Piriformis Injury Prevention and Healing

A very common issue with runners is piriformis pain or syndrome. Often, runners feel some pain in the back of the hip, glute, which often is caused by the piriformis.

 

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle spasms or contracts, causing chemical or mechanic infiltration to the pain receptors on the static nerve, causing pain along the area.

  • Deep pain in the bum (only on one side)
  • Pain radiating down the leg
  • Numbness or tingling in the glute and back of the leg

 

What is the Piriformis Muscle?

The piriformis is a triangle-shaped gluteal muscle located deep within the gluteal area, behind the gluteus maximus. The piriformis is a muscle in the glute that extends from the base of the spine to the top of the thigh bone, which causes the pain in the hip or bum. Tightness of the piriformis can compress the sciatic nerve, which can extend all the way down to the foot. That is why it is so important to fix the piriformis issue to save any other injuries it can cause.

 

The piriformis supports the external rotation of the hips, supports pelvis stabilization, and keep the hips level while running. That is why the piriformis muscle must also be strong to avoid the constant impact from running.

 

What Causes Piriformis Syndrome

  • Overuse
  • Weak glutes
  • Weak hamstrings
  • Tight hips
  • Weakness in the deep hip stability muscles
  • Overpronating feet
  • Bad running form

 

Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome

  • Sciatica-like pain down the back of one thigh, calf and sometimes even extending down to the foot.
  • Limited range of motion in the hip joint.
  • Tenderness and pain in the bum.
  • Pain is more intense when landing and pushing off the ground.
  • Pain is worse with prolonged sitting or some runners with piriformis issues can’t sit without pain.

 

Piriformis Syndrome Treatments

Piriformis syndrome is a condition that can last for weeks or a few months. Treatments for piriformis issues are very important to manage the syndrome. The first step is to do some treatments to release the piriformis tightness.

 

  • Rest- To release the tightness, if the symptoms are intense, to take a few days off running will help to release the tension. If the pain is not too intense, you can still run, but try to avoid intense training sessions or long distance runs, which will increase the risk of overload on the muscle.

 

  • Reduce Inflammation- Apply ice on the area a few times per day for 10-15 minutes, use Arnica anti-inflammatory natural cream, use the Life + Sport Device for physio treatment.

 

  • Physiotherapy Session- To get a treatment from a physio therapist can help to release the muscle tension and help the healing. The physio therapist can perform some dry needling, and deep tissue massage which can be very helpful.

 

  • Stretching and Foam Rolling- To start with foam rolling will help loosen up the piriformis and all the muscles attached to make the stretching a bit easier. Also, using a massage ball to do deep tissue release will help the piriformis.

Muscles to Foam Roll:

  • Hip Flexors
  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • IT Band
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Lower Back

Stretches:

  • Standing Forward Fold- Hamstrings
  • Lateral Fold- IT Band
  • Butterfly
  • Around the World
  • Half Pigeon- The most efficient piriformis stretch is a half-pigeon with the leg on top of a bench or bed
  • Runner’s lunge
  • Happy Baby
  • Supine Figure 4
  • Supine Internal Rotation
  • Seated Twist

Train, Look After your Muscles, Run Strong!

What Running Teaches Us About Life

Runners will start running to stay fit, clear the mind, relief stress to kick start a good day, or after a long busy day. Running is an easy way to exercise, with easy access and not too much gear, so it’s a healthy good way to pass time. The more we run, the more running rewards us.

Running is one of the best thing in life, running repays our investment and commitment through improved fitness, clearer mind, and some deep life lessons. Running can teach us things about life.

 

  1. Every Day is Different

Every run is different. Even running the same route at the same time, each day, which should feel identical every day, each run will be different.

  • Some days it is internal issues that change each day; our mood, energy levels, enthusiasm, motivation.
  • Some days it is external issues that can change each day; rainy day, sunny day, strong wind, busy route.
  • Some days every run is different, sometimes we would like each run to be and feel the same, to support our speedwork target, pace goal, or just to feel comfortable and a good high-energy level.
  • Some days it’s impossible to push through the run at a fast and strong speed.
  • Some days we are restless and want to quit.

Each day’s run is different, and that is just like our daily life. Each day is something new and different, sometimes good, or bad, or unexpected. Running teaches and reminds us that each day is different, and to appreciate each day for being unique.

 

  1. Running is Mostly Non-Competitive- Competition is Ourselves

Running is not a highly competitive sport. Sometimes during races, it is competitive. But during our regular runs, competition should be ourselves.

  • Some days we are competing against our mind to tell us to quit, or cancel our run.
  • Some days we compete against a self-imposed target.
  • Some days we are competing against a previous performance.

Running is not about competing with other people, this might cause demotivation in the long-term.  Successful runners are not the people who are constantly measuring themselves against other people. Successful runners measure themselves against their own standards. Runners are driven to work hard in order to become the best version of themselves. Our competition isn’t other people, it’s us; our ego, procrastination and self-talk.

