For the past few weeks I’ve had a really annoying pain in/under my left bum cheek. I know what did it, but I was unsure what the specific problem area was…
To set the scene, it was a bright and sunny day, perfect to get out and hit some sprints. There I was, pretending to be an athlete, thinking I was running a sub-10 second 100 meter pace (Ha!) when Hugo decided to run under my feet causing me to take a very sudden side step mid forward drive of my left leg. I felt something pop and my bum cheek went more numb than anything.
After a couple of weeks of resting and mild generic stretching and the problem was not getting any better. I decided to do a bit of research (I should have done it far sooner, I know).
Pain, lots of it.
Numbness down my entire leg when sitting.
Excruciating pain once getting up once the leg was numb.
Feeling of a golf ball in/under my bum cheek.
‘Pirimormis syndrome’ it was! (apparently) So if anyone has similar symptoms (a bad lower back can also be a sign, so get stretching to release this) this is what you could do to help… (After seeking advice from a medical professional, of course)
First, I would suggest going for a walk first just to get the blood flowing and to get a bit warm, allowing for a deeper stretch…
Next, attempt stretch ‘1.’ (below) you can press lightly on your raised knee to increase this stretch, but if this is enough of a stretch then hold for 10, switch sides and hold for 10 and repeat a few times.
If you can progress to stretch ‘2’, do so. You’re taking the lower leg off the floor and gently pulling it towards you to increase the stretch on thr upper leg… Follow the same method as above.
The next movement to look at is the ‘Pigeon Stretch’. This lady is pretty advanced so don’t worry if you don’t look like this doing it. Basically you want your front foot and knee on the floor (my front knee has to be far more bent than this) and with a completely straight rear leg, get your hips into as low position as possible without over forcing the stretch. Now sit up straight – imagine a string is attached to the top of your head and is pulling straight upwards (you can keep both hands down in front of you for support). Hold for 10-15 seconds, switch sides and repeat a few times.
Below is a representation of what’s going on with this stretch. The muscle we’re targeting here, the Piriformis, is shown in the right image with the two way arrow drawn on.
Do these stretches twice a day and it could assist with a speedier recovery. Let me know how you get on!