Injuries occur when a muscle is in a lengthened state in a position out of your bodies threshold, and with that your bodies natural reaction once over-lengthened is to recoil and protect itself. If you try to fully stretch the muscle afterwards, there will be quite a bit of pain. But to help with the healing process, you want to get movement into the area as soon as possible to create a “pump” affect bringing in fresh fluids full of nutrients into the surrounding tissues. Because the muscle will be in a shortened state, you want to gradually work to give it more length, staying within a threshold of success without pain. As I like to explain it, you want to go and just barely kiss the pain, but never pass into the pain. This will help to increase your bodies tolerance to the stress demands on that muscle and will help to get you back to activities faster.
When it comes to working out, you are still able to workout, but I would take a more global approach to your exercises that will incorporate more tissues in which the forces have to travel through. What this will help to do is dampen the stress load of the exercise as it gets closer to the affected region. You can also make sure to shorten the affected area in all 3 planes of motion (External Rotation, Abduction, and Extension) in order to take the Gluts completely out of the picture.
I hope this helps
even though not related to your particular injury, here is a link with information why you should NOT stretch an injured muscle http://www.golflink.com/about_4595_should-stretch-pulled-muscle.html.
I hope you will be better soon.
Hi Bryan. How long it takes to heal is, sorry to say “how long it takes to heal.” Not trying to be funny or flip, but everyone is different and so there is no universal answer to that question. Because the piriformis is so instrumental as a ‘rotational muscle,’ a person suffering from a pulled or strained one will KNOW when it’s gotten better simply by their ability to utilize rotational movements without pain or strain.
I hope that this helps.