Archive for the ‘Piriformis Syndrome’ Category

ode to Bike Riders!

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by healing_arts_admin
I am so proud of all my amazing bike riding clients this Summer who have taken on such events as RAMROD, STP & one client who is riding bikes all through France & Italy with his wife.  I am offering a $25 Massage Discount to all the Bike Riders of the world today! If you ride your bike to work regularly, you get a massage discount. If you rode STP (Seattle to Portland), you get a $25 off your massage. If your rode RAMROD, you are AMAZING! and you get the $25 off Massage Deal! My next bike ride will be the Bike Around Bend, Oregon, I love that it connects with Breweries! Since my husband is an avid cyclist himself (with his fancy Rodriguez road bike), I know all the muscles that are affected by riding, such as Piriformis, Hamstrings, Quads, glutes, trochanter region, Quadratus Lomborum, so I can release the muscles cyclist use the most. And since my new location is between to great bike shops, it just seems fitting that I would be offering a cyclist massage deal!

Cyber Monday Massage Deal

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by healing_arts_admin

Buy One Get One 1/2 off!

This Cyber Monday is your absolute LAST CHANCE to get the BOGO 1/2 off Massage Deal, that's 2 Massage Gift Certificates for $142.50 (a $47.50 savings), After today the Paypal button will expire & this offer is no longer available for in office purchase. If you were thinking about giving the gift of Massage @ Queen Anne Healing Arts, the time is now! This crazy Christmas shopping season, we are offering a simpler solution to gift giving with our Cyber Monday Massage BOGO deal.  When you Buy One Massage you Get one Massage 50% off! You can redeem this Gift Certificate for your choice of a Massage (including Deep Tissue Massage), Reiki, Animal Reiki, Hot Stone Massage, Fertility Acupressure Session or Pregnancy Massage & including Cupping Therapy! Wow! Buy one as a gift, keep one for yourself because this holiday season, we've got to remember to nurture ourselves & & give to ourselves as well! You can purchase this special Cyber Monday Spa deal online by simply clicking on the Paypal button below & a gift certificate will be immediately available for print, we will also mail you 2 nicer Massage Gift Certificates suitable for gift giving! This deal will only be available through Saturday! This may be used for Reiki or Animal Reiki, too! Remember we are offering free hot stones with every massage now through Christmas, warm up in our cozy Soleus infrared heated setting. This Button will expire @ midnight on Cyber Monday & this deal will not be offered again this season, this is truly the last chance to get the BOGO deal, not available in office after Plaid Friday!!! Don't hesitate or it will be too late! Next Reiki 1 Class w/ Attunement is December 08, 2012

Black Friday or Small Business Saturday BOGO Massage Deals!

Posted on: November 17th, 2012 by healing_arts_admin
  5 Fat turkeys are we, we slept all night in a tree when the cook came around we didn't make a sound and that's why we're still here you see! Hope you have a Fabulous Thanksgiving, full of family, friends, love and laughter! If you need to relax after all that family time... Massage available this Sunday after Thanksgiving. Remember we are offering free hot stones with every massage now through Christmas, warm up in our cozy Soleus infrared heated setting. This crazy Christmas shopping season, we are offering a simpler solution to gift giving with our Black Friday (or Small Business Saturday) Massage BOGO deal.  When you Buy One Massage you Get one Massage 50% off! You can redeem this Gift Certificate for your choice of a Massage (including Deep Tissue Massage), Reiki, Hot Stone Massage, Fertility Acupressure Session or Pregnancy Massage. Buy one as a gift, keep one for yourself because this holiday season, we've got to remember to nurture & give to ourselves as well! You can purchase this special Black Friday - Small Business Saturday Spa deal by simply clicking on the Paypal button below & a gift certificate will be immediately available for print, we will also mail you 2 nicer Massage Gift Certificates suitable for gift giving! Thank You, I give Thanks, I give Thanks, I give Thanks!

Good things come to those who wait…

Posted on: October 6th, 2012 by healing_arts_admin

never enough time in the day!

Fall is for some reason, our busiest Massage season. Maybe it is because with that first chill in the air, everyone's bodies start to twinge, joints begin to ache and exhaustion sets in. The body says, "hey remember me? can I get a massage now?" In Seattle, in particular, I think we tend to neglect getting massages in the Summer because the weather is great and we're just not feeling the need.  Then Fall, everyone I haven't heard from in months comes in and we are booked, booked, booked!  I wish Massage was more like Pizzas and we could just keep making them, but unfortunately there are only so many slots in a day.   Especially if the day is a Saturday, the most popular massage day of the week. So hopefully, you will plan ahead and know that good things do come to those who wait! As I always tell clients who call on Saturday afternoon, hoping to get in same day, the truth is if you could find a massage therapist who had an opening on a Saturday afternoon, same day, it probably would not be worth your time or your money because most of the really talented massage therapist I know are always booked out on Saturdays!  I know how it goes, I have done the same thing with a haircut, trying desperately to get in last minute because I have put it off too long and my hair needs it right now.  However you really do get a better service when you think ahead, schedule ahead.  I always joke that this is why I have 90% female clients and the 10% of males I have are married to those females.  It is because men are worse about planning ahead, they tend to call for same day appointments which I rarely have.  Females tend to be better about booking out. Speaking of booking out, remember that the Fall Back seems to comes a bit later this Season, Sunday November 4th 2012. Fall Back with a Massage! (better book now though!)

