Relieve Ischial Bursitis (Buttocks Bursitis) With These Exercises
Ischial bursitis is a common condition for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, being prone to experiencing pain in their sit bones. Your sit bones refer to the lower portion of your pelvis, and their primary purpose is to help absorb your weight while you sit.
Ischial bursitis is a medical condition that causes pain in the sit bones. It is commonly diagnosed in individuals who spend a significant amount of time sitting on hard surfaces. Most cases of ischial bursitis improve when the pain-inducing activity is stopped, although problems can recur under certain circumstances.
What is Ischial Bursitis?
The inflammation of the bursae is known as bursitis. Bursae are tiny fluid-filled sacs found in many parts of your body, more specifically in the space between your muscles, bones, tendons, and joints.
The ischial bursa, a fluid-filled sac found between the ischial tuberosity (the lower half of the V-shaped bone that aids in the formation of the pelvis) and the tendons that connect the hamstring muscle to the bone, can experience irritation or inflammation when you’ve been sitting for too long. Ischial bursitis, commonly known as weaver’s bottom or tailor’s seat, refers to inflammation in this area.
What are the symptoms of Ischial Bursitis?
People who sit for extended periods of time on hard surfaces or who exercise incorrectly by continuously overstraining the hip area are more likely to develop this condition. Trauma to the hip can also cause this condition to develop.
Here’s a quick checklist of common symptoms in people afflicted with ischial bursitis:
- Tenderness in the upper and lower thighs and buttocks
- Inflammation of the lower buttocks and hips
- Pain when exercising the hip or buttocks
- Severe pain that gets worse when you sit down
- Inability to fully extend the hip
- Aching or stiffness in the pelvic region
- Radiating pain from the buttock down the leg
- Sitting pain
- Sleeping problems due to hip discomfort
- Redness or swelling surrounding the bursa
Ischial Bursitis Symptoms
Ischial bursitis causes pain in the lower part of the buttocks that can travel down the leg. The pain might worsen when:
The pain is similar to that of sciatica. Sciatica occurs when a ruptured disk in the lower back places pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica causes a sharp pain in the lower back that travels down the leg.
Ischial Bursitis Treatment
Treatment will usually involve lifestyle changes and home remedies. If the symptoms do not improve, a doctor may recommend medical treatments.
The following steps may help people manage ischial bursitis:
- resting from the activity causing the problem, such as sitting on a hard surface for long periods
- using ice packs to reduce swelling in the area
- taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
- stretching the legs and lower back
If lifestyle changes and home treatments are not working, a doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections with lidocaine into the affected bursae. This treatment should provide immediate relief.
Doctors may also recommend increased exercise frequency and advise people with overweight to lose weight. These lifestyle changes may help prevent the problem from reoccurring.
It is important to discuss any exercises or stretches with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into a physical activity regimen. The healthcare professional can help the person avoid exercises that might worsen the problem or cause injuries.
A physical therapist can provide a range of exercises to treat pain and improve mobility in the buttocks, lower back, and legs.
Some examples of exercises and stretches include:
Lying buttocks stretch
People can perform a lying buttocks stretch as follows:
- Lie flat on the back with the head resting on a pillow and keep the legs straight.
- Slowly bend the right knee toward the chest.
- Placing the hands around the thigh, just below the back of the knee, pull the knee closer to the chest.
- Hold the stretch for 5–10 seconds before returning to the starting position.
- Repeat 6 to 10 times on each leg.
Sitting rotation stretch
The sitting rotation stretch works both the buttocks and the oblique muscles in the core:
- Sit with a straight back and both feet straight out in front.
- Bend the right knee and place the foot flat on the floor.
- Move the right foot to the outside of the left knee.
- Gently twist to the right, pushing the left elbow against the right knee and looking over the right shoulder.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then return to the starting position.
- Repeat using the other leg.
Hip extensions can help strengthen the lower back and buttocks:
- Start on all fours with the knees under the hips and the hands under the shoulders, keeping the neck straight.
- Stretch the left arm out in front and the right leg out behind.
- Slowly raise the outstretched left arm and right leg until they align with the back.
- Hold the position for 2 seconds before switching to the other side.
- Repeat the exercise by lifting the right arm and left leg.
- Repeat the above steps 5 times.
These exercises should not cause any additional pain. A person should stop the exercise immediately if they experience pain in the buttocks, lower back, or legs.
When to see a doctor
Some causes of pain in the buttocks will go away on their own without medical treatment. For example, vigorous exercise can cause muscle strains that produce temporary pain in the area.
However, it is important to see a doctor for persistent pain in the lower back, buttocks, or legs. This pain may be due to an underlying condition that requires treatment.
A doctor can make a diagnosis by evaluating the person’s symptoms and conducting a physical examination. After diagnosing the problem, they can provide advice on treatment and prevention.