Gluteal pain is a common component of many low back pain disorders.
The Gluteal group of muscles consists of three muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus. “Gluteus” is from the Greek and means rump. “Maximus” is the largest of the muscles and “Minimus” the smallest. The role of the Gluteus Maximus is different from the Medius and Minimus muscles because of their attachment points.
The Gluteus Maximus is the largest and most posterior of the group, and is the big overlaying muscle in the buttocks. It originates at the posterior Sacrum, Ilium and the superior gluteal line of the ilium, and attaches to the gluteal tuberosity of the femur and the iliotibial tract. This muscle contracts to swing the upper leg backward, and is heavily used during swimming and squatting.
The Gluteus Maximus extends the femur at the hip and laterally rotates the extended hip. The Gluteus Maximus is used mostly for power as in going upstairs, jumping, rising from a sitting position, climbing or running. I think it’s one of the hardest working muscles of the body.
When these and other butt muscles are tight and visually pleasing to the opposite sex, there is the possibility of adverse effects on the body elsewhere in the body.
The Piriformis is often involved in Sciatic pain.
The Piriformis Muscle is a short, small muscle that is located deep in the buttock region. It functions to rotate the thigh, and helps to stabilise the hip joint during walking. This muscle lies next to a major nerve (the Sciatic Nerve) and blood vessels.
The Sciatic Nerve starts at the Lumbar vertebrae 4 and 5, (L4 and L5) passes through a notch in the hipbone under the Piriformis muscle and travels down the leg.
In most people, it passes under the Piriformis Muscle, and in others, it passes right through it.
If the Piriformis is tight for whatever reason, it can compress the Sciatic nerve causing pain to the lower back, buttocks or the legs. This is a condition known as Sciatica.
Pills may provide temporary relief but they don’t address the cause.
Often, a simple remedial massage technique can make the symptoms of sciatic pain just disappear without the need for anti-inflammatory tablets or other treatments.
If you’ve ever visited a remedial therapist and mentioned that you have a sore back, sore legs, sore knees and or feet and he or she doesn’t at least mention working on or releasing your butt muscles, then question their qualifications.
The therapist may have to consider that the patient has limited time, but those muscles are very significant.
If the therapist doesn’t understand their implications for the rest of the body, he or she may not be as qualified as you think.
For obvious reasons, some people are dubious or uncomfortable about having their buttocks massaged. Other people will say it’s “just magic” because if it’s done professionally with no embarrassment ,they’ll only feel the tight spots disappearing and realise how much better they are going to feel later.
At the end of the day however, whether or not you want the therapist to massage your buttocks is up to you. Just bear in mind, your “nice tight butt” is not just something you sit on. It’s a range of vital muscles that can have various impacts on the rest of your body.
Not massaging the buttocks… in other words, just massaging a sore back means the therapist may just be treating the symptom of the problem, not the cause or an important contributing factor. With any massage however, it’s advisable to wear comfortable underwear that’s not too tight.