How To Relieve Buttock Pain From Sitting Too Long (Best Sitting Position For Sciatica)

Do You Get Buttock Pain From Sitting For Long Periods Of Time?

Watch this video to learn what causes buttock pain from sitting too long.  Plus, learn the best sitting positions for sciatica and other causes of buttock pain.

6 Natural Solutions To Stop Sciatica, More 4 Life Physical Therapy St. Louis MO 63011 Gladly Serving Ballwin, Manchester, Chesterfield, Des Peres, Ellisville, and St. Louis County.

What Causes Buttock Buttock Pain From Sitting Too Long?

If you're grappling with buttock pain from prolonged sitting, chances are you may have received a diagnosis of sciatica or piriformis syndrome.

These conditions involve compression of the sciatic nerve in your buttocks.

However, it's crucial to recognize that, more often than not, buttock pain from sitting too long is more often caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back.

In this detailed post, I'll cover three primary causes of buttock pain from sitting.

Two of these root causes stem from lower back problems, while the third is from compression of the sciatic nerve locally at the buttocks.

Buttock Pain From Slouched Sitting

First, let's address buttock pain from slouched sitting.

This position is characterized by excessive rounding in the lower back, which puts pressure on the discs.

buttock pain from slouched sitting

Herniated discs are one of the more common causes of buttock pain in people less than 40 years old.

A slouched sitting posture can intensify buttock pain and sciatica in people with herniated discs who regularly sit for prolonged periods.

Sitting more upright can help with this type or problem.

However, the challenge arises with deeper seats like couches, where you can't sit all the way up against the backrest without slouching.

In this case, putting a small pillow behind your back can help fill the gap between the couch and your back.

relieve buttock pain by sitting with a pillow behind your back

This was you can stay upright and allow your lower back muscles to relax at the same time.

Buttock Pain From Sitting Too Upright

Conversely, in people over 40, the discs tend to dry out resulting in less space between the vertebra. This is known as degenerative disc disease.

This can narrow the spaces around the nerves in the lower back, a condition known as spinal stenosis.

Sitting too upright actually narrows the spaces around the nerves in the lower back MORE.

sitting too upright can cause buttock pain by compressing the nerves in the lower back

This in turn can cause buttock pain from sitting too long.

Conversely, a flexed or rounded position of the lower back can actually open the spaces where the lumbar nerve roots exit the spine.

To do this, you can sit with pillows behind your back and pillows under your knees as shown below.

relieve buttock pain by sitting with a pillow behind your back and under your knees

Alternatively, you can sit with your feet on an ottoman.

relieve buttock pain by sitting with your feet on an ottoman

If you're sitting in an office chair, you can achieve a similar effect by lowering the chair closer to the ground.  Alternatively, you can put your feet on a footrest in order to raise your knees closer to your chest.

Localized Buttock Pain From Sitting

Finally, let's discuss localized causes of buttock pain due to prolonged sitting.

Direct compression on the sciatic nerve, hamstrings, or hip external rotator muscles can arise when sitting on hard surfaces like wooden chairs.

A simple, yet effective, solution in this case is using a memory foam or gel seat cushion under the buttocks when sitting

Sitting too far forward in your chair can cause buttock pain when sitting

If you tend to sit right at the edge of your chair, than all of your weight is over your butt bones or "sits" bones. (The technical name is ischial tuberosities.)

Your hamstrings attach right at the ischial tuberosities. You can develop butt pain at the hamstring attachments if your entire torso weight is over  your ischial tuberosities when sitting.

Conversely, if you sit farther back in your chair against the backrest, you can offload some of your torso weight by leaning against the backrest.  The rest of your weight gets distributed across your ischial tuberosities, buttock muscles, and the back of your thighs.

So if you have the same body mass distributed over a larger surface area, there's less pressure per unit area.

Asymmetrical sitting can also cause buttock pain.

If you notice buttock pain primarily on one side, evaluate your sitting habits for potential asymmetries.

Consistently crossing one leg over the other or leaning to one side can create imbalances.

Trying to sit with equal weight on both butt cheeks can ensure you don't put too much pressure on one side or the other.

Need More Help For Buttock Pain?

If you live in the St. Louis area and you'd like to find a faster solution to buttock pain and/or sciatica, we'd be happy to help you here at More 4 Life.

Just tap the button below to request an appointment with one of our specialist physical therapists.

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