Piriformis Syndrome Lingers On

To be such a small muscle, the piriformis has caused me big problems. In a post a couple weeks back, I described the pain I have been experiencing that has kept me out of the kayak and off the water. We have since figured out that the pain in my left buttocks and the periodic numbness in my left leg is being caused by piriformis syndrome.

I won't bore you with a long dissertation about every detail of piriformis syndrome. The bottom line is that I overworked my piriformis muscle while pedaling the kayak which caused the muscle to tighten. That muscle runs directly over top of the sciatic nerve. When it tightens, the muscle puts pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain and numbness. 

It has been a frustrating process for me the last couple weeks. No matter what activity I am doing whether it be walking, sitting, etc., I will be fine for about thirty minutes and then I will start to get a cramp like feeling in that muscle which leads to numbness down my left leg. I then have to stop and take a few minutes to stretch. After that, I am good to go for another thirty minutes or so. Some days are better than others but I am still not completely well. It can apparently take several weeks to completely heal in some cases. 

Hopefully I will get back to normal soon. In the meantime, I have been doing an hour of yoga every day. Improving my flexibility is one of my main goals going forward. I have also been doing some piriformis exercises that are supposed to strengthen the muscle and help reduce the recovery time and prevent the issue in the future. 

I have also been working on my second kayak. That was going to be a winter project but with all the free time I have had from not being able to fish, I have managed to get it almost completely rigged out. I will save that topic for another post in the near future. Until then, keep catching the big ones while I watch with envy. 


  1. Justin
    Sorry to hear that. My son plays college football and had the same injury. We tried everything to get the lingering injury to go away. He tried cupping, acupuncture, we spent a ton of money on rehab. Finally, a friend recommended he do massage therapy and it actually went away within a few weeks. So you might look for a massage therapist that specializes in athletes and give it a whirl. It was much less expensive then the other alternatives we tried that did not work. That injury flared up for a year before the massages. Now, it lightly came came back a couple of times and now is gone and he has been competing at a high level again. Give it a try Justin.

    Tight Lines!
    Jamie Batten

    1. I am sorry to hear your son had such a hard time but am glad he is doing much better. I do believe I could benefit from massage and plan on speaking with a massage therapist about it. The last few days, I have been sitting on a tennis ball and working it around the sore area. That seems to have helped a lot. Thank you for sharing the info about your son's experience.


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