What is one of the toughest challenges runners deal with during their training? It’s dealing with an injury or pain that won’t seem to go away. Piriformis syndrome is one of those common issues that is well known for causing trouble in endurance runners.
Where is the piriformis? It is a small muscle in the back of the hip, deep in the buttock. Its job is to help with external rotation and abduction of the thigh. Common symptoms associated with piriformis-related sciatica is moderate to severe pain from the buttock that can travel down the leg.
When runners experience Piriformis syndrome, they are experiencing a compression of the sciatic nerve because the muscle is too tight. That’s why stretching is so very important.
Other symptoms include pain and soreness in the middle of the buttocks or along the back of the hip. Not only do runners experience pain while running (especially when landing or pushing off), they can often feel pain when squatting and sitting.
Stretching is one thing that runners can do to help keep that muscle from getting tight. This video demonstrates a few different ways to stretch the piriformis and help keep you pain free. (Remember, before you start any stretching; make sure to seek professional medical advice first as these symptoms can often be confused with other back issues.)
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