No, we are not talking about your kids or your husband (or wife for that matter)! We are talking about a literal pain in your butt, as in buttocks or “gluteal muscles”. Glute pain can be a real pain in the arse!
Ok, enough with the funny jokes…
Glute pain or “hip pain” is a very common complaint from clients visiting Physiotherapy. Causes of glute pain vary. Did you know that your back could cause that pain in your butt? Dysfunction within the lumbar spine (such as disc pathology or nerve compression) can cause pain to be referred to the gluteal region. Sometimes the individual has no complaints of low back pain even though that is the origin of the problem. Tight gluteal muscles such as one would expect after a climb up Mount Larcom can also cause pain.
One of the muscles in the glutes is called the Piriformis. Piri what now? The Piriformis is a muscle that is partly responsible for moving the hip. This muscle lies on top of the Sciatic Nerve, which is the longest single nerve in the body! It is also one of the major nerves responsible for sensation and muscle function of the leg and foot. When the Piriformis gets tight- it can compress on the Sciatic Nerve that lies beneath it and cause pain. In 17% of the population, the Sciatic Nerve actually runs through the Piriformis muscle, which places these individuals at an increased risk of developing “Sciatica” (Smoll, 2010).
If left untreated, this pain in the butt can progress to pain down the entire leg, as well as cause numbness or weakness of the leg due to prolonged nerve compression.
If you are experiencing butt or glute pain related solely to tight muscles, simple gluteal stretching can often help to reduce the discomfort. It is advised that you seek the help of a Physiotherapist to properly diagnose the cause of your glute pain and determine which treatment will be most beneficial for you.
Don’t let your butt pain slow you down! The Gladstone Physio’s at Strive are here to help you!
Contact Strive Physio for an appointment now. Call 07 4978 7868 or drop into reception (Gladstone GP Superclinic).
Smoll, N.R. (January 2010). “Variations of the piriformis and sciatic nerve with clinical consequence: a review”. Clinical Anatomy 23 (1): 8–17