piriformis muscle

I injured my piriformis muscle while running a race. I did it quite badly and am wondering how long does it take for it to heal. I am seeing a physiotherapist but she has no idea when I will be able to run again.


  • Hi Anna,
    I may be able to advise a little. Somewhere back on the threads is one "pain in the bum"! where it explains some of the aspects. With me, I pulled my piriformis by overcompensating for a slight niggle in the back of the knee. I found it would ease in a couple of days and I would run gently, but it would immediately hurt again. Not quite too bad to stop running, but bad enough to know that I should stop before making it worse. I had 4 sessions at the physio over 3 weeks. He had to get very deep into the painful area, if you know what I mean, and used his elbow to get enough pressure. He also used needles - not acupuncture - but to get to the trigger points to stop it recurring. If you are squeamish, best not to look at how far the needle has to go in!!!
    Also several stretches for the piriformis and strengthening exercises for the glutes (which were being lazy, hence why the piriformis came into play).
    How long?? I eventually had to rest it for 11 days (2hours and 24 minutes!) and then eased back into it, ensuring that I gently stretched it before running. Did 16 miles on Sunday, 6 weeks after it first flared up, and had little impact, although I did take it slowly. Went tonight for 2 miles and felt it, so, it is still not completely gone. Patience is necessary, which I am not blessed with where my running is concerned.
    Hope this helps - let me know how you get on. John

  • thank you very much JD. I will let you know how I get on. It has been 3 weeks now. The physiotherapist has helped a lot but I still have some sessions to go to.
    Once again, thank you and I hope you get better soon.
  • Hi Anna & JD

    I too had an injury to my piriformis muscle, I suffered with it for two years, kept running and resting seeing various physios, and not seeming to be getting anywhere. Then I decided to go for a sports massage thinking that might help. Anyway to cut a long story short, the masseur (apologies for the spelling) noticed that my pelvic was not sitting right and suggested I go and see an osteopath. As it turned out my pelvic had tilted and twisted due to very tight hip flexors and this was putting a strain on my piriformis. I am not suggesting that you might have the same, but it might be worth while getting a second opinion Anna, as it is not cheap.

    I am now running pain free as long as I do the stretches and have to do a lot of stability exercises ie work on my pelvic floor muscles. I now go for a sport massages once a month, just to keep everying ticking over nicely. Good luck with the treatment.
  • thank you very much Dumpling. I will do that.
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