Back to School = Back to your Massages!!!

Posted on: September 4th, 2012 by healing_arts_admin

Back to School Massage Special

  Back to School Massage Special.... Get a 90 minute Massage for the price of an hour ($30 SAVINGS!) Only available during School Hours 9am-2pm Mon-Friday  

Piriformis Syndrome – A real Pain in the ASS!

Posted on: August 8th, 2012 by healing_arts_admin
Piriformis Syndrome As a massage therapist, I have found working the Sacral/gluteal region to be so important in treating low back pain.  I think of this Sacral/gluteal region as the Chassis, holding the framework for the whole body.   As I massage and stretch the gluteal region, I have found more and more people with Piriformis muscle issues. The Piriformis muscle is such a workhorse helping us walk, balance, run, bike, hike, swim, walk the dog and stand; all those activities we like to do in the Summer.  Maybe that's why I'm seeing so much of it lately!  When tightness and tension in the Piriformis muscle leads to chronic pain you may be experiencing Piriformis Syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is neuromuscular disorder that involves the piriformis muscle causing pain, tingling and numbness in the gluteal/buttocks region (a real pain in the ass!). When the piriformis muscle shortens or spasms due to trauma or overuse, it can compress the sciatic nerve beneath the muscle.  There may be pain in the whole sacral region and low back area. Piriformis syndrome can lead to a belt of tension that runs around the waist, low back and hips. The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the gluteal region near the top of the hip joint, just off the Sacrum. This muscle stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. This helps us walk, climb stairs, shift our weight from one foot to another, ride a bike and maintain our balance while standing. It is used most every motion of the hips and legs! The sciatic nerve is a thick, long nerve running just off the Sacrum. It passes alongside the piriformis muscle, goes down the back of the leg, and eventually branches off into smaller nerves that end in the feet. Nerve compression can be caused by tightness or spasm of the piriformis muscle or an enlarged piriformis. There are so many muscles that connect to Sacrum, I like to say sometimes they act like unruly children in line for recess, pushing and shoving, pinching the Sciatic nerve...When I do trigger point and deep tissue massage to the Sacral region, I'm like the nun in Catholic School telling all the muscles to line up nicely and get along!

Piriformis & Sciatic Nerve
Anatomy photo from

Inactive glutes can contribute to piriformis problems because they support hip extension and assist the piriformis in rotating the leg.  If the hip flexors are too short or tight, such as when someone sits with hips flexed (as in sitting all day at work, sound familiar?) or stands all day in the same position on a hard surface, such as cement floors (think grocery clerk). This deprives the glutes of activation so the supporting muscles to the glutes (hamstrings, adductors and piriformis) have to work extra hard! This produces tightness and sometimes severe pain in the glutes (hence pain in the ass!) Muscle overuse resulting in piriformis syndrome can be from activities performed in the sitting position that involves strenuous use of the legs as in rowing or standing in one position without being able to flex muscles.  Runners, Cyclist and other athletes engaging in forward-moving activities are most susceptible to developing piriformis syndrome if they don’t stretch and do strengthening exercises.  These activities can also lead to increased piriformis size, then sciatic nerve impingement is nearly inevitable. Another cause of Piriformis Muscle tightness is dog walking!  Especially if you have a large dog who likes to tug at the leash and carry you along.  Think about the muscles used when holding back a big dog, you tend to put all your weight into your heels, you can just feel your glutes tightening up to hold you steady so you're not dragged away by your dog.  I frequently find tight piriformis muscles in my dog owners. I have seen Piriformis problems from women who wear high heels and either walk or stand frequently (think of those retail clerks at Macy’s or women in finance) What is it with women and heels? It’s like telling a smoker to quit!  Good for massage business I suppose!  Which reminds me… Piriformis syndrome can also be caused by pronation of the foot.  When a foot overpronates it causes the knee to turn in, causing the piriformis to work hard to protect the knee. This causes the piriformis to become tight, which can lead to piriformis syndrome.  A podiatrist is recommended in this case to adjust foot pronation with orthopedics.  Foot Reflexology and Passive Foot Stabilization can be helpful here. I have seen Piriformis Syndrome in pregnant clients as a result of the forward shift in weight and the increased weight they are carrying creating a strain on the Piriformis, this is another reason for increased chance of Sciatica during pregnancy.  The good news is this is usually remedied by having the baby and getting back to a normal weight, improved posture.  Piriformis Syndrome Symptoms: Piriformis syndrome usually starts with pain, tingling, or numbness in the buttocks ( it’s a real pain in the ass as I keep saying!). Pain can be severe and extend down the leg. The pain is due to the piriformis muscle compressing the sciatic nerve, such as while sitting or standing for a long time. This is also common in pregnancy as the hips, sacrum are shifting due to increase weight gain.  Similarily piriformis pressure can come from carrying excess weight even when you are not pregnant, maybe just needing to shed some pounds. Pain may also be triggered while climbing stairs, applying firm pressure directly over the piriformis muscle, or having to stand in the same position for long periods of time (like grocery clerks).  I just had to stand in line @ Disneyland and I really felt it in my piriformis! The body is designed to keep moving, not stand still.   The tricky business of diagnosing Piriformis Syndrome: There is no definitive test for piriformis syndrome. In many cases, there is a history of trauma to the area, repetitive, vigorous activity such as long-distance running, cycling or prolonged occupational standing  (grocery clerk again). Diagnosis of piriformis syndrome is often times determined by ruling every other form of hip gluteal pain using X-rays, MRI’s & other tests to rule out herniated disc, osteo-arthritis or need for hip replacement.  When nothing is conclusive Doctors may shrug & say, “maybe Piriformis Syndrome?”  It seems as elusive as Migraine used to be for women!  What to do if you suffer from Piriformis Syndrome: If pain is caused by sitting, standing or certain activities, try to avoid the positions that trigger pain. Rest, ice, and heat may help relieve symptoms.  I was one of the Massage Therapists in the Group Health Low Back Pain study, where clients were given massage for low back pain and the study concluded that Massage did indeed work!  So of course my recommendation for Piriformis Syndrome and low back pain in general would be Massage, Massage, Massage!!! Tennis ball to the gluteal range (one side at a time) may be helpful as deep pressure to the piriformis can help.   Just be careful you are not on the Sacurm (the bony landmark that is like a triangle in your low back/gluteal range) if you have the tennis ball on bone, it will feel really wrong.  When it is on the muscles it may just hurt so good! Lay on it for 3-10 minutes on each side.  This tennis ball solution can become addicting! Yet less problematic than an Oxycodone addiction!

