Stabbing pain in your hips? Being sedentary for long stretches can lead to lower back pain and hip pain, as well as knee and ankle.
Many of us spend hours in a seated position. Sitting creates reciprocal inhibition — when one muscle contracts, a nerve signal is sent to the opposing muscle to relax. This give and take relationship causes your hip flexors to contract, and your glutes to rest. Over time, this results in your glutes to be weak.
When your glutes lose strength, other muscles groups in your lower body compensate for this imbalance. Complications such as lower back pain, hip or knee pain can result. This weakening of the glutes is referred to as dead butt syndrome. It’s no joke, and it’s more common than you might think.
Dead butt syndrome, gluteal amnesia if left untreated can lead to other strains and pains. When the glute muscles are not working efficiently or to their capacity. The glutes “forget” how to work properly because they aren’t used.
The same type of muscle imbalance can also happen in highly active people such as runners, who have very strong quads or hamstrings. Stabbing, persistent pain is often a warning sign of a body imbalance. Untreated, this can lead to problems in the quads, hamstrings, Achilles tendons, heels, knees, calves, ankles, feet or toes.
The good news is that this condition can be reversed with corrective actions. The best way to avoid gluteal amnesia is to mix up your daily routine.
Take frequent breaks.
Get up from your chair and walk around throughout the day.
Sit on an exercise ball instead of an office chair.
Do some stretches at your desk.
Spend some time standing up, working at a high countertop.
Don’t allow your body to get into a repetitive cycle.
Work your butt off. Make exercise a regular part of your daily regimen. Exercises that stretch the muscles in the hip and leg and strengthen the glutes will remedy this condition. Work your glutes several times per week, you’ll begin to notice a change in how your muscles feel in about a month.
Squats, lunges and leg lifts helps strengthen the glutes.The key is to focus on driving your heels (not the ball of the foot) while doing stretches and exercises. This helps activate your maximus which is the biggest and strongest part of the butt.
One of the best ways to treat this condition is to roll out your hip flexors and IT band (side of the leg). Use a foam roller on your buttocks and legs to help release the myofascial tissues that support your muscles and bones. The roller will smooth out your knotted muscles and ease the pain.
If you’re concerned that you have dead butt syndrome, schedule an examination with your physician to rule out this condition. Or, stand up with a belt on and examine your posture in the mirror. If your belt drops toward the front and isn’t parallel to the floor, then you may have a muscle imbalance.
It’s a medical fact that a sedentary lifestyle — is bad for your health. Get off your rear and get in gear.