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Buttock Pain

Buttock pain is the result of having sedentary jobs, the soft tissues surrounding the buttock bones can be compressed too much. And can also come from injured structures around the buttock area itself. This is usually as a result of injury, poor posture, disuse, or as a referred pain from areas above your buttocks mainly your sacro-iliac joint or your spine.

The anatomy of your buttock is quite complex. As well as various amounts of fat contributing to your buttocks shape and function there are many structures lying beneath this fat. There are three layers of muscle, as well as tendons, ligaments, joints and nerves.

All these structures are intimately related to each other and when one structure changes due to injury or postural tightening all the other structures are affected too.

Ten Causes of Buttock Pain are:

  1. Piriformis syndrome

Is a muscular condition resulting in the Sciatic nerve being compressed or traumatised by a tightness or overuse of the piriformis muscle which lies deep in your buttock.

Piriformis is a small muscle that is located deep in the buttock region. The sciatic nerve runs through this muscle. This muscle can become tense enough for it to squeeze the Sciatic nerve, producing symptoms including pain and numbness, that travel down the leg from the buttock region. When the nerve is trapped this way, it is called Piriformis Syndrome. Additionally, trigger points in the muscle may refer pain to other parts of the buttock and the hip joint region.

  1. Sacro-iliac joint (SI Joint)/ligament pain

Is another common area when irritated may result in buttock pain. The sacro-iliac joint itself may be injured and inflamed or the ligaments supporting the sacro-iliac joint may be strained and inflamed also resulting in a buttock pain.

SI joint or S/I joint or can be called SIJ is the joint between the triangular sacral bone at the base of the spine and the iliac or pelvic bone. Pain here can be caused by too much or too little movement. Some people term these as Sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Certain types of Arthritis can also cause inflammation and pain at this joint. Weight changes and ligamentous laxity during pregnancy can also lead to pain at this joint.

  1. Ilio-lumbar ligament

The ligament travels from the base of your spine laterally towards your waist and is commonly confused with sacro-iliac joint injuries.

This is a really strong little ligament that holds the lumbar spine to the Ilium (part of the big “hip” bone). The iliolumbar ligament can be felt just around the dimples in the very low back. Which can get strained and stretched leading to inflammation. A common way of stretching this ligament is by sitting with your low back unsupported in a slumped position.  Pain can vary from a mild ache to a strong throb.

4 .Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It starts in your low back, then runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ultimately parts of it end at your feet. When something compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, it can cause a pain that radiates out from your lower back into your buttock and can travel down your leg to your calf.   Sciatic pain can range from being mild to very painful.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is often called arthritis or OA for short. OA is really ‘just’ wear and tear of one of the body’s joints. OA in the low back, S/I joint and possibly in the hip could cause buttock pain. The pain, when spreading from an arthritic joint, is often non specific, by this I mean there may be an ache in the area. This ache can become more centre when the joint is inflamed in which case the inflammation causing the pain rather than the joint. The muscles can also become involved, and this is then a muscle pain rather than arthritic or joint pain.


A bursa is a fatty sack. It’s purpose is to reduce friction where muscles pass across other muscles, ligaments or bones. Muscles that are overused or are too tight can rub and inflame a bursa which then causes pain. The two main bursa in the buttock area are the trochanteric bursa and the ischia bursa. One can can give you pain on sitting the other pain when laying on your side.


Sometimes written as coccyx/coccygeal pain. The coccyx is often described as the tailbone. If affected people complain of pain at the very base of the spine, just above their anus. The pain can sometimes be felt in the ligaments that help the coccyx maintain it’s position as these ligaments become strained. The sensation can vary from mild discomfort to extremely painful.

  1. Trigger points

Trigger points have been described as “a highly irritable localized spot of exquisite tenderness in a nodule in a nodule in a palpable taut band of muscle.” Another attribute of trigger points is they when the nodule is pressed or irritated it can trigger pain distant to the nodule. Trigger points in quadratus lumborum a back muscle and soleus a calf muscle can and do refer pain to the buttock.

  1. Buttock Muscles

The Gluteus maximus, medius and minimus are the three main buttock muscles. Gluteus maximus is biggest muscle in the body and some sources say it’s the strongest. All of these muscles may get tendon problems causing pain in the buttock. There are also a number of trigger points within these muscles that may give pain within the buttock. There are three trigger points commonly encountered in Gluteus max, another three in medius and 7 minimus.

  1. High Hamstring Tendinopathy

This gives you pain most noticeably when you sit and also a tight painful sensation in the hamstring. It is also known as proximal hamstring tendonopathy or high hamstring tendonitis and refers to inflammation of the common origin (ischial tuberosity) of the hamstring muscles. This gives you pain in the lower buttock on the part of the pelvic bone you should be sitting on. The pain in the buttock has been described as very sharp or like tooth ache all the time.

Treatment of Buttock Pain

Treatment of buttock pain largely depends on the underlying injury and more specifically the cause of the injury. Buttock pain with manual release techniques will eliminate any tightness in the muscles and correct any bony mal-alignments.

During your visit your condition will be assessed and steps taken to assist with your rehabilitation. After the session FREE muscle stretching sheets can be provided to assist with healing your injury. It is recommended that you continue these exercises at home to speed up the healing process. To book in for a session, please call Jade Tran on 0425 444 304. I hope you found the article helpful in further understanding your symptoms. Any opinions expressed within my articles/blog are from my personal perspective, not that of my Professional Associations / Educational Institutions
.Articles are intended to convey information only and should not being misconstrued as medical advice. If you have any concerns regard to medical matter, you need to consult a professional healthcare provider.

 I will not compensate you in any way what so ever should you happen to suffer death/injury/loss/inconvenience/damage due to the information contain in this article.