‘Dead Butt Syndrome’: Get Up Offa That Thing!

Do you sit at a desk most of the day? Do you drive a lot? You’ve likely already heard the reports on how too much sitting can be bad for your health – increasing your risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. However, you may not have heard about what experts call ‘dead butt syndrome.’ If you spend a large chunk of time sitting or don’t work your booty muscles enough, you could be putting yourself at risk.

According to Andrew Bang, a chiropractor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, dead butt syndrome isn’t uncommon. “I see the injury all the time in varying degrees,” Bang told Health.com.

Also, known as gluteal amnesia or gluteus medius tendinosis, this literal pain-in-the-butt occurs when the gluteus medius, one of the three major muscles in the rump, stops firing correctly. This can lead to inflammation, lower back, hip, and even joint pain, as the body tries to compensate for the imbalance.

Health.com explained:

Dead butt syndrome has to do with reciprocal inhibition — the process that describes the give-and-take relationship between muscles on either side of a joint. “In general, when one muscle contracts, a nerve signal is sent to its opposing muscle to relax,” says Bang.
When you spend hours on end in a seated position, your hip flexors are contracting while your glutes rest. “Over time, we’re basically training our glutes to be weak,” Bang says.

Do YOU have ‘Dead Butt Syndrome’?

So, how do you know if you suffer from dead butt syndrome? One way doctors determine whether you suffer from gluteal amnesia is with the Trendelenburg test. During this standing exam, practitioners assess hip stability by having patients lift one leg in front of them. If the pelvis on the side of the body where the leg is lifted dips down, this signals weakness in the glutes on the opposite side.

The curve in a person’s back can also be very telling. The lower back should form an ‘S’ shape in its natural stare. If the curvature is more extreme this could indicate the hip flexors are pulling the spine forward, Bang said.

Fortunately for sufferers, there are several simple moves you can implement into your daily routine to bring those butt muscles back to life!

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