l am famililar with Piriformis syndrome and generally don’t touch it. I wait until they are pain free in order to work with them.
However, if, as you mention, someone is “suffering” and having “pain” I generally tell them to go see their physician. in the textbook “Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes” written by Shirley A. Sahrmann states:
“The length of the piriformis muscle needs to be considered carefully in the piriformis syndrome.” She further states, “Although the piriformis is commonly considered to be short when this syndrome is present, Kendall reports that symptoms of this syndrome can also be found in the patient who has a lengthened piriform muscle. In the clinical experience of the author of this text, this syndrome is found more frequently in the patient with a lengthened piriformis muscle than in the piriformis of the patient with a shortened muscle. The therapist must carefully examine the length of the muscle before planning intervention for the syndrome.
Ruti, I wish you the best with your client.
This is a tough one to work with for sure. I teach Pilates and always tell my participants that have pain from piriformis syndrome to avoid any movement that causes pain. (No lateral flexion movements, circumduction or anything that engages the medius & minimus). They can be pretty limited with range of motion and regular movement when suffering from this and I recommend they ice and rest. I focus on piriformis stretches for them whenever possible.
Good luck with that one!
I have worked with and helped a few people to correct the issue completely. This is a tricky subject and can only be programmed after a thorough assessment of the individual while working with the clients Doctor and or Physical Therapist. No two piriformis cases have been the same in my experience. I would ordinarily stay away from this type of training but having had sciatic issues in the past and I am intimitaly familiar with this problem. With that being said I cannot give direct advice to piriformis syndrome in general, but however will recommend a good book… The Wharton’s Back Book.
It would be a good idea to check out, it is a great resource.
Ruti, i don’t know what your back ground is? but this is not a “tricky subject”, try this approach. You must down regulate the ANS first, many times just doing that will fix the problem. second, try stretching the Piriformis muscle on the good side ONLY, you will be amazed what this will do the the inflamed side! You may also want to check restriction of the trunk and correct it by working on the good side ONLY, and do the same with shoulder flexion. Finally Ruti, one of the Neurologist/Traumatologist that i work with published a study of 43 individuals who suffer from “piriformis syndrome” and 100% of them were sexually assaulted, something you may want to keep in mind. Hope it helps.
Foam rolling the piriformis first then stretching it will be best.
Also find someone who is ART Active Release Technique certified and they will fix it in 2-6 visits.
Check their feet. Flat footed people use the piriformis to much when they walk so it will get shortened and overused. Find the cause and you won’t need to keep stretching the piriformis.