sore bum!

Dont know if anyone has had any experience or advice about this. Since before the FLM 2002, I've been getting an achey feeling in my right bum cheek which I have been told may be the piriformis muscle. Although it used to go away after stretching mid run, it now appears after about 30 minutes into a run and I cant run further than about 7 miles without it really hurting.

Recently it has been hurting while walking around and when sitting or lying still.

I have been doing the usual glut stretches and although I am stiff on that side, the stretches do not help very much.

Has anyone got any advice? I am meant to do a half marathon in 2 weeks but will probably have to cancel it as I havent been able to run over 1 hour and my fitness is suffering.

Any info would be greatly appreciated!


  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    I had something similar a while back, only in the other cheek. It felt very deep inside, and I suspected it was a hip problem. It turned out to be sciatica. I would advise as follows:

    1. If it hurts that much, STOP RUNNING!
    2. Go get a good sports massage and get the masseur/se to focus on the area that hurts and tell you where it is, in anatomical language (eg, sacro-iliac joint).
    3. Armed with that knowledge, go to a physio and say exactly what hurts. That will help reach an accurate diagnosis.

    I hope for your sake it's not sciatica. Bugger of a thing to get rid of. Good luck!
  • Thanks for the advice Muttley! I've booked a sports massage for next Monday so hopefully that will help me know what it is so I can get it sorted out.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    From your symptoms, it sounds like piriformis. One easy way to tell - get someone to push their thumb as hard as they can into the middle (usually the softest part) of the affected buttock. If you don't hit the roof in excrutiating pain, the chances are it's NOT piriformis syndrome!

    The piriformis muscle is intertwined with the gluteus maximus, and the sciatic nerve runs through or around the same area. If you have a biomechanical problem, the muscle can become compacted, which causes the buttock, back and leg to stiffen and become sore. Simply stretching the area is not the best way to start treating it, as stretching will pull the edge of the muscle only, weakening that part and causing the central part to compact further to compensate.

    My chiropractor used to loosen off the core of the muscle by leaning all his weight on his elbow on the area, and moving it around. At first I thought he just didn't like me, but eventually (after about 3 sessions) I could feel a difference, and he then gave me some stretches to do, which, when I am diligent about doing them, really help keep it at bay.

    The same effect can be had by sitting the sore area on a tennis ball and gradually rolling it around the buttock. Just as painful as the elbow, but at £1.50 for 3 tennis balls compared to £25/half hour for the chiro, much less painful on the wallet. Once you have done this a few times, lie on the floor with the affected leg bent and the other one straight. Pull the knee of the affected leg towards the opposite shoulder, gently stretching out the buttock. The chiro had me doing 3 x 30 seconds 3 times a day for the first month, then 3 x 20 sec x 2, then 3 x 20 once a day for maintenance.

    I still get the odd twinge, but I'm sure if I kept up the stretches, I wouldn't.

    Hopefully your sports massage will help, or at least diagnose exactly what is up.

    Hope this helps.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Absolutely, Nessie, and it's worth dwelling on the first couple of lines of your second para. There are so many things intertwined and interlinked in that part of the body, which can hinder precise diagnosis.

    Natalie, you're likely to get a lecture on posture and care of the lower back (which takes a pounding in us runners). My recent outbreak of sciatica is under control, and one thing I've learnt is the value of a good sports massage about once a month, as a kind of MOT for the lower vertebrae and other parts of me. Does wonders in keeping aches and pains at bay.
  • Thanks again both of you. I've actually just booked another massage for tomorrow as I did hit the roof when i pressed the area! Thanks for the stretch advice too - I am about to do it now.
  • This sounds like it may be the answer to a long standing problem I have had. For about 6 mths I have felt a tightness in the top of my right hamstring, right where the hamstring joins the cheek of my backside. I thought it was a muscle strain but despite a reluctant enforced rest (6wks). When I started running again I found no improvement at all. I can run it just feels uncomfortable especially when running uphill. It gradually tightens and I find it hard to run more than 7 or 8 miles. Any helpful suggestions to cure it would be welcome.
  • Mike,

    I have exactly the same problem and there is a letter in this months mag from someone who has it to. Basically could be caused by a twisted pelvis
  • Gary,

    I,ve read the article now, seems more common than I thought. Can't think how I,ve managed to twist my pelvis. I,ll try the stretches advised in the mag, hopefully they'll help. If you find a way to get rid let me know.
  • hello,
    my first post on the rw board, & sadly its
    about the injury more or less detailed above.
    started as lower back discomfort, diagnosed as misaligned pelvis & had osteo massage to correct. & yes at that stage a tennis ball was helpful.
    but, recently while putting on a sock i had a shooting pain right down right bum, thigh
    calf. EXCRUCIATING pain.
    diagnosed sciatic nerve trouble by a DIFFERENT doctor who said soft matter between vertebrae was rubbing on nerve.
    different treatment now. concentrating on the back.
    do u think i was misdiagnosed first time or have i just been unlucky enough to get both?
    im starting to despair of getting back running again (which i LOVE)as WALKING is still quite a job.

    cheer me up with sage advice someone please.
    any ideas on rehab, time-scale & getting back into running?
    oh & comiserations to my fellow sufferers here.

