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Why Piriformis Syndrome Exercises are NOT Working (and what to do)

piriformis syndrome exercises not working

Hi everyone!

I’m happy to be back on the blog to update you about what’s been going on in my life lately and share with you a recent video I created about why it may feel like the exercises you are doing are not helping out.

I’ve probably been going through the busiest and most hectic period of my life lately, planning for my wedding, updating the Back Pain Bootcamp, and creating a new coaching program. It felt like everything was happening at once and I had to figure out ways to manage the stress and not let it overwhelm me to the point where it’s manifesting itself physically.  It’s definitely been a challenge to maintain my daily habits, and I wanted to create another post to talk more about that (stay tuned for that!)

Now, I needed to create a video about today’s topic because it not only affected me personally, but I know it impacts thousands of other people, especially when they first start a treatment to heal their back pain.

When you are starting a strengthening exercise program, you may not see instant relief. In fact, things get worse sometimes.

I remember experiencing more spasms after doing my strengthening exercises and feeling so much anger and frustration at my body for not responding at anything.

Here are some of the main points you need to be aware of when this happens:

Body Awareness Builds Overtime

Most of us run our days on auto-pilot.  We take little to no time to practice mind-body techniques. We are not in tune with our bodies.  When we are out of touch with our bodies, the journey to build that awareness starts with trial and error, exploration and discovery.

  • You start doing certain exercises and find out that your body is not responding well to some. You wonder why…
  • You find out that you are tighter than usual, and need to stretch more, or
  • You find out that your body developed weaknesses, and you actually need to ease up on the stretching and strengthen more.
  • You start analyzing your posture, addressing misalignment, and modifying your sitting and standing positions (which takes time).
  • You start noticing that certain foods make you bloat and cause inflammation. Now you are exploring nutrition and anti-inflammatory diets.
  • You incorporate some meditation into your life and start feeling the tension that builds up in your body and muscles. You had no idea this was happening before.

So, my friend, it’s totally normal if you are not seeing instant results after doing few stretches.  It is part of the process. The goal is to NOT let that bring you down and cause you to lose hope in everything else.  The same goes for different treatments we try.  It is very likely that treatment #1, and #2 may not work well, but you’ll keep digging, exploring and searching until you find the one.

5 Minute of Stretching Won’t Fix a Lifetime of Bad Habits

We cannot delegate our health problems.Click to Tweet

When I first started having all these health issues, I expected physicians to fix me. This mindset changed drastically the moment I went to my physio, and she worked for a whole hour on the wrong hip.  We’ve been working together for weeks and she still couldn’t remember where I was having issues.

I’m not saying that all physicians are careless like that, but they are very busy people. They see hundreds of patients weekly. I also noticed that sometimes they are seeing few patients at the same time.  I needed to take charge of my health and see these individuals as professionals I hire to assist me heal myself.

So everyday, from the moment I woke up I had to be in charge.  In charge of the quality of the food I eat, my posture, my mental health, and also in charge of which medications I chose to put in my body that didn’t cause dangerous side effects.

Usually, the body will take years and years of bad posture and habits to start giving you pain. The threshold of pain is reached after many years of the body trying to manage, compensate and do what it can to keep things functioning.

3. Spend More Time Investigating the Root Cause

Our world is so abundant in symptom-focused treatments. When was last time you visited a chiropractor or physio and they asked for a scan first?

Without knowing what is the root cause, you’ll probably be spending a big chunk of your time trying our different things.  Of course, we want to ease up the pain and reduce the symptoms, but spending the majority of your efforts in this area will only guarantee you only one thing; not fixing the source of the problem.

Imagine if you could focus all your efforts on tests, scans and blood work, and then focusing all your attention on healing the root cause.

When we start an exercise program without knowing truly why we are in pain, we may put our bodies in danger. Imagine for example putting load on your spine during a gym class, without knowing that you have a serious disc issue.  Even foam rolling your lower back, in this case, can be harmful.

RELATED: Foam Rolling Mistakes – Lower Back

4. Tracking and Monitoring

When it comes to piriformis syndrome exercises and strengthening your muscles. I like to keep things short and simple.

I don’t include more than 3-4 exercises in my routines.  This helps me focus all my attention on doing each exercise with proper form.

It’s also easier to know if the exercises are working if you are only doing 3 or 4.  If you do 10 exercises back to back, it’s almost impossible to do each exercise mindfully, your body will start compensating because your muscle will fatigue, and you won’t know which ones are helping you reduce the pain.

I talk more in detail about how to structure your piriformis syndrome exercises in the video below; skip to 4:00

PS: don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel for upcoming videos!

Lastly, I want to say that pain should always be treated as a messenger.  If you eat something bad and get a stomach-ache afterward, you know that it’s an indicator that something was off about the food you had. You don’t blame your stomach for giving you pain. Without the stomach-ache, you’d have no idea about it. Same goes for other pains.

Your body gives you signals in the form of pain to inform you that something needs your attention. It doesn’t mean that your body is broken.  Pain is your body’s intelligent response to external stressors (environmental, physical and emotional).

You made it this far! I hope this post was informative and helpful.  I’d love to hear your feedback and if you have any questions, ask away below in the comments area 🙂

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