Do you have Dormant Butt Syndrome?

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

The scientist and researchers, at the Wexner Medical Center in the State of Ohio are responsible for coining the phrase, Dormant Butt Syndrome. This name, which may be funny, but is also true (as it is literally a pain in the butt), basically means that hip flexors (muscles that are near the groin and aid in moving the legs and knees) are excessively tight and the gluteal (also known as the butt) muscles are very weak. The body is not broken down to isolated areas; the body is an intricately linked system. For instance, when a person is experiencing hip and/or knee pain, often times the core problem is weak butt muscles.

When you consider the fact that gluteus muscles support the body, and they are considered to be shock absorbers during exercise, it is easy to understand that if these muscles are weak, other body parts (such as the knees and hips) have to take over the job of the butt muscles. This over extension of muscles often results in injury.

Dormant Butt Syndrome

Improper exercise moves, minimal physical activity, and sleeping in a fetal position (as the hip flexors are shortened) can all cause gluteal muscles to weaken, back problems symptoms and at the same time put unwarranted strain on some other muscles.

We rarely think about the importance of the butt muscles, until something starts to hurt, because weak gluteus muscles make everything work harder. Chris Kolba, a physical therapist who works at the Wexner Medical Center, compared weak butt muscles to driving an automobile with two flat tires. The vehicle will continue to move forward, but gas mileage stinks, and in a very short period of time, everything else on the vehicle will start to break down.

Marathon runners, for example, may think that they are working their gluteal muscles, until a major injury occurs. Many fitness trainers should advise that marathon runners will be better served, if they add strength training to their routine, and also cross-train other muscles groups throughout their body, as this will minimize injury and shorten any recovery time, if an injury does occur.

One of the easiest ways to strengthen butt muscles is to avoid sitting for long periods of time. It is advised, that if sitting at a computer for most of the day is a requirement of your job, get up frequently (every 45 to 60 minutes), walk around and stretch your butt muscles. According to Kolba, stretch the front portion of your thigh, as well as your hip flexors. These simple stretches performed several times a day will help you avoid serious damage in the future. Also, if you do sit most of the day, it is important that you intentionally do exercises (at home or at the gym), that are specifically designed to strengthen the muscles in and around your backside. Knowing that DBS exists is another reason to get up and get moving, as this will keep the butt muscles firm. Nobody wants a dormant butt.

You may have Dormant Butt Syndrome and not even be aware of it. Chris Kolba has developed a series of exercises that will tightening the butt muscles and “revive your rear”. Depending on your fitness level, significant changes can happen in 10 short days. Raising your body from the chair (without the help of arm rests) is a great starting point. Side lunges and stretching techniques also make the top of the list.

Other exercises that can be done to help the problem, involve loosening your hip flexors. Take a foam roller (which are often found inside a gym) and roll it over your quadriceps (the front side of your thigh muscles). This type of massage will aid in getting blood flowing more effectively, and prepare the muscle for arthritis stretching exercises.

The rectus femoris also needs to be stretched. Begin this stretch in a standing position and lunge your foot forward. Gently lower your opposite knee to the floor. Stable yourself, and then reach your left arm back toward your left foot. To intensify the stretch, pull your foot toward your pelvis. Hold this position for 30 second, and then repeat with the other leg.

If you are new to the idea of “Dormant Butt Syndrome”, you should also know that “Dead Butt Syndrome” is a condition that has been around for years.

Dead butts have been talked about for close to a decade. Dr. Darrin Bright was the center of this topic, when it was published in the New York Times. Dr. Bright is a doctor who specializes in sports medicine, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Health Capital City Half Marathon and the Children’s Hospital Marathon (which is a National event). Bright sees dead butt syndrome mostly in marathon runners. It basically means, that the gluteal (butt muscles) have ceased to work.

The only way to revive and reactivate these muscles is through extensive physical therapy and relieve joint muscle pain. It is vital for a full recovery, that the therapist has an intricate understanding of these muscle groups. Injections and deep tissue massages may also be part of the overall treatment plan.

 

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