View Full Version : Kicking related question

October 29th, 2005, 10:08 PM
I have, as some people may already know, piriformis syndrome which causes, among other things (until it heals) numbness down my left leg.

I was wondering today...could this be affecting my kicking ability? I was never that strong of a kicker before the injury occured, but now I'm so weak at kicking...it feels like I'm swimming every set on a pull basis. I don't know if I suddenly got really out of shape in my legs, or if it's injury related. Just wondering what people on here (if you ever had any experience with something like this) think...

I'll probably bring this up with the athletic trainers / sports medicine doctors when I see them this week, but until then (since it's a weekend) I just wanted to solicit some informal opinions....

October 30th, 2005, 11:52 AM
with the piriformis syndrome (had it injected twice).

Since your left leg is now weaker (between the hamstring, butt and piriformis hurting) yes--it will be a little more difficult to kick.

My left leg is weaker due to a combo of hamstring problems and the piriformis. I can tell when I'm breaststroke kicking while freestyle doesn't seem to be as bad. If I freestyle kick too hard on a kickboard (trying to speed up) -- the hamstring cramps and the pain goes up to the piriformis. I frequently feel a little "knot" in the left butt cheek where the piriformis is (I can tell as I've had the injections--which aren't as bad as you would think).

It's one of those things that will take time to heal. Perhaps stretching the piriformis (so it isn't as tight) would help?

October 30th, 2005, 12:19 PM
I am doing my stretches and rehab, and that definitely helps it. I was mainly asking because...well...I've been trying to figure out why I'm just so slow right now. I feel that I'm slower than I was when I was swimming this summer...and I've been training for a while. My kick feels weak in the water, and even if I concentrate on it it's hard to get it to go much faster......so I don't know...was thinking maybe the nerve/piriformis issues would be a possible cause of my lack of kicking and therefore slowness.

October 30th, 2005, 06:29 PM
Most definately this is causing this. If your leg is numb, you cannot feel how strong you are kicking, and you will naturally kick less. I could not keep my breaststroke kick working together when I was at my worse, and my coach definately noticed my left leg kick on free was working oddly.

Your first step has to be to get rid of the numbness. You know what finally got rid of it for me was acupunture. The chiropractor had me where I needed to be, and he could not get me any better and I was still having problems. I was open to anything because after 4 weeks of no feeling in that leg, it was strange. I had read acupunture could help, did the first treatment and got immediate help. However, insurance does not cover this, and it can be expensive.

Another however, if you don't correct what is initially causing the numbness, something like accupunture can only help temporarily.

After my numbness gradually went away, my left side still had some weakness left from the time that I could not exercise it as well as the right. When I did weight lifting or any type of land exercise, I made sure I always started with the left side when I was fresh on an exercise, to get it working to its maximum. In the water, I did breaststroke kick, only focusing on the left leg, working really hard to get it to conform to the kick.

But this was after the problem was corrected and I was on my way to healing. So you have a sense of timeframe. I fell of a starting block, at the end of July 2004, was completely disabled for about 3 weeks, with the numbness remaining until mid-september. I did accupunture along with the chiro treatments until mid-October, until we determined that the accupunture had done its job and I no longer needed it. I continued with weekly chiropractice through January, and then dropped back to twice a month. By February, I finally felt like I was where I was pre-falling off the back. That was visiting the chiro every other week for maintenance, occasional back twinges if I sat wrong at work, or did not maintain daily stretching and exercises. Almost normal, but not quite. I have maintained this level since February, without any set-backs, and was able to ramp up execise in August to a very high level, without any bad flair-ups. Both the chiro and I were quite pleased with that.