August 17, 2010

Running With Orthotics And Piriformis Syndrome

Orthotics is an orthopedic device that could be used to treat a number of foot disorders that are biochemical. If a person’s foot does not function the way in which it is supposed to, the weight of that person’s body is not transferred or distributed evenly. Therefore, the person is quite likely to experience pain and tenderness in the foot, the ankle and the surrounding leg area. An orthopedic device could be used to support and realign the bones and the ligaments of the foot in a proper manner, so that the pain reduces considerably and the foot can function normally. Orthotics can be available in different forms. They can range from gels heel cups and foot insoles to custom devices that are fitted inside a shoe. While the gels and insoles can be bought over the counter, a prescription is required for the custom made foot devices.

Treatment for Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome refers to a condition, where pain is caused in the buttocks, when the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve. This state could also lead to pain along the sciatic nerve course. People who suffer from this condition complain of severe pain in the buttocks, which gets aggravated by sitting down, performing squats or climbing the stairs. The exact causes of piriformis syndrome have still not been determined. This condition is not very easy to recover from and its treatment is very general. The most common treatment for piriformis syndrome are:

  • Physical therapy, with emphasis on strengthening and stretching the rotator muscles in the hip
  • Taking some anti-inflammation medication, in order to reduce the inflammation around the tendons
  • Deep massaging, to soothe and relieve the muscles and the pain
  • Getting plenty of rest and avoiding any of the activities, that cause the symptoms or aggravate the condition, at least for a few days

Several people who like running, as a form of exercise use orthopedic devices while they run. Running with orthotics is quite common for people, suffering from various foot problems, which may include Piriformis syndrome. About 25% of the people who are running with orthotics manage to have a normal running pattern, as their feet pronate enough to absorb any shocks.

However, experts recommend that the prescription orthopedic devices should only be used as a last resort. They can be quite expensive, as a device could cost anywhere between 375 dollars and 450 dollars. Moreover, most insurance companies do not cover the cost.