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Piriformis Syndrome and Working Out

ive been doing the stretches, foam rolling, and the rest daily but it still flared up really bad today for what ever reason. Im having problems walking and have pain running the entire length of my legs on both sides.

i still intend to workout my upper body today, but my question is about squating. I generally start all my workouts with a 5x5 squats. Is this a good idea to do when your having sciatic issues?

The reason why I am asking is that for some reason once I get that weight on my back, the sciatic pain historically has generally gone away.

any alternatives that i can do so that I dont lose a day unnecessarily?

[quote]koffea wrote:
ive been doing the stretches, foam rolling, and the rest daily but it still flared up really bad today for what ever reason. Im having problems walking and have pain running the entire length of my legs on both sides.

i still intend to workout my upper body today, but my question is about squating. I generally start all my workouts with a 5x5 squats. Is this a good idea to do when your having sciatic issues?

The reason why I am asking is that for some reason once I get that weight on my back, the sciatic pain historically has generally gone away.

any alternatives that i can do so that I dont lose a day unnecessarily?
[/quote]

Foam rolling and stretches won’t get rid of it. You need to get a lacrosse ball and use it on your piriformis on the floor. The stretches will only aggravate it and the foam roller isn’t anywhere precise enough.

A tennis ball works great too. Check out Tony Gentilcore’s article on soft tissue work.

Are you sure its piriformis syndrome? It may very well be sciatica.

[quote]njrusmc wrote:
A tennis ball works great too. Check out Tony Gentilcore’s article on soft tissue work.

Are you sure its piriformis syndrome? It may very well be sciatica.[/quote]

Here’s why it’s not:

The chances of him having actual sciatica on both sides are nil.

to the OP: be sure to hit up the gluteus medius and minimus as well, b/c they cause similar symptoms.

Thanks for the reply, I doubt i can get a lacrosse ball easily, but a tennis ball probably wont be a problem. Ill start doing this as soon as i get off work. I imagine this is going to be extremely painful, but if it works it will be worth it.

what about squating though? should i lay off for today and resume on monday when hopefully it has released, or resume today as normal?

I would lay off on the squats because remember, your external rotators are right under your glut max, and if you place major strain on that glut max while squatting, you risk further compression.

Not to mention, your external rotators are used during squatting for stability. The first time you use that tennis ball it will hurt like hell; allow your muscles to heal appropriately and drink plenty of water. Training through the soreness will only be more problematic. Hope it helps!

[quote]koffea wrote:

I generally start all my workouts with a 5x5 squats. Is this a good idea to do when your having sciatic issues? [/quote]

Why do you start ALL your workouts with 5X5 squats? No, it does not sound like a good idea.

I wouldn’t put much stock in this. When I work out, I feel little pain. I suppose I am sensitive to the pain-blocking effects of endorphins. This is a bad thing because I don’t realize when I might be hurting myself until an hour or so after the workout.

[quote]njrusmc wrote:
Are you sure its piriformis syndrome? It may very well be sciatica.[/quote]

Good question!

First go to the doc making sure it’s not some bulging/herniated disks issue. If it’s not I believe front squat performed with text book perfect form can be a pretty good rehab tool…

As another member pointed out, sciatica is usually just on one side as the disc bulges one way (Typically). However, if your lumbar spine vertebrae are very much out of whack, it is entirely possible that …

  1. A disk is bulging both ways
  2. Two adjacent disks, maybe L4/L5 and L5/S1 are bulging, one to each side