 

  1. Only You Can Truly Help Yourself
  • If you want to run a 10K or a 100K, only you can be responsible, show up and make it happen.
  • You can get support from friends or other runners, but the only person that has to do the work is you.
  • Just like our everyday life, anything we want to truly achieve has to be initiated from within, it has to come from us, just like in running.
  • Just like running, anything in life, we need to show up, and try to achieve and succeed.
  • Only you can truly help yourself.

 

  1. Issues are Going to Happen

After running for a few years, we will all have some issues and interesting stories. Whether it is about an injury, or mental drain or burn-out. But to confront and resolve these issues, we have to work on it in order to get back to running and perform well. Running for years will create some issues that as human beings just like our daily life, we will have to resolve and deal with.

  • Injury
  • Loss of motivation
  • One of our races cancelled
  • Health issues

In our daily life some issues will happen, something terrible or unexpected happens. But once we recognize that setbacks are inevitable and temporary, we can re-frame and resolve these issues. And with the right mindset we can thrive.

 

  1. Discomfort is Delayed Gratification

Running is all about getting comfortable starting uncomfortable.

  • Early morning runs when we’re tired.
  • Running in cold weather, rain, strong winds.
  • Pushing the limits of our body past our comfort zone.
  • Runners get used to and even embrace the sensation of being uncomfortable.
  • Runners realize that delayed gratification is doing something uncomfortable now for a reward later on.
  • Runners realize the benefits of putting themselves into hard situations.

The best things in life often appear as rewards for going through periods of discomfort. For our daily life, discomfort is actually delayed gratification.

 

  1. Routine and Structured Schedules Lead to Success

Most runners have a good running routine, training plan and schedule. It keeps us balanced and successful.

In our daily life, routine, structure, planned schedule and targets will lead to success.

Routine and structure lead to success.

 

  1. Community Run Provides Strength

Running solo has many benefits, but being part of a good running community is also important.

  • Being part of a running group can give us support and encouragement.
  • Training with a friend is more fun and easier.
  • Running with others can boost our mental strength and positivity.

 

In our daily life, we all rely on our friends, family and community, they make us better, stronger and encourage us, same as running.

There’s strength in community.

Run, Train, Run for a Better Life!

 

Benefits of Solo Runs

 

When we have access to nice running groups, we should really appreciate being part of a nice motivating social running team. But sometimes, due to different issues, we have to run on our own. Some runners who never have time on their own or who are dealing with some life stress, really enjoy running on their own. Training with a group has many benefits; support, friendly competition, finding a good pacer to keep us going, and running feeling positive and happy. Running on our own, training solo also has some great benefits.

 

Why Should We Also Do Some Solo Runs

 

We all know that running has many benefits, but there are some that will be even more efficient when running on your own.

 

  1. Injury Reduction

No one pushing you, following your own pace will allow you to enjoy your easy run on your training schedule, or when your body is telling you to slow down to avoid any injury. Sometimes, runners who join running groups often feel the pressure to push during every run, which can cause some injuries. So, to combine group runs and solo runs can have more benefits for some runners.

 

  1. Following Internal Pacing

Running solo means we can push the pace on days we are feeling stronger, instead of only following our plan. While running solo, we don’t have to worry about leaving runners behind while enjoying some farklets or tempo runs. Running on our own, allows us to get in tune with our body, letting it be our pacing guide. If we run with faster runners we might tend to push too hard, if we run with slower runners we might feel more sluggish or guilty about leaving them behind. To listen to our body pace is very important to protect our body from injuries and even health issues. On the days we feel good and strong we can push, on the days that we feel tired and weak, we should follow a comfortable easy pace.

 

  1. Increasing Mental Strength

Running in groups allows us to rely on others for mental boost when we feel fatigue or muscle pain. Running solo helps us to develop tactics that will increase our mental strength and allow us to handle highs and lows of training. This mental strength training is so helpful for a race day or long-distance runs and races.

 

  1. Stick to your Goals

Being part of a running group or running with a friend, if the group or partner has to cancel the run, adding your solo run to the planned schedule will provide your training goal and rewards. Motivating yourself to go out for your run when it is canceled or your schedule changed, will be very helpful.

 

  1. Confidence Build Up

When we are not running in a group and not running feeling worried about keeping up or holding back other runners, we can really focus on letting our body run according to its pace. It also helps build up our confidence, each time we finish a solo run, we get a bit more confident in our own abilities because no other runners helped us get through a tough run or help us enjoy a nice run. We did it on our own. Some runners who only train and run in a group, on race day they tend to find it very challenging to motivate and push themselves.

 

  1. Improving Our Running Form

When running in a group or with a friend, it’s hard to focus on improving or balancing our running form and breathing techniques. We either spend time chatting or pushing hard, so no focus on any techniques. Solo runs allow us to focus on activating the proper muscles and making sure we breathe properly to support our body strength and energy level.

