Dr. Danan weighs in on how sitting may cause discomfort in the buttocks.
From sciatica to piriformis syndrome, there are common culprits to buttock pain from sitting, Here, experts recommend how to handle them.
Whether you’re dealing with a mega-commute, desk job, or just really loving your couch-time, if you’re like most people, you spend a lot of hours sitting down. One estimate in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity looking at 54 countries found that adults spend nearly five hours every day sitting. As convenient as it may be, sitting is not doing your body any favors—particularly, your butt.
“Our bodies are not conditioned to be sitting for extended periods of time, and when we do, our gluteal muscles [the group that comprises the buttock area] begin to suffer,” says Ilan Danan, M.D., a sports neurologist and pain management specialist at the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. “With too much sitting, hip flexors begin to tighten over time, while gluteal muscles lengthen. Ultimately, this results in inefficient muscle activity with standing and walking.”
Even if you remember to take frequent breaks from sitting, you may still experience buttock weakness and pain from other issues. If you find that you’re dealing with pain and difficulty whenever you’ve been sitting, here’s a look at what may be going on.