Pain in bum - poss piriformis/sciatic pain

I've got a real pain in the bum - starts in the hamstrings and travels up right into my bum where it joins my leg.  I've always had tight hips when I run so try extra hard to stretch that area but felt the pain in my hamstring a couple of months back.  I can slightly feel it even when I'm not running.  I did a 33 mile ultra a couple of weeks back and only got round with painkillers.  I've rested it since with only one small run 10 days ago and have just done a half marathon today and it's killing me.

I'm not sure exactly what it is and don't know what sort of treatment I should go for.  Any ideas?


  • I had an IT band issue about a year ago which presented itself as a pain in the backside. Apparently its reasonably common, but less so than the more typical knee pain. Mine was near the hip and brought on by a rapid increase in mileage.
  • Thanks Redjeep - could be that I suppose as I did rack the mileage up quickly.  Still none the wiser as to how I find out exactly which one it is and what to do about it!

  • Hi Sunluva,


    just posted a similar question as I am having the same problem. Do your strides get really short when this happens and do you feel your leg muscles getting weaker?

  • Absolutely UltraSpud, I get a weird ache all around my hip eventually amost making it feel like my leg is totally detached from the rest of my body.  Whatever's causing the pain must be affecting the whole of my hip - maybe it's the way I'm running to compensate for the pain - all I know is it's a real pain in the ass in every sense of the word!

  • Be very careful, do not run on this injury, i did and was out for 6 months.


  • Try a good sports massage therapist. There is a good chance they can clear it up and having you run in no time. Worked for me on more than one occasion.
  • I agree with Sussex Runner. I good massage could help a lot. I am a bit stuck here in Georgia. Can't find any reliable ones but will keep looking.


    good luck!

  • Think I might know a good sports therapist in Tiblisi
  • I too recommend a sports massage.  At least they will be able to give you an idea what the problem is, rather than you trying to work it out for yourself using hit and miss techniques.  A good one will also give you stretches or exercises that you can go at home to help treat yourself.

  • Hello


    I have a similar problem.  I feel my right leg is detached due to uncomfortable pain that makes the hamstring really tight.  The pain originated in the bum and got so bad i sought physio.  I was told that the glute wasn't working then all other muscles had to work harder and then got tight as result.  But oddly enough that pain dissapeared after circuit training and my pelvis has pressure points on the left side so all i can say is try easing the pressure points because my pain dissapears when i touch those points. Its very odd and im still seeking answers.

  • Wellow, did the physio tell you why your glutes were not working? did she/he mention anything to help with this problem?

  • If the glutes do not work, the other muscles including piriformis take over and get tight. I had this last year took a while to get sussed out.

    Stretch hip flexors and hamstrings. Also quads and calves.
    Crab and clamshells exercise to get glutes working. band round legs do monster walk.
    Foam roller ITB and whole of legs and glutes.

    Get checked out by any good osteopath/SMT/physio.

  • Ultraspud

    it was my right large but muscle not working and as result everything else had to work harder.  Physio cant understand it.  But like i said after doing exercises on my back pushing against my pelvis i heard a crack and afterwards noticed a change in the muscle as i walked up a stair case i could feel the muscle then working.  Physio didn't know what the cause was but i did have an accident 2 years ago falling down 12 concrete steps onto my ass!  I did a 7 mile run and hill reps tonight, but very stiff afterwards.  At least i managed hills this time. I keep trying.

  • Hi Steady and Wellow,


    I am /why do the butt muscles stop working? Is it muscle weakness?

    Would strength work help?

    Wellow, well done on your run! Make sure you stretch those muscles.

  • Hi Ultraspud

    I won't let it beat me!

    I baffled like you about the muscle, noone yet has confirmed the reason but I have heard that a trapped nerve can stop it from working. Do you have a pressure point across your back pelvis area? 

  • Hi Wellow,

    I have a herniated disc on my lower back. Had lots of injections there but they didn't solve the problem.

    My neighbour has a massage therapist but she is on holidays. I am going to get an appt with her and discuss my butt.

    How have you been feeling after your run?

  • leg length discrepancies can often be associated with piriformis pain. Sports massage is an excellent form of treatment, but I would advise getting the LLD checked and ruled out in parallel

  • Not a doctor or a physio, but doesn't ITB trouble usually present as pain in the knee? 

  • Just notice that not only do you float while running Pedro but you also wear gloves whilst wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Is it cold or is it not?
  • My hands get cold, rest of me doesn't.

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