Sunday, July 21, 2013

Piriformis Syndrome Is a Pain in the Ass...Literally

A couple of years ago, when I was running on a treadmill, I ended up injuring my IT band, causing a lot of pain in the front of my hip and leg.

When I decided to do the C25K program this time around, I opted to run outdoors, hoping that I could eliminate the risk of re-injuring the IT, and, I succeeded at that. Unfortunately, the hilly terrain I chose to run on caused an inflammation of my Piriformis muscle, which is located in the buttock. The inflammation resulted in Piriformis Syndrome.

I know this because Dr. Google says so. And, because my massage therapist concurs.

So, it would appear that I am doomed to suck at the running, except, that's not entirely accurate, because; it turns out that running is not the real problem in my constant battle to remain injury-free. The real problem is the lack of flexibility in my hips, which allows the running to irritate one-or the other- of the major muscle bands in my legs. Why it always results in pain in my left leg is a mystery, since, according to my massage therapist, my right hip is more tight than my left.

Human physiology is weird.

Anyway, all is not lost. I have started doing a series of intense stretching exercises aimed at opening up my hips, and, today I ran two and a quarter miles (22 minutes without stopping!) with much less discomfort than I have experienced since I started the program six weeks ago.

I am also planning to start a yoga class that is being provided by my day job (have I mentioned lately just how much I love my day job?) as part of the company wellness program. The yoga should help with the flexibility issue as well.

So, I have high hopes for a pain-free future as a long distance runner. Or, as a couch potato and part-time shuffle/jogger type of person. Either way, cheers to less pain.

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