Buttock pain can be defined as the pain felt in the posterior. It can be constant dull pain, or a sudden throbbing pain. This pain commonly occurs due to running, or sitting for a prolonged period of time. It makes simple tasks like putting on the socks a painful affair. Some people feel the pain more at night, which can disturb their sleep. Others find it to be worse in the morning. Some commonly observed symptoms are soreness and tightness of the muscles which make the area extremely tender to touch.
Pain in the buttocks is often caused by sciatic nerve. It's a big nerve that runs from the lower back region to the legs, passing through butt muscle also known as piriformis muscle. When this muscle is stressed due to injury or overuse, they become tight and exert pressure on the sciatic nerve. Thus the nerve gets irritated, and a sharp burning pain is experienced which may radiate down to the legs. Usually, the sciatica pain is felt on one side of the buttock, and is accompanied by numbness and tingling sensation. This condition is also known as piriformis syndrome.
The sacroiliac joint is also known as pelvic joint which is located at the lowermost part of the back. If the joint becomes unstable due to a traumatic injury to the tailbone or the hip bones, overuse during strenuous sports activities, weakness in the muscles, and ligaments of the joint, etc., then it gives rise to buttock pain. As a result, movements of the sacroiliac joint get affected. This joint pain intensifies with walking, sitting in one place for a long time, bending, lifting heavy objects, and so on. Buttock pain during pregnancy occurs mainly because the hormonal changes loosen up the ligaments and muscles of this area, which leads to misalignment of the joint.
The iliolumbar ligament runs laterally from the base of the spine to the side of the waist. Any injury like sprain or damage to the ligament gives buttock pain. The symptoms of this injury is very similar to that of sacroiliac joint injury. Sometimes, the pain felt in the buttock actually originates in the lower back area, but is referred into the buttocks. Such a pain is known as referred pain. Another possible cause is stress fracture in the hip bones caused due to poor bone density. This is more common in elderly people.
The treatment is based upon the underlying cause. If you have sustained some minor injury in the buttock area, then rest and application of ice should subside the pain in two days. If it does not, then you must consult the doctor. They ascertain the cause by studying the medical history of the patient, conducting physical examination, and some laboratory tests like x-ray, CT scan, and MRI. If the piriformis muscles have tightened, then heat can be applied on the buttocks to loosen up the muscles.
A strain in the ligament, or lower back injuries, are mostly caused due to incorrect posture. In such cases, posture correction is a must for permanent relief from buttock pain. A misaligned sacroiliac joint can be corrected with the help of physiotherapy. Once the hip pain subsides, muscle stretching exercises are recommended to improve the strength and flexibility of the piriformis muscle and thus, ensure faster recovery.
If you are suffering from buttock pain, then you should not start any self treatment with over the counter pain relieving medicines. This will provide you temporary relief from the pain, but the root cause of the pain will remain unresolved. It is going to bother you all over again once you stop using those medicines. Therefore, it is advisable to get a proper treatment, and do not just mask the problem temporarily.