sore buttocks while sitting
November 12, 2005 5:57 AM   Subscribe

In virtually any chair, couch, car seat, etc., my buttocks gets sore, but only on the right side. This has been getting worse for 30 years (I am 60). My doctor was not helpful: "use a better pad". I had to give up my recumbent bike--can't easily stand or squirm to relieve the pain/numbness. Does anyone know what might be the cause and treatment of this?
posted by willingp to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Do you know if it's sciatica? (The term doesn't describe the underlying cause, just the source of the pain.) There was an earlier thread about it but sadly there are no definitive cures or treatments.
posted by nev at 6:33 AM on November 12, 2005

I had a similar exerience a few years ago and was diagnosed, rightly or wrongly, with piriformis syndrome. In theory the nerve that runs through a channel in one's piriformis muscle gets pinched causing a respectable amount of pain. As opposed to sciatica -where the the nerve is inflamed- piriformis syndrome is an inflammation of the muscle. Taking anti-inflamatories and doing gluteal stretches made mine improve, but I also find that if I'm having trouble some massage, physical therapy, or chiropractic adjustment makes a big improvement in the way that I'm feeling.

You also may want to visit a podiatrist. Your ass muscles might be inflamed by posture problems caused by the way you stand (fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, high instep are possible diagnoses).
posted by putzface_dickman at 6:54 AM on November 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

This may be painfully obvious, but do you carry your wallet in your back pocket? That did it for me.
posted by furtive at 7:33 AM on November 12, 2005

Where do you keep your wallet?
posted by kimota at 7:34 AM on November 12, 2005

Man, giving up the recumbent must be a total drag.

Have you tried pilates or yoga, in case it's back-related?
posted by craniac at 7:38 AM on November 12, 2005

Have you seen a really good massage therapist? A lot of times they're more helpful than doctors when symptoms aren't clear-cut.
posted by callmejay at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2005

(I know one in the DC area, but your profile doesn't say where you are.)
posted by callmejay at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2005

I have pain on one side too. I fell down some steps and landed right on the edge with my bum. It produced a massive, grotesque bruise and then turned partially to scar tissue. It feels like the scar tissue gets 'stuck' and I have to wiggle around sometimes. Did you have a fall at any point?
posted by barnone at 8:22 AM on November 12, 2005

I would second the massage therapist reccomendation. You might also want to look into somatics which claims to offer a lot of benefits for exactly the type of condition you describe. A series of stretches and light excercises strive to reopen the communication pathways between your brain and the offending muscle. See also: pilates, yoga, feldenkrais.
posted by sophist at 2:05 PM on November 12, 2005

The piriformis mentioned above is what I immediately thought. Stretching the piriformis, as well as your hamstrings, quads and calves may be all you need.

After back surgery, I felt as though I had a deep bruise in the right cheek of my rear end. A physical therapist showed me some good stretches and I don't get that butt-pain anymore (and if it twinges, a few good stretches clear it right up.)
posted by macadamiaranch at 3:08 PM on November 12, 2005

I don't know but there was an episode of King of the Hill where Hank Hill had this exact same problem. (I am not making fun of your situation, the episode seriously was all about this issue).
posted by RoseovSharon at 10:19 PM on November 12, 2005

I did come across piriformis syndrome in my google searches, and have been trying (off and on) to do the illustrated stretches, as best as I can tell. Doesn't feel like it's stretching the affected part, though. I haven't looked into "somatics", but will look it up.
posted by willingp at 3:45 AM on November 13, 2005

Another vote for removing your wallet from your back pocket. The amount of damage I see done to backs from this practice can't be overstated.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:54 PM on November 13, 2005

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