Pain in the butt?
If you literally have a pain in your butt, this is the article for you. Sorry, I can’t help you with figurative pain in the butts, you’re gonna have to deal with them on your own.
Luckily for you, most pains in the butt stem from trigger points in that area, and there are some self care techniques that might possibly relieve your pain.
One disclaimer – If you are experiencing any kind of nerve pain (numbness or tingling accompanying the pain), then your butt pain might be a bit more serious. Please don’t self diagnose, seek out a physical therapist or doctor skilled at diagnosing pain. It could just be that your piriformis (a muscle in your butt) is inflamed or tight and pinching on a nerve, but it could also be a host of other more complicated issues.
Pain from this muscle can be in the butt and/or sacrum. In the pic, the x marks the trigger point and the red stippling is where you’ll feel the pain. The ways you can develop trigger points in this muscle are from the following:
- Muscle strain from a fall or from bracing to prevent a fall
- Impact from a fall
- Swimming (particularly the crawl stroke)
- Walking uphill while leaning forward
- Repetitive kicking, as with martial arts or dance.
- Weight lifting exercises, particularly squats and deadlifts.
- Prolonged sitting, especially with a slouched posture.
- Sitting on a wallet
- Intramuscular injections
The second glut max trigger point is the most common (referring into the sacrum and most of the butt) and can refer pain deep into the buttock, making it feel like a deeper muscle is the culprit.
The best way to relieve a pain in the butt is to massage it! You can try some maneuvers on your own, starting with a foam roller if you can’t take the pain yet and moving onto a tennis or lacrosse ball (or really any small ball you might have). Here’s a simple video to get you started. You can play around having your leg straight or bent.
You’ll want to find a good point that creates some discomfort and possibly a radiating, dull or achy sensation (move the ball if any tingling or numbness arrises- you don’t want to compress a nerve). Make sure you work both sides, even if you only experience pain on one side.
If you can’t seem to kick the butt pain, schedule a massage with a specialized massage therapist. Preferably one who is skilled at trigger point therapy.
And stay tuned for the next trigger point article on the piriformis, a muscle that can cause sciatica symptoms.