Piriformis syndrome-maybe?

Hi. For the past 5-6 years I’ve been having knee pain in my left knee. After awhile walking or running it stiffens up to the point where I can’t really bend it more than 10-15 degrees. It seems to originate in my left buttock. I’ve stretched, rolled, massaged, iced, heated, braced, tried various shoes…It doesn’t seem to get worse, but it sure isn’t getting any better. After researching, but not going to a doctor, I think it may be in the piriformis.
Has anyone experienced anything similar? If so what helped?

Knee pain isn’t something I’d automatically think of related to piriformis syndrome, but the sciatic nerve does run through the piriformis before going down the leg, so it’s possible that if it’s stuck somewhere in the leg that knee pain could result.

I’ve not experienced this problem myself but what I’d do to start is go see Gerrit Van Loon (@gvanloon) at Natural Health Family Chiropractic. Gerrit’s a long-time serious runner and ultramarathoner who has seen a vast number of runners in the area, and he has a deep understanding of anatomy and how it relates to running form and thus to pain. His primarily therapy modality is Active Release Technique. Warning, it can be painful, but that’s usually a good sign, since it only hurts if the area needs work.


Sometimes Gerrit can fix what ails you quickly, although if this is something you’ve been experiencing for years, it might take a bit more time to figure out the appropriate course of action. Or there could be multiple cascading problems, such that you have to work through different things before you can get to the one that is the primary cause of the pain.

Generally speaking, being able to address your own problems is ideal, but sometimes it takes an expert to tease out what’s really happening and show you the necessary physical therapy moves.

Mike: just FYI, my knee issues were traced back to my hip muscles “getting lazy” (in my words - please don’t think my doctor or Physical therapist said that) so that my knee was not tracking properly through my stride. And the hip strengthen exercise prescribed did indeed stop the pain. So now I am very strict about doing the leg swings and SAML movements with my runs - even though that means running 10-15 minutes less. And when my knee starts acting up, my first reaction to is resume the hip strength PT. Been 5 years now and so far so good.

@MHall, the exercises Bob is referring to are the ones I recommend for warmup and cooldown with the FLRC weekly workouts. They’re a good start, and while not a replacement for a professional evaluation, if the hip-focused exercises (leg lifts, fire hydrants) feel hard, that’s a hint that your hips might be weak.

Most excellent information gentlemen. Thank you so much @bobtalda.
@adamengst I looked at those videos. I’m going to start right away

I’ve been doing the warm ups & SAM moves for a couple of days. I’m here to testify that they work. In addition, I started drinking powdered magnesium everyday. 50 is the new 47 for this guy. Ha!

Hey, that’s great to hear! Sometimes, just getting some motion and neuromuscular connections going to the right spot can make all the difference.