out.
Damien Howell PT, DPT, OCS
That article is so interesting as driving in the car is when it is the absolute worst! Especially when I run a fair distance and then hop in the car. I do spend lots of time in the car in afternoon/evening driving my four kids around. Thanks for the articles!