Glute Pain: Is Your Piriformis Is To Blame?

You’ve developed glute pain. You did some research. And it seems like your piriformis is to “too short”, “too tight” or “overactive”, and that is the reason for your pain. While it may be true that your piriformis is short, tight, or highly active – often these are not the root of the issue.

And treating these symptoms will only affect the symptoms, not the thing that is making you have symptoms. Which means the symptoms will return again and again until the root issue is dealt with. It’s not as if you got a defective piriformis that is flaring up all kinds of pain in you.

In this article, I’ll give you two helpful places to explore to start solving your glute pain. Improve these and you’ll improve the way your hips and glutes feel and function…

Problem Number One:
You Don’t Explore
Your Full Range Of Motion Every Day

Healthy tissue expresses itself as supple, pliable, and capable of functioning in a variety of ranges.

When you don’t use your complete range of motion of your hip on a regular basis, you’ll slowly start losing the ability to move it through its complete range of motion.

And this can create all manner of soft tissue issues like aches, pains, and dysfunction.

Think about your daily movements. Even if you’re walking a fair bit, squatting and bending a bit during your work day, and doing some kind of exercise regularly – you’re still likely only using a tiny fraction of the ranges of motion that is possible for the hip joint.

The hip is capable of a significant degree of rotation in addition to being able to flex, extend, abduct, and adduct. It’s imperative that you move your hip through that range of motion regularly if you want to have the tissues that make up the hip and glute healthy and fully functional.

hip mobility

Problem Number Two:
Your Hips Don’t Function Well

You don’t live in a vacuum. If one Pillar of your body isn’t working well, another Pillar has to adjust to that. When your glutes and hips lose basic function, somewhere else in your body will try to make up for it. These compensatory patterns are a normal part of ‘living with dysfunction’.

But ‘normal’ does not mean ‘good’. To stop the compensatory patterns, you simply need to make it so your body does not need to compensate. 


Gray Cook is known for sharing his ‘Joint By Joint’ approach. Put simply, it’s a way to look at each joint in the body and determine how it should function and why it might not function like that.

The Joint By Joint approach says, ‘if one joint needs to be more mobile, the joints above and below it need to be more stable. If the joint that is meant to be mobile isn’t, then the joints above and below are likely going to have to reduce stability to prop up the mobility that’s missing from the intended-to-be-mobile joint.’

So in the case of the piriformis, hips, and glutes…

The hips are built to be mobile. Your piriformis attaches to your sacrum, which is at the base of the spine (only the coccyx is below it).

If the hips become immobile, the lumbar spine is likely to have to shift from being stable (what it’s built to do) into being more mobile in order to compensate for the hips.

This can create problems for everything surrounding this area, including the development of aches, pains, and injuries.

Make your Six Pillars appropriately mobile, stable, and strong, and you’ll have a far greater foundation fro which to move and play through life.

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