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Piriformis Strain and Leg Pain


I have a stupid annoying injury, I slipped on the tiles at a swimming pool and now have debilitating hip pain and sciatica type leg and foot pain and numbness. This has been 4 weeks now and I am getting really hacked off with it. I have booked in for a deep tissue massage with a sports physiotherapist, but that is 6 days away as he is so busy, and I have been advised by a pain physician colleague to try ice on it and heat packs to see if either helps, I have been taking NSAIDS but I can only tolerate low doses as they give me G.I problems in high doses. My primary care physician just said rest it and wait for it to go away.

I work as an operating room nurse and have to stand for long periods.

The worst thing, worse than not being able to train is not being able to sleep, I cannot lie on either side, and I normally sleep on my side.

Is there anything I can do to aid my recovery while I wait for my appointment?


I suffered through the same issue. The piriformis muscle contracts hard and spasms. It is in close contact with the sciatic nerve which it irritates when it bunches up.

DO NOT do any deep tissue work on it. If you do you will make it worse and delay healing (ask me how I know). You need to start a stretching regimen of:

  1. Deep third world squats and hold the bottom for 30 seconds
  2. Lie on your back with knees bent. Bring the affected leg into a cross legged position over the other knee and gently pull the knee towards you stretching the hip and hold for 30 seconds.
  3. Light RDL’s

Do this 3 times a day. It took mine 4 weeks to heal.


Hi, it is getting better now, but was painful for ages, I went to a physio who works with the local rugby teams and he said the same thing with the stretches and I had to do just clamshells and then glute raises before working up to squats, it was that painful. I need to be 100% fit for spring when the mountain bike marathon season starts.