Persistent ache in buttock somewhere....

For the last couple of months, possibly longer I have had an ache in my left buttock.  The intensity changes day to day, but its never particularly severe, just consistent.  Location wise I'd say its towards the top end of the buttock/lower left side of the back.  I've contorted myself into various positions to try and find a stretch that in anyway triggers or relieves it, but pretty much nothing does.  the closest I have got is by lying on my back and bringing my left knee up and across to the right.  This seems to pull the top of the glute area, and that can be quite uncomfortable at times. 

Parallel to this condition I have had 2 far more severe incidents in this period.  On two occasions i've had a much harsher pain, something more akin to a pinched nerve or pulled muscle right down the bottom of my spine (waistband level), slightly off to the left.  The first occasion started during a long run.  I just felt it come on around mile 6, and obviously carried on running for another 3 or 4 miles!  Next day it was terrible, back was completely stiffened, no flexibility in the lower back, lots of pain and it took best part of 2 weeks before I had movement back and could run.  Second time was on a Monday morning, having done a long run the Sunday with no sign of a problem.  Woke up ok, but within an hour the same thing had happend.  Pinch pain the lower left back, no flexibility.  This time the pain was very severe, and spread around the left hip and groin.  Again took 2 weeks to come back from.  Not sure if these incidents are related to the long running ache or not.

On the second incident I went to see a chiropractor in a bid to get it sorted within a week for a half marathon race.  He diagnose a twisted pelvis, and suggested strengthing and balancing of the core muscles long term could help.  He mentioned the pain could be coming from SI Joint.  I now do the following in the morning and evening:

- Back flexing (lie on front push up shoulders to arch back)

- Hip flexor stretch

- Hip raises for glutes

- Clam shells

- Hamstring stretch

- Planking (started gentle at 30 seconds, now up to 1min 30)

Basically I am now running, however the ache is still there.  Not sure whether I should carry on running through it, and keep up the stretching etc in the hope that one day I wake up and its just gone, or should I rest indefinitely??  Anyone recognise any of these symptoms and have any magic bullet excercises, stretches tablets!! I have a marathon in October and really need to step up the workload, but am worried it will just flare up again...

Many thanks

Desperately, Steve


  • Do you do any strength training at the gym with weights? If you do the leg press, for example, just do one leg at a time slowly, taking care with correct form. If you sit fairly close to the footplate, you will really work into that area. Also, have you tried a foam roller and/or something called The Beast (smaller and more rigid so works deeper into the muscle)? There are lots of exercises for both online.

  • ShivaShiva ✭✭✭

    This sounds like classic piriformis syndrome.   The sharper pain you describe is undoubtedly sciatic in origin, which would support the piriformis diagnosis.

    Go and see a Physio, stay away from chiropractors, they are not medically trained and always 'diagnose' a twisted pelvis.  Google chriropractic bad science for more info on why you should stay away from them.

  • I have a similar issue, it comes and goes, always the right.  It is a result of pelvis issues as it all started after giving birth to a baby with a large head, and I am rather small.  I fwelt my pelvis pull apart and it hasn't gone back corrently.  I am guessing this isn't your issue Steve!

    In the past yr and a half I have seen 2 physios (NHS and private), a chiropracter, a podiatrist and 2 osteopaths (NHS and private)  After being told a variety of utter sh*te by various people the 2nd osteopath was amazing and gave me a diagnosis I could actually relate to and believe.  Basically due to my pelvis being slightly out of kilter my SI joint on the right is inflamed and the muscles in my glute have been 'switched on' non stop for over a yr, causing massive tightening of the muscles.   I saw him 3x and he did some excruciating massage ad showed me some stretches, and now I massage it myself a lot with a tennis ball and foam roller and stretch like mad.  The best stretch I find is standing, I cross my right leg behind my left and then bend over and touch the floor and twist a bit to the left (the prob is on my right, reverse this if yours is the other side)  I also do the pigeon stretch, (google it) but I do it over the side of a bed, so as I bend my right leg up it goes on the bed, my left leg stays on the floor and I lean forward and my torso goes flat on the bed.

    Anyway, it still hasn't gone completely, but I plan on going back to the osteopath from time to time to get tweaked.  It is way better than it was and I do get some pain free days now, which is rather nice!  I also am running 3x a wk, which doesn't make it worse - prior to seeing the osteopath I didn't run for 8 months in the hope it would go away - it didn't.

  • Ouch!  Your description of the pelvis pulling apart made me shudder!  I'm inclined that it is related to pelvis as I have had a trauma to that area, albeit not on the same level as you image  I tore the groin muscle right up the top end, where it fuses onto the pelvis, almost completely off, a few years ago playing football.  I think that effectively that event pulled my pelvis apart or out of line, and I've never quite recovered.

    Thanks for the advice and I'll give the stretches a go.


  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Sounds like piriformis syndrome to me, which may have been caused by your pelvis issues.  Mine was caused by a fallen arch in my left foot, causing the bum muscles to have to clench to correct my stride. 

    Carovet's stretches worked for me - but do the rolling on the tennis ball first to loosen the muscle (it's deep inside the gluteus maximus) or you'll just end up over stretching the glute, which actually makes things worse, as the piriformis contracts even more to compensate.

    I defence of Chiropractors - mine diagnosed this despite a physio and an osteopath both having missed it, and missing the fallen arch too! 

  • This all sounds very familiar as I've had similar issues fo rthe past couple of months...worth trying these stretches to see if they help!  image

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