Why do you have a pain in the butt?

No I’m not talking about the toddler that chucks a tantrum when their toast is cut in squares and not triangles. Nor am I talking about that colleague that continually sneaks and eats my snacks clearly labelled with my name…
I’m talking about that literal pain in the butt!!!

Pain in the buttocks can originate from a number of different structures but the most common type of problem I see in the clinic that causes buttock pain is “piriformis syndrome.” The piriformis is a sausage-like muscle that sits smack bang in the middle of each butt cheek. Through or under this muscle runs the sciatic nerve, so a lot of people will come in saying they “have sciatica,” thinking that the problem is originating from their spine, but with piriformis syndrome the nerve compression actually happens in the buttock. Patients are often relieved to hear that the problem is not spinal.

A classic patient with piriformis syndrome will present with buttock pain, with or without radiating pain, tingling or numbness down the back of the leg.

What causes your pain in the butt?!

Causes of piriformis syndrome can include but is not limited to:

  • Running
  • Excessive walking
  • Poor core stability
  • A weak pelvis
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Wallets in mens back pockets (no I am not joking)

How to get rid of your pain in the butt…

I LOVE treating this syndrome as I can almost guarantee the patient will walk away feeling loads better after one treatment! The other bonus is that I get to stick my elbow in someones butt!!

Treatment of piriformis syndrome can include:

  • Rest from aggravating activity
  • Stretching
  • Massage
  • Trigger point release (yes this is the elbow in the butt part)
  • Core strength exercises

After getting a patient over the acute phase of this syndrome I will also look at treating the root of the problem i.e. why this is happening! This may involve some exercises or stretches away from the area of specific pain.

If you don’t have the time to see a physio and want to help treat your own piriformis syndrome, check out my Feel Good Physio Spikey Ball Program and my Spikey Ball to get yourself back to FEELING GOOD!

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