The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttock, and connects the sacrum to the top of the femur, or thigh bone. Its function is to roll the leg out to the side. Piriformis syndrome is pain deep in the buttock caused when the piriformis muscle traps the sciatic nerve. Symptoms include pain deep in the buttock, which often radiates up into the low back or down the leg along the path of the nerve.
The piriformis muscle can become too short and tight because of overuse and repetitive motion, direct trauma or a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for long periods of time keeps the piriformis muscle shortened. Running on hard or uneven surfaces, in poor-fitting shoes, or running with your toes turned out can irritate the piriformis.
While the pain is acute, rest for the first 48 to 72 hours. Use ice packs for 20 minutes several times a day to reduce pain and inflammation. Continuing to exercise in pain can make further injure your muscles. After the pain begins to subside, you can begin a program of stretching and strengthening your muscles.
Seated and Supine Stretch
Sit in a chair with both legs in front of you and feet on the floor. Cross the ankle of the affected leg over the opposite knee. Wrap your arms around your knee and foot, as if cradling the lower leg, and lift them until you feel a stretch deep in the buttock. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat at least four times. Perform the same move on your back. Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bring the knee of the affected leg to your chest and then push it over to the opposite shoulder with your hands until you feel a stretch deep in the buttock. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat at least four times.
Fire Log Pose
Sit on the floor and bend your left knee. Lay the outside of your left leg on the floor and position your left lower leg in front of you. Lift your right leg off the floor, bend the knee and lay the outside of your lower right leg on top of the inside of your left lower leg. When you look down you should see a triangle-shaped space between your pubis and your stacked lower legs. Sit tall and breathe in this pose for up to a minute before switching sides.
On your hands and knees, bring the knee of the affected leg forward, swing the knee out and bring the foot up toward the opposite side so the lower leg is at a right angle to your body. Stretch the other leg out straight behind you and lean your body into the bent leg, keeping your spine straight. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, and repeat at least four times. Don’t do this stretch if it hurts your hip or knee.
Have you hurt your Achilles tendon? Is that giving you terrible pain in your calf and restricting your movement? Achilles tendon pain might be a common issue, but can get complicated if ignored.
So, how can you treat this ailment? There are a number of excellent home remedies that can treat the pain very effectively! Here are 10 of them to try:
1. Castor Oil:
This plant-based oil is used for treating a number of ailments and problems, from stomach pains to dandruff and even wrinkles. Castor oil is also the oil of choice for treating Achilles tendon pain. How does the oil do so much? We know that castor oil is a triglyceride, which comprises of almost 90 percent ricinoleic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It is this acid in castor oil that relieves pain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon when applied to the affected areas.
2. Vitamin E Oil:
Vitamin E oil is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin E helps in relieving inflammation and pain by cleaning up free radicals from the body that cause pain. The oil also supports circulatory function, which helps to relieve soreness and inflammation.
Turmeric, as we know, is a wonder spice. It is an excellent remedy for Achilles tendon pain because of the presence of curcumin. Scientific community is united in proclaiming that curcumin is one of the best natural painkillers available.
Last year, the European Journal of Pharmacologypublished a paper that explained how curcumin works as a painkiller. According to it, curcumin reduces pain by activating the opioid system that is linked to our body’s pain-relieving response. Curcumin also serves as an anti-inflammatory.
You can reap the pain-relieving benefits of turmeric by using it as a tincture or as turmeric tea or even garnishing your dishes using this super spice. Other ways of using turmeric are making a turmeric poultice and applying it to your painful Achilles tendon to encourage circulation and reduce swelling.
4. Resting The Affected Leg:
Achilles tendon injuries are mostly caused due to overuse. So, proper rest is an effective self-care technique for reducing Achilles tendon pain. Give your Achilles tendon some rest and avoid activities like climbing stairs, running and even walking about too much that strain the tendon. We would suggest that you switch to swimming for exercise. Have patience though, as Achilles tendon pain takes anything between days to weeks and even months to heal.
5. Icing To Bring Down Pain:
Application of ice packs for a duration of 20 minutes brings down Achilles pain substantially. This works by reducing the blood flow thereby bringing down the pain almost instantaneously.
6. Gentle Massage:
Massage the affected area as it increases blood circulation and decreases the pain. We also suggest that you do gentle stretches and strengthening exercises to heal. Calf stretches work the best.
7. Avoid Tobacco:
Smoking slows down healing by decreasing the blood supply to the affected tissues and delays tissue repair. This means that you will have to bear the tendon pain longer. So stop smoking tobacco products.
8. Wear Protective Footwear:
We suggest that you go for athletic shoes that support the arch of your affected foot and cushion the heel. This shoe gives a chance for the Achilles tendon to heal. Silicone heel pads are also a good option as these reduce the pressure on the Achilles tendon. These are not home remedies as such but some of the ways in which you can stem Achilles pain.
9. Use A Bandage To Keep Your Affected Foot Flexed:
This will restrict the movement of the Achilles tendon, thus reducing pain. You can also use the bandage when you are sleeping as it will stop involuntary movements of your foot which can increase Achilles tendon pain.
10. Use A Night Brace While Sleeping:
This will prevent your tendon from shortening and stiffening while you sleep. The Achilles tendon will get optimum rest this way while you are sleeping, making sure that you experience less pain and stiffness in your calf and heel during daytime.
These are the effective home remedies for Achilles tendon pain. We also suggest that you lose weight if you are overweight, to stop repeated Achilles tendon injuries. Do let us know if our suggestions have helped you in reducing Achilles tendon pain. Feel free to post comments in the section below!