Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's the piriformis, silly!

PT went well, and we discovered that my buttock pain was sciatic nerve irritation caused by piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle can compress the sciatic nerve for many reasons, hip surgery being one of them.

If anyone knows the magic "piriformis syndrome stretches," please comment so I can contact you! My PT and I got sidetracked on other things and she didn't give me anything but I know they exist. I don't see her again until next week.

Update: Here are some stretches I found on the Internet; most are not easy to do with a hip that is 7 weeks post PAO!

1. Stretching the muscle often duplicates the pain. To do the piriformis stretch, lie on your back, and flex the right hip and knee. Now, while grasping the right knee with your left hand, pull the knee towards your left shoulder. This adducts and flexes the hip. In this position, grasp just above the right ankle with the right hand, and rotate the ankle outwards. This applies internal rotation to the hip and completes the stretch.
2. Another way to do this stretch is to stand on your left foot and place the right foot on a chair, such that the right knee and hip are flexed at about 90 degrees. Now, using the right hand, press the right knee across towards the left side of the body while keeping the ball of the right foot on the same spot on the chair.
3. Place the right knee on the ground roughly in line with your left shoulder
The right foot should be just in front of the left knee
Press your hips towards the ground so that your bodyweight is on your right leg.
As you move down the right knee comes closer to the left shoulder.
You should feel a gentle pull deep in the right hip / buttocks. ((Note - this is not possible with a post-PAO hip!!):

4. To stretch your RIGHT Piriformis, start off by lying on your back. Bend your knees and cross your right leg over your left so your right ankle rests on your left knee in a figure four position. Now, bring your left leg towards your chest by bending at the hip. Reach through and grab your left thigh to help pull things towards your chest:

5. Sit with one leg bent. Cross the other leg over the bent leg. Try to press the hip of the crossed leg down to the ground. (Not gonna happen any time soon with my hip!):

6. Sit with one leg straight out in front. Hold onto the ankle of your other leg and pull it directly towards your chest:

7. Lie face down and bend one leg under your stomach, then lean towards the ground:

8. More stretches:

1 comment:

Jen said...

Terri, sorry this email is so late! The stretch that helped me: Lay on your belly, and if you can, bring your leg on the affected side in a captain morgan's position, but pulled out to the side. Hard to explain, but that should release the pressure on the sciatic. Does that make sense? Knee up and to your side while on belly...haha. Message me if needed and I can give you my # so you can call me. Hope it gets better!