 

  1. Follow Our Routine

Solo runs allow us to take time and follow our regular routine for dynamic warm ups, post-run stretching or even running drills. No one is waiting for us, so we have access to our own schedule.

 

  1. Creativity Boost

Often, running solo we can do a lot of good thinking and planning while we run. It’s a great time to visualize our goals, think about our dreams and create some nice plans. It is good training to get used to running on our own, enjoy being with ourselves. Having some time alone is so beneficial to our mental health, and to gather our thoughts.

 

  1. Relaxation

Running on our own is a great way to relieve some stress. Some days we don’t have to think, we can just focus on one foot in front of the other, enjoy being outdoors, or listen to our favorite songs and enjoy some private time.

Combining group runs and solo runs is the best training plan with the healthiest, most motivating, and helpful benefits.

Solo Run, Group Run, Best Runner’s Strength!

KATIA

 

 

How to Avoid Stress-Eating

 

Reaching for food to calm down is a very common coping mechanism when dealing with intense stress. Whether we are dealing with worldwide issues, work stress, at home confinement or regular life stress, many people tend to overeat or eat unhealthy foods. Stress eating tends to feel like a soothing distraction, and for many people dealing with stress, it becomes an unhealthy habit. When dealing with intense stress, our levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) go up, which can boost our appetite, cravings for foods high in sugar and fat. Fatty and sugary foods (common comfort foods), tend to chill out our brain that sends stress signals. Unfortunately, emotional stress eating can block our stress level for a very short period, and right after the stress comes right back and sometimes with higher levels due to feeling guilty of overeating unhealthy foods.

Luckily, you can successfully avoid stress-eating by following some smart strategies that include being passionate with yourself and making plans to handle stress more easily in the future.

 

Tips to Avoid Stress-Eating

 

  1. Embrace a new de-stressing routine: The best options to be able to follow a new de-stressing routine, is to replace our over-eating comfort food with different activities. It’s almost impossible for our brain to listen to the “don’t eat your treats now” while we are going through life stress. When our brain wants to follow the typical stress-eating strategy, a good option is to replace it with a self-care routine that’s not food-based, like a short walk, reading a book or article, doing some yoga exercises, listening to music we love.
  2. Making time for meditation: Meditation is a very efficient tool for stress management as it calms our body and mind by slowing our heart rate and breathing, which reduces the stress level. If you have been struggling with emotional eating already, mindfulness eating and meditation can help you avoid these issues.
  3. Stop and take time to breathe: When we feel like we are losing control of our stress and cravings, to take a few minutes to practice deep breathing and diaphragmatic breathing will reduce the stress level intensely. Breathe in through your abdomen and let it fill up and expand, hold the breath for a few seconds, then release and repeat for several minutes. Focusing on the rhythm and quality of your breath can help take your mind off the stress and fight it by improving oxygenation in your body and releasing muscle tension. Breathing techniques are so helpful, it can help you relax and significantly reduce the cortisol levels, which can also provide benefits for better quality sleep.
  4. Exercise: If you start feeling stress-eating and comfort food issues, doing some exercises for even 10-20 mins can help discard stress-eating. The endorphins “feel-good hormones” released from the body and sweating are one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. According to some research, people who did 15 minutes of HIIT exercises, ate fewer calories after the training, people who didn’t exercise ate more calories. To include some regular HIIT training sessions will help reduce the stress levels.
  5. Run/cardio training with a friend: Again, the endorphin hormones get released from the body and sweating through running and other cardio exercises to help reduce intense stress. To perform these good cardio exercises with a friend or running partner, can also add extra stress relief benefits. To chat about your thoughts and feelings with a friend while running or exercising can help you get rid of some emotional issues, which will help you feel better less stressful, so you can avoid craving comfort foods for stress relief.
  6. Follow your real hunger: Some people going through intense stress tend to avoid eating for long periods of time, and then by the end of the day the hunger builds up intensely, and causes major over-eating issues. Eat a balanced diet throughout the day, according to your physical activities and moving time. It’s important to eat to replenish our body to feel satisfied and to avoid eating in response of starving hunger later, which can be affected by stress. Plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks that will make your body and mind feel good. Focus on balanced meals with all the essential nutrients- protein, healthy complex carbs, healthy fats, fiber-rich foods and make sure you eat lots of green vegetables and healthy fruits (berries), nuts and seeds regularly.
  7. Get enough sleep– Sleep deprivation can cause more hunger-inducing hormonal imbalances, and can increase stress levels. When we are low on sleep, we’re more likely to reach for low-nutrient, high-fat and high-sugar foods, which will affect the cortisol level and increase emotional eating. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night by creating a smart bedtime routine. Try to follow the same bedtime schedule, try to avoid screen time at least 1 hour before bedtime, instead try to read a nice book.

De-Stress- Eat Well- Run- Feel Good!

KATIA