A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

A painful lesson learned

on September 13, 2014
Thursday morning, I decided to head over to a flat stretch of street in my neighborhood for my speedwork rather than hitting the gym for a treadmill after work like I usually do. The stretch of street I chose was fairly flat, but being a street in the suburbs, all of the sidewalks curved and sloped downward to these pretty little bricked crosswalks every time I crossed a street and being the burbs, the blocks were small so I was going up and down at a cant several times during these fast intervals (8:00 pace). After a couple of intervals, I developed a sharp pain in my butt on the left. I tried to bend over and stretch it out and that really hurt! Yikes! Like an idiot, I kept going through the intervals even though I was really hurting by the last one (and my pace slowed to around 8:30). Don’t do that! When it hurts, stop!! I eased back home with a jog/walk and as I walked up the driveway, pulled out my phone to google “pain in the butt running“. You’d think that would open me up to a wide variety of funny posts, but it actually came up with lots of posts about the piriformis.

Side note: Not a PT or sports medicine doc or anything like that, so do not take anything I’m saying as medical advice. In fact, I strongly advise against using “Doctor Google” to diagnose and treat yourself! Even though I admit I sort of did that here.

The piriformis is a small but mighty muscle that serves as one of the lateral rotators of the hip. It can become irritated when you hips are out of alignment (like say, running too quickly over canted curves in the road in my case). Check out these blogs here and here for more information about the nitty gritty of piriformis function. Piriformis syndrome is a slightly different thing and occurs when the irritation of the piriformis, from whatever mechanical misstep that has acutely or chronically made it unhappy, also irritates the sciatic nerve. This can result in shooting pains down your leg, and even numbness. Thankfully, I have not progressed to that point! This seems to be a very acute kind of issue.

Stretching things out on the bathroom counter while I'm watching Darrell and O play through bath time. :)

Stretching things out on the bathroom counter while I’m watching Darrell and O play through bath time. 🙂

For now, I’m going to work on some piriformis stretches (here) and foam rolling everything around the area, as none of these muscles work in isolation. I also really need to work on getting in my strength work more often as that can prevent this kind of injury! I’ll avoid any hill/speed work until this is completely gone and otherwise try to take it easy. It’s already feeling better, so it seems to have been very situational in my case. Don’t worry – if it doesn’t get back to normal ASAP, off to the doctor I go!

I’m really surprised I didn’t get more funny sites when I googled “pain in my butt.” Send me good vibes and the mental fortitude to take it easy and respect my body a little better when it says “ouch”!

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4 responses to “A painful lesson learned

  1. My PT actually said I need to foam roll my Piriformis every day to help keep away ITBS and other various injuries! Hope you feel better soon!

    • It’s already feeling better, thankfully! It just reminded me of the importance of regular foam rolling and better stretching! And stopping when something hurts!

      On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 1:51 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

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  2. […] to be scared of speed work and hill work after all! (Well, other than doing it in the suburbs and tweaking my piriformis – back to normal now!) I actually particularly like the hill work because it’s so […]

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