If you’re suffering from chronic piriformis syndrome, hip pain or chronic lower back pain…you may notice that your symptoms may get worse after a gym class or high-intensity workout. Or, you get frequent flare-ups…
I get emails from a lot of people telling me how after a few weeks of feeling better, they decided to participate in high-intensity interval workouts, and shortly after they experienced the worst piriformis syndrome flare-up ever, or they started getting more pain in new areas…either in their lower back or sacroiliac joint.
I think it is time I talk about why you need to completely eliminate gym classes or fat loss bootcamps. But don’t worry, I’ll also show you what to do to stay in shape without the need for these high intensity bootcamps that will just worsen your symptom and cause more flare-ups and even injury.
What Piriformis Flare-ups May Look like…
Here are some of the additional symptoms you may experience after a high-intensity gym class:
- Buttock pain (piriformis spasm, deep pain when walking, burning sensation)
- Lower back pain (lumbar spine tension and pressure)
- Sciatica pain shooting down when walking. Possible knee pain.
- Painful muscle soreness (specifically on the hamstring and the lower buttock area)
- Hip bursitis (tenderness and soreness when you touch your hip joint)
Now, these are symptoms that you may experience in the lower extremities of the body. Many people also experience upper body pain (shoulders, neck and upper back).
I created a video to talk specifically about this. But if you prefer to read, scroll to read the summary of the video…
Piriformis Syndrome Pain After Gym Classes…Here’s Why:
Every year, a new fitness fad or new workout style will emerge. Gyms need to come up with new ways to keep their members engaged and to get new clients. And most importantly, give people results as fast as possible.
If clients see results, they’re more inclined to stay and keep coming back to those classes. Now, I’m pretty sure that you’ve seen or heard of these classes…kickboxing, fat loss bootcamps, high-intensity training, cycling, etc.
Because these classes are very high energy…people want to join and participate. It’s nice to be part of a group, feel like you can accomplish, and have a trainer pushing you to complete as many reps as possible…getting a good sweat in.
Now, there’s always going to be a new workout fad emerging…but the one thing that will never change, and is always constant, is how your body was designed to move to remain pain-free and healthy.
that will never change regardless of which program you are going to start or which machine you are going to try. Now, why is this important?
Well, high impact exercises place a heavy load on the body and put stress on the joints and on your muscles. So you need to keep that into consideration.
When these exercises get more intense and more complicated, they can put a lot of stress on the kinetic chain. For example, when you place tremendous stress on the hip joint that is lacking stability (weak gluteus medius, weak gluteus maximus, piriformis syndrome, pelvic instability), you’ll not only be feeding the existing muscular imbalances, but you’ll also affect the lower back, the knees, and the ankles.
This is the reason why someone with chronic hip pain and piriformis syndrome will start getting knee pain too. The whole kinetic chain will be affected by pelvic instability and muscle weakness.
In addition, if you don’t know how to move properly, how to perform exercises with proper form… and you’re not aware of your muscle imbalances, you will tremendously increase the risk of injury.
And I’m sure you’re trying really hard to exercise with proper form and do your warm-ups…but…
When an individual is going through a high-intensity workout, most of the time, they’re not watching themselves in the mirror and monitoring their form. They’re going through the workout really fast to notice any changes in their body.
Usually, the instructor doesn’t have time to go and fix their form. The instructor is standing at the front demonstrating the exercises…and people get so competitive in these classes that everyone is trying to push through to show they made it until the end.
How Flawed Movement Can Trigger Pain
Let’s take an example of the squat...
I see a lot of people at the gym squatting with really bad form (it also kills me to also see their trainer texting)…but this individual is clearly having an issue with the knee abduction when they’re performing a squat.
His or her knee is internally rotating as they come down. The other knee is following along. The femur is adducting…(At this point it’s very hard to look).
But imagine placing 20-50 pounds of load on that individual and making him or her do a jumping squat. And not just one squat… As many squats as possible for 3 rounds. Madness!
Even though high impact interval training is a great way to get your heart rate up as fast as possible, it can tremendously increase the risk of injury and flare-ups.
How to Safely Workout Without Piriformis Muscle Pain.
The very first thing you need to do is fix flawed movement patterns by learning how to move properly.
If you need to lose weight right now, you need to focus mainly on your nutrition. You can engage in low impact exercises to keep your body active. And you also need to correct the existing muscular imbalances with corrective exercises.
When you’re finally ready to go to the gym, and want to do a high-intensity workout, or lift weights (placing additional load on your body)… you’ll have a whole muscular strength foundation that’s supporting.
This is my take high-intensity interval training. This is coming from someone who used to do high-intensity interval workouts every single day.
At one point I had to make a choice between remaining pain-free from piriformis syndrome and lower back pain flare-ups, and going to the gym and being consistent with my workouts. So I made the choice to only engage in low impact exercises.
I modify a lot of exercises too. So many high impact exercises can be easily turned into low impact exercises (and still remain challenging) by adding sliders for example.
You can accomplish a lot of things with low impact exercises And you can get started inside the Back Pain Bootcamp.
I’ll help you correct muscular imbalances, posture, and workout at home safely so you can get your strength back without making the pain worse.