By Keziah Loewen
Do you have sleepy glutes? “Dead butt syndrome” and how it causes back pain, knee pain, and hip pain.
Human beings have come a long way from our very active hunter-gatherer ancestors. As a species, staying active was the only way to find food and stay alive. However, nowadays it is not uncommon to spend eight or more hours a day sitting at a desk while taking minimal breaks. How can this lead to back pain, knee pain, or hip pain?
Gluteals are the anatomical term for our “butt” muscles, and they play an integral role in stabilising our pelvis, aiding our core stability, and setting up the rest of the lower limbs to absorb and transmit forces optimally. When placed in an environment where our rear ends are constantly resting, a phenomenon called “gluteal amnesia” can occur. This is where our gluteals quite literally forget how to do their job. Repeated lack of engagement can cause other structures like the hip flexors to pick up the slack and become overactive, leading to lower back pain, hip pain, and knee injuries.
The good news is its sleepy glutes are easy to combat. Start by taking regular breaks throughout your work day to walk around for a few minutes at a time. Stretch your hip flexors. Or lastly, seek advice from a physiotherapy on exercises that specifically target and wake up your gluteal muscles. A little bit goes a long way.