Well well... so it seems I have to deal with my first ever case of Piriformis Syndrome. ~18 years of running and riding and never had this issue before... though I hear it is a common one so hoping maybe some of you out there in Blogland might be able to help me through it? I've had my share of calf issues in the past so feel like I've got the process of managing that one down pat... but this piriformis/sciatic pain thing is new and I'm kind of at a loss.
It started a few days ago seemingly out of the blue. Well, I did a long run on Sunday (19 miles) but woke up Monday morning feeling awesome... the pain actually started on Tuesday evening but wasn't really that bad... but Wed morning I woke up to what felt like some more serious type of pain. Weird- like pulsating electric pain down the back of my left leg. I was guessing it was nerve pain b/c it was just so different from anything I'd ever felt before? I bailed on my planned run that day (and the next) b/c it just didn't seem prudent to run when I had this pulsating electric pain every 30" all day/night. It didn't seem to matter if I was sitting or standing or sleeping or swimming- every 30" or so I'd get this shock of pain down my leg that was enough to make me grimace. I broke down and took some ibuprofen (had to go out and buy some b/c we didn't even have any in the house- I don't take that stuff unless emergency!) but it did not seem to help. Ice did not seem to help though eventually after consulting Dr Google I moved the ice pack up to my lower back and interestingly that provided more relief than icing my hamstring which was where I was actually feeling the pain.
So I've been stretching with every piriformis stretch I can think of... rolling my ass out on the Trigger Point ball (UM< OUCH< OMG> WOW< PAIN) and seems like I've gotten it to release a bit... enough that I ran a short bit on Friday morning and while it didn't feel perfect it wasn't crazy painful. I went and had acupuncture on Friday afternoon (nothing like having a long needle stuck in your ass- glamorous!) and thought maybe it would be better but rode ~30 miles yesterday morning and after that my left foot was numb and tingly. Prob not a good sign, eh? Since then the electric shock nerve pain is back and I had a hard time even sleeping through it last night. :(
I have an ART appt tomorrow and my guy is good- he works with IM athletes so hoping he'll be able to help.... but of course I'm curious to know how other athletes have managed this type of piriformis tightness when it's affecting sciatic nerve. That nerve pain is uncomfortable (to say the least). Any tips on how to get rid of it??