Piriformis syndrome

June 21, 2019


I’ve had a physio suggest that my sciatic pain is due to this above. I’ve been given gentle stretching exercises to do but I’m worried because my leg feels very weak, numb and tingling in many places and the sciatic pain never goes away.

In the past I’ve had sciatic pain but it comes and goes with different tasks. Not constant. A tennis ball in my gluteus maximus helps relieve the pain a little.

Would you have any further suggestions?

June 21, 2019

Hi Wendy

The truth (or as good as it can be) is with PS is that the muscle gets tight around the sciatic nerve, causing pain – and so the idea of stretching something that is tight just increases the compression and makes your symptoms worse tomorrow  (you’ll be enjoying the pain relieving effects today) and the same goes for rolling on a tennis ball. You need to find and change the cause of your symptoms not just do stuff to feel, but not get any better.

So my advice would be to stop both of the above – instead think of why you’ve got a stiff (not tight) and tight protective muscle – what is it trying to naturally protect? The short answer is your back – it moves too much without enough control and produces symptoms. Your piriformis stiffens up as a protection mechanism, and until you get better control of your lumbar spine you will continually be plagued by leg symptoms….

You need to get your thoracic spine moving better and then learn to control your lumbar spine – I’d suggest trying this for the next 7 days


Then do these 3 exercises 3 times a day for the next 10 days




Good Luck.

The Guru

Wendy does some of her own research:

Thank you for the reply.   I’ve looked extensively on the internet regarding bulging/ herniated disk.  I think this is most probably what I have as the whole leg pain/back pain started after an early morning injury to my back whilst bending and picking something up.

Please could you recommend the best exercise for this complaint as the ones I’ve tried from YouTube physios sites makes the leg pain worse and I’m worried I’m doing more harm than good.  I am awaiting an (urgent) MIR scan that my GP has requested, but I have been advised it will still take 6-8 weeks before I get an appointment.

I’ve been in such pain (not slept since 3am this morning) because of the pain. I can’t imagine having to be like this for so long.  A very grim prospect!

Kind regards,


The Guru replies

Ah – the internet. The fountain of all knowledge!

You may well be right about having an issue with your disc, but so what?

You don’t and shouldn’t treat a disc but you absolutely can and should change why you’ve got a painful issue with it.

There’s plenty of excellent research saying that disc lesions are part of a normal aging process and there are plenty of people with disc issues who are totally pain free, just as there are plenty of people in pain without disc issues.

You always treat the person and not the scan, despite what doctors will say.

I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve recommended – it doesn’t matter if it’s a disc, a joint or piriformis it’s why you’ve got the problem that counts.

The Guru

Guru Responded

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