A friend on my runner’s world message board said my injury sounds similar to something she had called piriformis syndrome. I wasn’t even sure what a piriformis is, so I finally looked it up tonight and I think that is my injury.
The piriformis is a muscle behind the hip joint, in the glute area. Its pretty small compared to others in that area but it helps with the pointing out of the hip. It crosses the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body.
Apparently when the piriformis muscle and its tendon are too tight, the sciatic nerve can be choked, irritating the nerve because of the pressure.
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. My original pain was in the area of the nerve above the muscle. The pain moved around too, which I wouldn’t be surprised if thats normal for an irritated nerve. And as that pain has gone away, I still have soreness in the actual muscle.
What I don’t know, is how I injured this in the first place. The day it first hurt, I had run on the hotel treadmill in Detroit, but it was a normal run and I did my normal stretching. As with any lower body injury, I suppose there is possibility my shoes are the culprit. But it could be any number of things and I’d prefer to call it a freak accident, though that makes it sound worse than it is.
Today I worked out on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes and it felt OK on my leg, though it got pretty sore through the night. It is better now though. I’m confident though that I can go to spin class tomorrow.
Really, it seems like the nerve pain is mostly gone. I only feel it slightly when moving my leg/hip side to side. And the muscle soreness I don’t think is an issue. I think its just because I’m using the muscle again. I’m still going to be cautious though for the next few days at least.
Coincidentally though, the weather will continue to be beautiful until Friday when temps go back down to the 40s and there’s even snow in the forecast this weekend. The earliest I might run again is Friday.