Archive for July, 2012

You’re Not Alone

July 28, 2012 8 comments

For years I felt like I was alone in my search for a reason for the chronic pain and for an effective treatment. I was in a very bad place, for sure my lowest point in my 39 years of life, when I finally found an online support group with other Piriformis Syndrome sufferers.
It’s a private group moderated by a beautiful, compassionate, knowledgeable moderator with dozens of members alike.

You’re not alone, and the pain is not in your head. It is real, and there is hope of eliminating it or greatly reducing it. If you want to learn from dozens of other like you, or if you just want to vent to those who will open their hearts and ears to you any time of the day, as often as you need, I recommend joining this group.

Yahoo Piriformis Syndrome Group

Piriformis Syndrome Surgeon Directory

July 28, 2012 9 comments

Finding a surgeon that has knowledge of (let alone treats) Piriformis Syndrome is particularly arduous. I strongly recommend starting with an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in hip arthroscopy. Call his/her office prior to your first visit to ask if the surgeon has proven success with hip arthroscopy with endoscopic sciatic nerve neurolysis and piriformis tendon releaseIf they don’t (which most won’t) please continue on with your search. Furthermore, and I can’t stress this enough as well, if the surgeon does have proven success with these procedures, ask how many total cases they have performed as well.

Eventually I would like to feature a comprehensive list of surgeons that treat Piriformis Syndrome. As of today, I am only listing the surgeon that successfully treated me. I encourage others to recommend a surgeon (using the comments area below) that has successfully treated their case of Piriformis Syndrome.

Lastly, for those people searching for a physician I recommend that you do your homework. I get emails from patients of physicians that have had bad experiences, and are worse off post-surgery. Some people plea with me to warn my readers about the physician that failed them. For fear of being sued I will not approve posts which make negative accusations about physicians, nor will I author posts on anyone’s behalf. I pray for those that have had nerve damage as a result of surgery, and for those who were simply not cured. If you wish to share your bad experiences I recommend starting your own blog or posting your story on a physician rating site. This will hopefully give you some peace of mind.  I also pray that you get help soon; my heart goes out to everyone living with Piriformis Syndrome pain.

I encourage all of my readers to do your own background check of physicians by researching physician rating sites such as:,, and

Dr. John Heinrich, MD

Hip Center of Wisconsin
1218 W. Kilbourn Ave. Suite 301
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: 414-276-HIPS (4477)


OTC and Prescription Medication

July 28, 2012 2 comments

In my experience there wasn’t a magic pill, patch or combination of pills that provided the relief needed to live a pain-free life. Listed here are the medications I tried and the results. Hopefully I can save you some time experimenting and some potential unwanted side effects.

1. Gabapentin – Sadly, for me, I didn’t experience any pain relief. Furthermore, I became slow to think and react. Family and friends who didn’t know I was taking it asked me what was wrong with me; I wasn’t my normal, witty, happy self. When it came to work I was like a turtle in an office full of rabbits. For me, this wasn’t a medication I tolerated well.

2. Lyrica – I gained about 30 lbs while taking this and didn’t experience any pain relief.

3. St. John’s Wort – This was very effective pain relief. It’s OTC and inexpensive. I never took more than 900mg a day (which usually equates to three capsules, but there are 900mg capsules).

4. Lidoderm Patch – Sadly, for me, I didn’t experience any pain relief.

I recommend finding a caring pain management physician that has experience treating Piriformis Syndrome sufferers. If you come across a physician who isn’t familiar with it you may find yourself having to convince them that you really are in severe chronic pain. Piriformis Syndrome is extremely difficult to prove without a Provocative EMG test. Bring your test results with you to the pain management physician and your credibility may be established more quickly than if you walked in with nothing but complaints and a plea for help. Hang in there. You’re not alone.

Categories: Pain Relief Tags: ,

Tips to Breakthrough Piriformis Syndrome Pain

July 28, 2012 4 comments

Over the last five years I’ve tried countless things to get relief from the pain that would come without fail when sitting.

The three things that worked best for me were Stretching, Icing and a TENS unit (or S.I.T. for short).

I recommend a few stretches, starting with the single-most effective stretch:

1. “Neuro-flossing” is the name it goes by with some. On a side note when I told my surgeon about this stretch he had never heard of it, which is humorous since he knows how to treat piriformis syndrome so well. My guess is that “Neuro-flossing” isn’t a medical term.
Regardless, it was effective for me instantly…I’m talking within a matter of minutes. Try doing this several times a day in hopes of bringing the 8/9 pain down to a 5/6. Rather than trying to explain the stretch to you, just watch this video (it’s an oldie but goody). Here are some other stretches that helped me breakthrough the pain.

2. Ice is your friend, however, it can be a messy, wet, annoying one. For me, ice was also very effective in bringing 8/9 pain down to a 5/6 within 30 minutes. I grew tired of ice packs so I recommend this product.

3. Shock the pain away with a small portable TENS unit. This was very effective for me to not only bring 8/9 pain to a 3/4, it also delayed the onset of pain from coming on as quick as it would otherwise. Now, wearing a TENS unit is not fun, but neither is the pain. It’s a lesser of two evils and an effective means to an end. I liked this unit.

I hope this advice helps some of you bring the pain down a bit. Hang in there. You’re not alone. I encourage others to post their breakthrough methods here to give help and hope to others.

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