Sportspeople usually suffer from pain in buttocks which can be associated to either sacroiliac joint (SIJ) or the buttock muscles or both. We need to consider them in detail before we look at the interventions or preventive measures to reduce risk of developing pain.
Sacrum is the triangular bone located at the base of lower back and holds the two bones that make our pelvis (ileum). The SIJ at either side are covered by thick ligaments and muscles allowing restricted movement and absorbs shock, transmitting forces between trunk and legs. This is very important particularly in running sports where impact forces are almost same to double of body weight and create a rotational force through pelvis and lower back.
Buttocks or glutens are the biggest muscles in the body. Buttock has eight different muscles which are attached from the pelvis and sacrum at midline and to the top of high bone in lateral fashion. Buttock works as a single unit although each muscle has different function. The main role of buttock is to push/drive us forward and upward and also absorbs shock of landing as we run or walk.
Well the question is, if we have strong eight muscles and a joint that is covered with thick ligaments then why do we develop pain? This can be explained by taking an example of our closest relative, the great apes who don’t have buttocks and the reason is that around 6 million years ago, our ancestors use to spend more time on ground than tress. With evolution, upright walking and running came in use and requirement for that were bigger buttocks. But in past 100 years, they are not used properly and that the reason for weaker, tighter and lazier muscles. The statisticians have found that an average adult spends 50 to 70% of their day in sitting. When we run, our muscles are not able to do their job properly resulting in painful trigger points within the muscles or dysfunction at sacroiliac joint.
It’s really good to move for few minutes, if someone works at desk for the whole day. Person already with pain should consult a physiotherapist to know its cause. Treatment sessions and an exercise programme must be designed depending on the severity and duration of the symptoms. If someone has back pain then this is the time to get up and move to get rid of it!