Butt pain cause, symptoms, treatment and 5 key stretches and tips for butt pain-
Below is more information on these stretches-
Butt pain is usually caused by the piriformis muscle being tight and inflamed with compression on the sciatic nerve as well as muscular imbalance to surrounding hip muscles.The piriformis is a small muscle that runs horizontal across the butt check deep under the glute muscle and is responsible for rotating the thigh bone.
Muscular overuse, improper posture, high heels, pregnancy and exercises that use the hips such as biking, climbing, squats and running ate typical activities that use the piriformis along with the glute muscles. Also, extended sitting can compress, weaken and tighten the piriformis flaring this muscle and irritating the sciatic nerve that runs under the piriformis. This can cause piriformis syndrome and ongoing chronic pain. Another cause can be injury and certain lower spine issues. A physical therapist or chiropractor can help find the root cause. Most all piriformis pain is felt in the center of the cheek and sometimes closer toward the sacrum and can also cause tingling pain on the back of the thigh and sometimes throbbing or numbness down the leg.
Below you'll find information and photos on these 5 key stretches to relieve butt pain demonstrated by pro skateboarder Aaron Jaws Homoki and pro skateboarder and business owner John Motta. The first two photo stretches target the actual piriformis muscle of the butt and the other stretches allow muscular balance for improved flexibility to the hip flexors located at the front of the hip, the butt /glutes, hamstrings at the back of the thigh, and an easy inner thigh stretch from the floor. lower in the article you can also find simple strengthening exercises.
A weak and tight piriformis and hip muscular imbalance can exacerbate the piriformis to inflame. For example, during the week one might be inactive and sit more which tightens and weakens the piriformis then when the weekend comes one might participate in heavy sports or athletic activities that use this muscle. This change from inactivity to heavy activity can be another cause of piriformis syndrome. From my experience as a personal trainer, Pilates and yoga teacher I come across client and student butt pain and usually suggest performing certain simple exercises and stretches during the week. This helps prime the piriformis and total hip area for spurts of heavier weekend activity. This can help to reduce pain and/or get rid of existing pain.
Butt pain can also be caused from sciatica due to a spinal issue compressing the spinal nerve root as in a herniated disk following injury or stenosis narrowing of the spinal canal. A physical therapist or chiropractor can help diagnose and treat. Some of these same stretches will be suggested.
Below are some tips to relieve pain. If the pain persists a couple of weeks after addressing these tips consult your doctor to further investigate.
Tips to relieve butt pain with photos
- Use ice initially to reduce inflammation and possibly anti-inflammatory over the counter medication if your doctor has suggested.
- Moist heat helps circulation and blood flow and can be started in the morning to warm up the muscle. An electric heating pad may not be good because it tends to dehydrate tissue. An Infrared heating pad though can radiate well into the muscle. Talk with your doctor.
- Use proper stretching techniques (below are tips and how to photos)
- Prevent sitting for too long. Get up every couple of hours and walk around and/or perform some quick light strengthening and stretching techniques.
- Always warm-up before sports and activities then stretch in the midst of activity and after.
- Stretch before bedtime. Stretching in the morning when the body is cold is not as effective for improving flexibility. Total body large movements though can be done in the morning to warm-up and are helpful.
- Change your sitting patterns. Look at your thighs. Do they turn out when you sit during work, driving, TV time, game time? Are your feet folded under your chair? Are your legs crossed? Are you slouching back? Are your pants too tight? Are you sitting on a wallet, phone or hard surface? Each of these things can cause piriformis/nerve pain. Change it up. Also, these sitting positions tend to externally rotate the thighs outward causing the piriformis to shorten, tighten and weaken. This can easily be addressed by sitting up tall and placing the feet flat on the floor with the heels down. This will help lessen the external rotation of the thighs and start to ease your piriformis and help maintain its normal length free of shortening, tightening and weakening.
