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How I Identify and Treat Piriformis Syndrome: Functional Solutions

I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice. If you’ve had an accident, go see a doctor.

Piriformis syndrome is associated with glute and leg pain when the piriformis muscle pinches the sciatic nerve. This can be caused by an excessively tight and short piriformis or by a weak and long piriformis.

  • If your piriformis is tight, the painful side foot tends to turn out while standing and you will show less internal hip rotation on your painful side.

  • If your piriformis is long, your knees tend to collapse inward during squatting or single leg balancing and you will show excessive internal hip rotation on your painful side.

If you suspect piriformis syndrome, these guidelines can help:

  • Avoid sitting for longer than 50 minutes at a time and change positions every 10 minutes.

  • Sit evenly and roll your hips forward (hip anteversion) while sitting.

  • If short piriformis is suspected, stretch external rotator flexibility on the painful side. The piriformis push-up is an excellent move.

  • If long piriformis is suspected, avoid stretching and focus on glute coordination and strength (gluteus maximus & gluteus medius). The hip thrust is a primary movement to help strengthen.

I write these blog posts to give you straightforward and simple solutions to your chronic pain. To save you time here I've not discussed muscle testing, trigger point testing, posture and movement testing, or stress management, but all of these can directly cause your chronic pain. If you're unsure if you have piriformis syndrome or the cause of your chronic pain, seek professional help or schedule a fitness consultation to work with me directly.

Was this article useful for you? What questions do you have or what would you like to see next? Let me know down below! - Tom


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