    *limps away pathetically*
  • Nathalie

    could be something to do with that belly ring in your photo - you ve been spotted!

    lots of stretching by the way - hope you get it sorted!
  • Sciatica NOT funny, hope its not that
    Famous people on here arent there
  • I've had something very similar, on and off for a few years. I think it started because of lack of exercise, so it's very frustrating that the latest bout has stopped me running!
    I went to an osteopath who said it was a problem with the sarcroiliac joint, between the lumbar region of the spine and the pelvis. She said to try walking and swimming until it eased off, to sit on a swiss ball at home, and to pull knees up to your chest every day to stretch the muscles out. So far this all seems to be working...
  • Green = your current prob could be due to the fact that while your pelvis was twisted, your muscles would of had to compensate. Now your pelvis is in it's correct position the muscles have to get used to working correctly.

    I have just been treated for a twisted pelvis and now my problem is the same as others here .... the ache at the top of my leg right by my bum ... it's worse when i run up hill I can manage to run approx 6 miles ... but hurts like hell after .. I shall go get myself some tennis balls i think !!!

    These threads really are great ... thanx guys xx
  • thanx julia, this really is a
    MASSIVE pain in the...
    bum isnt it?
    hope u are sorted soon.
  • I'm afraid mine is just another sob story along the same lines - a stabbing pain in the right hip and upper middle of the buttock has prevented me from doing much. It got better for a while after seeing an osteopath who said the problem was with my sacroiliac joint. She gave me some stretches and some massage which helped a great deal.

    However after doing some moderately tough walking in the alps, the problem has returned to the point where the stabbing pain has come back, the side of my right thigh and hip feels tender to the touch and I am getting a 'clicking' feeling when I swing my leg forward to walk. Has anyone else had this clicking? Does it (horrors) mean that I'm just not built for running?

    Good luck to everyone else in getting their injuries sorted!
  • Thanks to all for the advice on this particular issue. I have tried a number of treatments including the tennis balls and sports massage etc. Unfortunately the pain remains and I am starting to get pins and needles in my thigh after running. I am now looking closely at posture and my lower back to ascertain whether or not my problem has it's roots in these areas. Am starting to despair a little!! (a lot actually!) If anyone has found a miracle cure please let me know.

  • Hi everyone (fellow sufferers),

    I have a chronic lower back problem and occasionally end up with the 'sciatic pain', which is eased somewhat by a nice bath and laying on my good side, then using all knuckles of my cleched fist to wriggle about into the painful buttock. This seems to deal with a muscular difficulty where they are all bunched up and need relief. It seems that the vigorous massage causes some spasm to dissipate.
    I also have to do some specific exercises to extend this relief. Still in the bath (but could be anywhere) I pull my knees high up to my chin and hold. If it helps I wriggle my bum sideways, which seems to enable the lumbar area to loosen up a bit.
    Also the old favourite 'pelvic thrust' fore & aft (slowly) and my lumbar gets some definite relaxation.
    There's probably more . . . but TTFN -:Q)
  • I also suffer from a "Dull ache" sort of pain in the buttock.Mostly when I'm walking with my wife(slowly) but if I speed up or run I don't have a problem.Stretching also helps but I get funny looks whilst out shopping with my wife when I start stretching.I've been to the Physio and he sorted me out with massage and also taught me how to stretch properly.I'd recommend that any other suffers go to a sports clinic.
  • Folks, I had shin splints which actually was cause be lazy muscles in my lower back and pf. I'd advise pilates or exercise to strengthen the PF and lower back rather than just getting loads of massage and other treatment for the symptoms. The tennis ball and a foam roller are good investments too.
  • My ache came back with a vengence.Did a search of the internet and found this...

    ny muscle repetitively used needs to have an opportunity to recover. This recovery can either be on Nature’s clock, or can be facilitated and sped up with proper knowledge and treatment. Since the muscle is tightening due to overuse, continued use will only make it worse. This injured muscle needs to relax and have increased blood flow encouraged to it for more rapid healing. This tightness that exists also reduces the normal blood flow going to the muscle reducing the speed with which the muscle can recover. To encourage fresh, oxygen-rich blood to the muscle is the most powerful means of getting the muscle to begin to relax and function normally. Multiple massages per day to this area is greatly encouraged.

    The next step in this "recovery" process is to use a tennis ball under the butt and hip area. While sitting down on the floor, roll away from the side of involvement and place a tennis ball just inside the outer hip bone under the butt area. As you begin to allow your weight onto the tennis ball, note areas of increased pain and soreness. Trigger points will tend to accumulate in a repetitively used muscle, and until these toxins are manually broken up and eliminated, the muscle will have an artificial ceiling with regard to flexibility potential and recovery potential. So, if it’s sore and hurts while your sitting on it, you’re doing a good job. Let the ball work under each spot for 15-20 seconds before moving it to another area. Once you’ve been on the ball for 4-5 minutes, now put the ankle of the involved leg over the knee of the non-involved leg (crossing your legs). Now place the tennis ball just inside the outer hip bone again and work the tendon of the piriformis muscle. While this pain is typically excruciating and takes some time to effectively reduce, the benefits here are huge. Be patient, be consistent and good things will happen.

    I've been doing the "tennis ball" trick for a couple of days now and its certainly helping.
  • I suffer from a dull ache in both bottom cheeks and I think I might have piriformis syndrome. however I went to a physio yesterday and she massaged my bottom and pushed her fingers hard into it and it didn't hurt at all??

    Yet I have the exact same symptoms of piriormis syndrome apart from not hurting to touch?

    I also get pains down the backs of my legs and round the side of my knee.
  • .....did you get a video of the first paragraph!!, i reckon i could do that?

    ...sorry, gone in to perve mode, good luck with getting it sorted, might be worth trying cycling?
  • Does anyone know where I can get a foam roller from? I've been advised to get one, but can't seem to track one down.

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