Tennis Ball in gluteal range

Release the Piriformis Muscle w/ a Tennis Ball

Some health care providers may recommend  anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil), muscle relaxants (Valerian or something stronger) or injections with a corticosteroid or anesthetic.   I have heard talk of Botox to the region, but don’t know if that works. Piriformis syndrome is also known as  "wallet syndrome," because it can be caused by sitting with a large  wallet in the affected side's rear pocket, I think there was a Seinfeld episode about this?  Oh now you get the Seinfeld reference from yesterday!

Could it be your WALLET?

Of course I'm a big fan of Deep Tissue Massage, Trigger Point, Acupressure and Shiatsu can help with Piriformis Syndrome (I have some client converts who will tell you so!) Cupping Treatment to the Gluteal & Sacral regions can help by bringing fresh blood to the area.  They now sell Silicone cups that do not require flame, so simple you could quite possibly purchase online and do this treatment for yourself.  If you have never tried cupping, I recommend coming in and trying it out, I love it!

Cupping the Piriformis Muscle

Arnica Cream + Arnica Tablets can help. My Fave Massage Treatment for Piriformis Syndrome is the Pirirformis Pin and Stretch

Place foot medially, shortening the Piriformis, then Pin with fist

Once Piriformis Muscle is pinned, you can bring foot lateral to stretch the Piriformis.

With the clients prone, bend their knee, holding their ankle/foot shorten the Piriformis muscle by bringing their foot in medially (hips rotating).  I prefer to use my fist for the most even coverage, but occasionally I will use elbow here if I want to get in deeper.  I pin the Piriformis with my fist, then pull the foot/ankle laterally towards me (have the client breathe, this can be an intense stretch!)   There are some exercises and stretches to help reduce pain from piriformis syndrome.  These stretches may help:  

Pigeon Pose

Piriformis Stretch

  Yoga is also beneficial. Superfeet are great for those of us who work on our feet!  These insoles will give a bounce to your step and keep your glutes and piriformis happy! Wearing supportive, gel inserts shoes when standing for long periods of time can help.  If you have a job where you are on your feet for more than 6 hours a day, you should be buying new shoes with gel inserts every 6 months to keep that cushion strong. Heels? Just don’t wear them if you have to walk or stand at all!  Or wear them & just come get a massage every week! My favorite shoes for Gel Support are Asics! I got a pair last year & they were so comfy & put such a spring in my step, that I actually went back & bought a second pair as back up (what can I say they were on sale!)  I highly recommend tennis shoes with lots of gel inserts if you are on your feet all day long! Epsom Salt Baths are great for softening the muscles including the Piriformis!  Epsom salts are so affordable you can really put a haping cupful in a warm-hot tub every night. Have you heard of the Tush Cush? I had one client with hip/low back/ glute pain from sitting all day & she swore by this! Contents of this Blog are copywritten by Queen Anne Healing Arts. Here are some of the products I recommend for piriformis syndrome: