I've been suffering for 4 months now with this dull burning like pain under the right buttock and sometimes travelling down the hamstring area to the knee. Sitting; especially driving makes the pain escalate 10 fold. Stretching not helping, had physio and sport massage with no relief. Barely managing to run once a week instead of the normal 5 prior to this.

Any ideas please?


  • Sounds like a sciatic nerve issue where the nerve passes through the pelvis and the muscles in your buttock press on the nerve (see here for a diagram http://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/524/flashcards/1811524/jpg/foramen1352845079669.jpg ).  Did your physio give you diagnosis or tell you not to do certain exercises?  Did they give you any exercises to do with a spiky ball (you place it under the painful buttock and cross that leg over your other knee and bring your legs towards you)?  Have you considered acupuncture?

    A good physio should be able to look at you holistically and identify any root causes (could originate from stiffness in your back, a weakness in your calf/foot etc) and give you some specific exercises to do.

    Sitting will aggravate it.  Consider a decent cushion or standing as much as possible.


  • Google piriformis stretches.  A good one is the yoga position - the pigeon.

    Get a tennis ball and very very gently sit on the ball so that you can feel it get to the sore bit - but only if it's not too sore.  Direct pressure on the tight piriformis can realise it a bit and take the pressure off your sciatic nerve.

    Avoid running up steep hills for a bit -- this can really make it worse.

  • Many thanks to both for your advice, the physio only really suggested hamstring stretches. I don't seem to have any other underlying conditions other than this constant ache which restricts me opening up to a full stride anything over a slow jogging pace.

    I will get a ball or roller today and give it a try out tonight for a while in the hope it may  allow me a few flat miles in the morning, not made it out this week! Fingers crossed.

    Brighton marathon nearing and not looking good!

    Thanks again.

  • +1 on the suggestion of piriformis stretches and tennis ball under the butt (you can also do that one while lying down on your back, with your knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor.

  • Thanks Debra, I'll add this in to the routine. I normally end up on my back after a couple of minutes doing the "pigeon" as per Gymaddicts advice above!

  • If you're doing the "pigeon" correctly (and for the correct leg) and it -is- the sciatic nerve/piriformis muscle, you'll certainly feel it! The tennis ball can really help as well. Move it around until it reaches the point of maximum discomfort, then sort of let it settle there for a bit until the muscle relaxes a bit (pain reduces) then move it to the next bit of muscle and repeat.

  • I suffer a bit from this as well. Sounds like just the same symptoms. As far as I understand it, sitting is worse, running can make you feel it too, but running is generally considered to be a) good for it and b) certainly won't make it worse. So I would advise continuing to run whilst also doing the sensible stuff recommended above. Hope Brighton goes well! I'm doing VLM, and it's always my ITBS knees that spoil everything. 

  • Alas, not that simple....

    This is a real bugger of area as there are a few different tissues that need exactly the opposite treatment - one likes to be stretched, the other hates it.

    It's either the insertion of your hammy or an irritated sciatic nerve. There's also a fatty pad called the ischial bursa that keeps them apart - the issue is if one of the tissues becomes inflamed, then so does the bursa - which in turn irritates the other tissue....and so on.

    You need a great physio to tell you which is the driver of your symptoms, rather than the passenger. Tell the driver where to go and not the passenger...If you fail at GOOD conservative treatment or you want a quick way out (excluding the rehab) then get a US guided jab into the bursa.

  • my sciatic is just annoying, not run threatening; I guess that's the difference. 

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