The rehabilitation of piriformis syndrome focuses on easing the muscle tension and correcting any muscle imbalances or biomecahnical causes which may be contributing to the condition.
The guidelines below are for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before starting any rehabilitation
Flexibility and conditioning
- As soon as comfortable to do so, piriformis syndrome stretches should begin. Hold stretches for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.
- Piriformis exercises can be done to strengthen the muscle making it less likely to tighten up in the future.
- On a daily basis perform piriformis strengthening exercises, immediately followed by stretching.
- Deep sports massage techniques can be used to release the tension in the Piriformis muscle. Massage can be applied on alternate days. At the very least two to three sessions at the start of rehabilitation is a good idea.
- Muscle energy techniques are an excellent way of improving the stretch of the muscle.
- In addition to the specific Piriformis stretches it is important to stretch the hamstrings, groin, hip abductors and lower back.
Return to full fitness.
Once daily tasks are pain-free, a return to activity program can begin. This should be a gradual process. An example return to running program is given below. How quickly you progress through the program will depend on the extent of the injury and original fitness levels.
- Day 1: walk 4 minutes, jog 1 minute, repeat 3 times
- Day 2: rest
- Day 3: rest
- Day 4: walk 4 minutes, jog 1 minutes, repeat 4 times
- Day 5: rest
- Day 6: rest
- Day 7: walk 3 minutes, jog 2 minutes, repeat 3 times
- Day 8: rest
- Day 9: walk 3 minutes, jog 2 minutes, repeat 3 times
- Day 10: rest
- Day 11: walk 3 minutes, jog 2 minutes, repeat 4 times
- Day 12: rest
- Day 13: walk 2 minutes, jog 3 minutes, repeat 3 times
This programme should be continued until you reach 15 minutes of solid running. You can then continue to gradually increase as normal, provided there are no symptoms.
It is essential that stretching and strengthening are continued throughout the rehabilitation process and beyond.