Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Exercises that Can Lead to Piriformis Pain Syndrome

I got a question about what exercises can lead to piriformis pain syndrome (PPS).

Before I get to the answer.  Let me take a step back and explain what PPS is.

PPS is the tightening of the piriformis muscle that can lead to hip pain or sciatica.  The cause can be mechanical or chemical.

Let me go through a few exercises that could be leading to your PPS.

#1 - Crunches

Any kind of exercises that put flexion (forward bending) in the lower back can lead to greater stress on the piriformis muscle.

#2 - Single Leg Exercises

Exercises where you use one leg put greater stress on the piriformis muscle.

Single leg exercises are excellent exercises and important to do but what often happens is people will have poor control of their pelvis when it comes to side to side movements or rotation movements.  Since their is poor control in the pelvis, the piriformis muscle does everything it can to help out and often times gets over worked and in time, injuried.

#3 - Running 

This links up with exercise #2.  If you have poor control of your pelvis, when you run, it will lead to greater stress on the piriformis.

One thing to remember is, fatigue when it relates to running.  As we get tired, our running gets sloppy and we lose control of our pelvis so I piriformis will have to work harder to control things.

Sum It All Up

Single leg exercises and running are great things to do but you need to make sure you have good control of your pelvis, it you do not, it could lead to PPS.

When it comes to crunches, this is another reason why not to do them.

Before I go, I got a video that will help you when it comes to the treatment of piriformis syndrome:

Rick Kaselj – 
Registered Kinesiologist Specializing in Injury Rehabilitation 
Surrey, BC, Canada Get your “5 Myths about Core Training” Special Report – 

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