Speed, Thank You And Piriformis, Please

On March 21, 2008, in Uncategorized, by Meghan

This is a please-and-thank-you blog entry.

Thank you to my tough body that carried me remarkably quickly through my first real speed workout of this training cycle. I had previously done a couple hill workouts and “trail fartleks,” which are fartlek runs wherein the fast and slow elements are dictated by trail topography rather than a set schedule. On the hill workouts, I felt like I was lacking power. In the trail fartleks, I felt much stronger. Thus, I was unsure of what I would find in my legs for this week’s speed workout, but I was pleasantly surprised!

And, little, small, seemingly insignificant left piriformis muscle, could you please quit with your uncomfortable spasming? I haven’t mentioned it in this blog because, well, we runners all have our aches and pains. Since December, I’ve had an occasionally wrecked left piriformis muscle. It comes and goes with predictability: when I spend a good amount of time sitting at the computer doing grad school work, my piriformis begins to ache. Personally, I think it’s my body’s way of telling me when to quit working! After a few days of babying the muscle they way one is supposed to baby an achy piriformis, the spasming abates and everything returns to normal.

To my dear readers: I don’t care too much for this cyclic problem, but I don’t know how to stop it, either. Specifically, I do know how to care for the symptoms once the piriformis acts up. But I don’t know how to prevent the muscle from acting up in the first place. I do a lot of running, but I also do a lot of cross training, including lifting. I’ve tried strengthening the other abducting muscles through several different gym exercises. I’ve tried loosening the adducting muscles through specific stretches and yoga poses. Nothing has worked yet, so I appeal to all of my readers. Help?


7 Responses to “Speed, Thank You And Piriformis, Please”

  1. Danni says:

    Do you do a lot of core stuff? I seem to remember a strong core being critical to injury prevention according to the sports doc I had to see some years back. I hope you get it figured out — even small nagging issues can be really annoying. I have ongoing mild PF issues. I wish it would go away.

    Good job on the trail fartleks. That sounds hard :p

  2. Iris says:

    Active Release Therapy! I suffered from piriformis for a long time while in DC. Three sessions with the A.R.T. guy and I was good to go. No recurrences.

  3. Bob Gentile says:

    Hmmm I googled it cause I had NO IDEA on what or where this muscle is….from the pics it Looks small, why don’t we go in and remove it, that should take care of the issue 🙂

    OK since I have no clue on how to help you fix it, I reverted back to some humor but seriously hope you find a solution !

    Have a Happy Easter Day !!

  4. Bob Gentile says:

    PS: How much are you loving this blogspot blogger vs. the other one u were on and so stubborn about moving over to blogspot… See Meghan like I said the first time I tried to get you to move to blogspot Change is Good-lol

  5. Thomas says:

    Have you tried sitting on a tennis ball yet? I know one runner who cured her piriformis troubles that way. Google for details.

  6. A says:

    I’m not a physical therapist yet but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night …. 🙂

    hee hee!

    Here’s to solving muscular mysteries! Keep us posted!


  7. Meghan says:

    Hi all! Thanks for the positive thoughts and fix-it ideas.

    Danni- Yes, I do core work, and I still get injured. Boo. I have had PF in the past, so I can really empathize with you!

    Iris- Thanks for the suggestion, and I’m glad that solved your problem! I will look into local ART therapists.

    Bob- Sounds good, let’s just pull it right out! And, yes, I do like what I can do with Blogger a lot.

    Thomas- Thanks for the suggestion, and I’ve been sitting on a tennis ball whenever I can. It has been helping alleviate the discomfort while sitting.

    Anne- You have been instrumental off the blog in helping me figure out what’s going on. I thank you SO MUCH for that. Once you are a physical therapist, can I hire you? 😉 I can already vouch for your knowledge!

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