Sit bone pain can range anywhere on the pain spectrum from being a minor irritation to creating severe pain and agony. For some of us, we sit too long and begin to feel a bit achy or stiff. This calls for standing, moving a bit, and doing some minor stretching to alleviate the discomfort. For others, sit bone pain or pain in the butt bones is caused by inflammation or irritation of the ischial bursa. Ischial Bursitis is a condition where the fluid-filled sacs in the pelvis become inflamed and swollen, causing sit bone pain.
Bursitis most often occurs in joints that perform frequent, repetitive motion, and it is the inflammation of the fluid-filled pads that act as cushions at the joints. While bursitis occurs in the knees, shoulders, and elbows, it can also occur in the fluid-filled sacs in the pelvis and become irritated and inflamed from sitting too long.
Signs Of Sit Bone Pain (Ischial Bursitis)
Sit bone pain presents with a sharp pain at the center of the buttocks that can radiate down the back part of the thigh and leg to the knee. It is often confused with sciatica, a condition where the sciatic nerve can become inflamed or compressed. While the pain usually occurs from sitting for prolonged periods, it can also happen while walking or flexing the hip forward.
How To Find Relief From Sit Bone Pain
While we are going to list exercises that you can do to relieve sit bone pain, there are some other things you can do to treat it.
- Temporarily stopping the activities that aggravate the pain.
- Apply ice packs to the tender area (sit on an ice pack if needed).
- Take ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin as directed.
- Try using a cushion while sitting to take the pressure off the painful area.
Being aware of the cause of sit bone pain and having a strategy in place that continually addresses inflammatory actions will put you at an advantage for managing the painful symptoms. What else can you do to either prevent or eliminate sit bone pain? There are
Exercises To Relieve Sit Bone Pain
As mentioned above, start off by icing the area to reduce swelling and inflammation. A bag of frozen peas works perfectly for this! Your primary focus and #1 thing you can do is to take pressure off the points of the sit bones. While the pain is in and around the sitting bone, it’s essential to work the attached and surrounding muscle groups.
1. Massage Muscles Around The Glutes And Hamstrings
If you don’t have a massage gun, consider getting one, as it will give you a much more effective and targeted releasing of the muscles attached to and surrounding the sit bones.
Step 1: While sitting on the floor, lean toward your left glute.
Step 2: While in a seated position with the majority of your weight on the left glute, use your right hand and fingers to push into and firmly massage the muscles around the side of your right glute, thigh, and hamstring for about 30 seconds.
Step 3: Turn slightly and shift most of your weight to your right glute.
Step 4: Repeat Step 2 on your left glute, thigh, and hamstring for about 30 seconds.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For the most effective muscle and tension release, try using a massage gun. Like traditional methods, the gun aims to reduce inflammation by flushing extracellular fluids along with helping to relax tight muscles.
2. Seated Hamstring Stretch
Hamstring stretches can increase flexibility and improve the range of motion in the hip. The hamstring muscle group starts at the bottom of the pelvis and runs along the back of your thigh to the back of your knee. This muscle group is partly responsible for a well-aligned pelvis. Hamstrings that are too tight can lead to low back pain and contribute to sit bone pain.
How to do a seated hamstring stretch:
Step 1: Sit with one leg extended and your back straight. Bend your other leg so that the sole of your foot rests against your mid-thigh.
Step 2: Reach toward your ankle. Keep your knee, neck, and back straight.
Step 3: Feel the stretch in the back of your thigh.
Step 4: Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
3. Knee To Chest Stretch
The knee to chest stretch is used to stretch your hip and low back muscles. It should also help relieve pressure on spinal nerves by creating more space for those nerves as they exit the spine.
How to do a knee to chest stretch:
Step 1: Lie on your back.
Step 2: Keeping the opposite leg straight, bend your knee on your painful side.
Step 3: Using your hands, gently pull your knee in closer to your chest until you feel a stretch along your buttock.
Step 4: Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
Step 5: Repeat on the opposite leg.
4. Piriformis Stretch
Stretching the piriformis muscle can help relieve tension and spasms that cause sit bone pain.
How to do a piriformis stretch:
Step 1: Lie on your back with your legs straight.
Step 2: Lift your one leg and bend your knee. With your opposite hand, reach across your body, and then gently pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder.
Step 3: Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Step 4: Repeat with your other leg.
Living An Active And Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle
Sit bone pain is a result of inflammation. While some additional therapies and stretches can be performed, these 4 create a foundation for alleviating pain and pressure along with reducing inflammation. Knowing that a key factor is reducing overall inflammation, you will also want to focus on healthy nutrition, getting and staying at a lean, healthy weight, and incorporating healthy activities throughout each day. As with most things in life, one problem or pain will likely trigger another, so it is important that your perspective is always comprehensive and preventative, which will often address issues like sit bone pain before it ever becomes an issue.