Your Butt & Back Pain

Your Butt & Back Pain

How fit and healthy is your butt?

Healthy and fit doesn’t relate to how your butt looks, but how functional your butt muscles are and how they either contribute to back pain or support the spine and pelvis.

Technically, you have three butt muscles called the gluteals, or more commonly known as your “glutes”. There is gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus.

To simplify what we’re talking about, let’s stick with the term glutes!

Your gluteal muscles play a key role in helping control and support movements of the spine, pelvis, hips, and legs and each muscle plays a slightly different role.

As a group, they all attach to pelvis (hip bone), with gluteus maximus also attaching to your sacrum (the lower back area) and all muscles attaching to your leg.

Weak and tight glutes have a direct impact on how stable and supported your spine and pelvis is when you walk, sit and move around during daily activity and lower back and hip pain can be the result.

It can also work in the reverse. Rather than weak and tight glutes contributing to back and hip pain, a lower back or hip injury can cause the gluteal muscles to become dysfunctional.  

Either way, you can see how important healthy and fit glute muscles are to the health of your lower back and hips.

Here is a simple “test” you can do to find out how functional your glutes are. Put your hands on your hip bones and lift one leg off the ground and bring it forward as if your about to take a step and hold it there.

Can you keep both hip bones even or did they shift? Can you feel the side of the hip where your glutes live working or was there pain or discomfort?

You see, every time you take a step forward, you are in essence standing on one leg, even if it’s for a very short time. If you are unable to stablise the pelvis in this action, over time you might be placing stress and strain on your lower back and hips.

And if you have tight glutes, the leg won’t be able to swing forward freely, so the pelvis and lower back get pulled out of alignment.

The pilates method of exercise has pelvic stability at its foundation and all of the above is why there is such a strong emphasis on developing strength and length in these muscles.

If you have weak and tight glutes, then sitting for prolonged periods of time can also contribute significantly to the dysfunction of the glutes.

If you want a strong and functional hips and lower back, daily stretching and incorporating glute strengthening exercise into any exercise program is essential.  

Having strong butt muscles makes your body more capable of doing your everyday actions like getting in and out of the car with ease and without compromising the health of lower back and hips.

It can be challenging in the beginning, it’s hard work and can be quite uncomfortable to do, leading to sore muscles the next day...but this is temporary.

As you get stronger and pain free, you will be glad you made the effort.

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