Buttock and lower back pain can sometimes make it quite hard to do even the simplest tasks. Some people can get buttock pain when sitting, while others can get it while walking, which can be quite annoying. The pain can be a continuous dull pain or it can be quite sharp or intense. Pain in the buttock as well as the lower back region can be caused by several factors.
Pain in the buttock region can be a sign of several health conditions, right from muscle injury to nerve compression. Even problems in the spine could manifest in buttock and lower back pain.
Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body that originates in the spinal column and travels down the buttock to the lower limbs. Sciatica is the term used to refer to the pain caused by the compression or irritation of this sciatic nerve. The pain caused by sciatica can be dull or a sharp burning sensation that can radiate from the lower back to the buttock and the side of the leg. Along with pain, one can feel tingling or numbness in the leg and the foot. Prolonged sitting can worsen the pain caused by sciatica.
Herniated disc or slipped disc is the term that refers to the protrusion of a small part of the soft inner layer of the disks. Disks are nothing but the cartilage that cushion the bones of the vertebrae or the spine. The soft inner layer of these disks is called nucleus while its tough outer layer is known as annulus. When a small portion of the nucleus bulges out through a tear in the annulus, it compresses or irritates the surrounding nerves, which in turn can produce sharp pain. Herniated disc can also cause sciatica, and hence, buttock and lower-back pain.
The muscle that lies deep in the buttock is called 'piriformis muscle'. Piriformis syndrome is the condition where this muscle compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve. This can manifest in pain in the lower-back region or hip and buttock area. Piriformis syndrome can be caused by the overuse of this muscle, or due to the tightness of the piriformis muscle or its tendon.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
This pain associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be quite severe at times. Along with buttock pain, this condition can cause lower-back pain as well. Sacroiliac joints are located just at the bottom of the back, on either side of the spine. Injury, as well as inflammation of the sacroiliac joint and the supporting ligaments can cause pain in the buttock. People with this condition often experience intense pain when walking.
Other Possible Causes
Apart from the aforementioned conditions, there are a few other possible causes, out of which conditions like, arthritis, osteoarthritis, gluteal claudication, and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine in one or more location) are more important. Women can also encounter the problem of buttock pain during pregnancy.
The treatment depends on the underlying cause of the pain. Mild pain of the buttock and the lower-back area can be managed with rest and the application of heat. Pain caused by strain and muscle injury can also be relieved with these simple measures. If the buttock and the hip pain is too severe to be relieved with these methods, then pain medications can be used for getting temporary relief.
However, any kind of medications should be taken only under the supervision of a health care provider or physician. Apart from these, it is very important to maintain a correct posture while sitting and standing to prevent this pain in future, especially if it is a ligament. Exercises and physical therapy can also help strengthen the muscles of the lower back and the buttock area, which can reduce the frequency of the pain greatly.
This painful condition caused by minor muscle sprain or injury can be addressed with home treatment like, application of heat. However, the pain that persists for a long time can be associated with a major health condition, which can be ascertained only with the help of a physician. So, be sure to seek medical attention to identify and address its underlying causes.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.