- Massage the area. Using an appropriate foam roller works well and visit a massage therapist. If pain is caused from compression hold off on the foam roller. If from overuse then the foam roller can be very helpful..
- Strengthen the glutes and piriformis with appropriate exercises. Keep total hip strength and flexibility. You can use a simple rubber resistance band and 9 " ball for both strength and relief. A few exercises that take only a couple of minutes will help a lot. Lay off up hill climbing and butt/glute based exercises until the area eases up but continue stretching and slowly begin to incorporate the strength exercises below.
5 photo stretches to relieve butt pain known as piriformis syndrome-
Be sure and stretch both sides. I prefer having clients stretching good side first and affected side last. Below is further info on these stretches as well as easy and effective strengthening tips that can be done at home, office or travel.
Pro skateboarder Aaron Jaws Homoki is demonstrating an easy and effective piriformis stretch.
1. Place the outer leg up as shown to feel initial stretch. Similar to exercise 4 below. To apply a deeper stretch lean forward and turn to each side to feel varied area of stretch. Aaron is externally rotating his thigh to oppose the tough internal thigh rotation movements of his skateboarding and to gain a greater stretch and relief to his overworked butt (piriformis and glutes).
If your piriformis is tight and painful you’ll also have tight inner thighs, groin muscles, the front of the hip, and the back of the thighs. As mentioned above it's important to stretch and strengthen these areas as well. You'll heal much quicker. When one muscle is strengthened and stretched then the opposing muscles also need to be strengthened and stretched. This doesn't require massive exercise but rather a couple minutes each day. Here is an easy the inner thigh stretch that can be done from the floor or bed.
2. Stretch your hip flexors located at the front of the hip thigh area.Turn sideways while seated and let the outer leg hang down with the knee bent as shown. Let the thigh release away from the hip and slightly back, tuck the tailbone a bit, and draw the abdominal muscles in while turning and tilting away from the down leg. Try not to extend the leg too far back.
3. Stretch the hamstrings at the back of the legs. Sit to the front of your seat and extend the leg, pull the toes toward you, lift the body tall as you lean forward with a slightly bent knee. keep your hands on your thighs for support and tension adjustment.
4 & 5. Stretch several times during the day. Cross the ankle or outer ankle or shin over the opposite knee and gently lean forward while slightly turning toward the foot. Very similar to Aaron's stretch above. Also, while the leg is crossed hug the knee in with your opposite hand or arm then turn and lean toward that hip. Some might feel more stretch while seated a bit tall while pulling in and be sure the hand not used is resting on a firm surface for help.
5 quick, effective photo total hip and thigh strengtheners
Front of the hip strengtheners for the hip flexors- bend the knee and lift the leg keeping the toes pulled toward shin and foot out further than the knee as you lift. Do not lock out knee of standing leg.
Outer hip strengthener for the abductors- lift the leg up and out to the side. Does not need to be a huge lift. Keep knee cap facing forward.
Inner thigh strengtheners for the adductors and groin-cross leg in front of the other slightly leading with the inner heel. Don't let the hip of the other leg jut out while you move.
Butt strengtheners for the glutes- extend a straight the leg back using the butt muscles.
Back of thigh strengthener for the hamstrings-bend knee and squeeze heel to butt and be sure total leg stays back in relation to the other leg. Do not lock the knee out of the standing leg.
Helpful tools for flexibility, strength, and easing muscular tensionFoam and stick roller, resistance bands and acupressure balls and chart helpful for self massage.
........The best 9 inch textured fitness ball. The only one I've used that doesn't lose it's texture and it's easy to inflate and deflate. I use this one daily in classes and with clients. Great for easing butt pain and as a posture prop.
........I love this pad for either hot or cold. Freeze for cold or microwave for heat.
........Deep penetrating infrared heating pad. One of my clients turned me on to this one. Most are stiff but this one is flexible and easier to bend around the body.
ACE Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Yoga Teacher