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Buttock Pain Conditions

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  • Sciatica
  • Bursitis
  • Herniated Disk
  • Degenerative Disk Disease
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Arthritis
  • Vascular Disease

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Buttock pain can have a range of sensations from sharp stabbing pain deep within the muscles to burning numbness that runs from your lower back down through your buttock and legs. If buttock pain becomes persistent, there may be several causes.


What is sciatica?

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae. More rarely, the nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by a disease such as diabetes.


What is bursitis?

Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs — called bursae — that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed.

What causes bursitis?

The most common causes of bursitis are repetitive motions or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. Examples include:

  • Throwing a baseball or lifting something over your head repeatedly
  • Leaning on your elbows for long periods
  • Extensive kneeling for tasks such as laying carpet or scrubbing floors

Other causes include injury or trauma to the affected area, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection.

Herniated Disk

What is a herniated disk?

Your spinal column is made up of a series of bones (vertebrae) stacked onto each other. These bones are cushioned by disks. The disks protect the bones by absorbing the shocks from daily activities like walking, lifting, and twisting.

Each disk has two parts: a soft, gelatinous inner portion and a tough outer ring. A herniated disk is a disk that ruptures. This allows the jelly-like center of the disk to leak, irritating the nearby nerves. This can cause sciatica or back pain.

What causes a herniated disk?

As you age, the disks in your spine weaken and become flatter (less cushiony). If a disk becomes too weak, the outer part may tear. The inside part of the disk then pushes through the tear and presses on the nerves beside it. You could be at higher risk of getting a herniated disk if you:

  • Are middle-aged or older
  • Lift heavy objects
  • Are overweight
  • Do repetitive actions involving bending or twisting
  • Sit in the same position for a long time regularly
  • Live an inactive lifestyle
  • Smoke

Degenerative Disk Disease

What is degenerative disk disease?

Degenerative disk disease is one of the most common causes of low back and neck pain, and also one of the most misunderstood.

Simply put, degenerative disk disease refers to symptoms of back or neck pain caused by wear-and-tear on a spinal disk. In some cases, degenerative disk disease also causes weakness, numbness, and hot, shooting pains in the arms or legs (radicular pain). Degenerative disk disease typically consists of a low-level chronic pain with intermittent episodes of more severe pain.

What causes degenerative disk disease?

One of the more unfortunate aspects of getting older is that your joints begin to wear out, oftentimes for no good reason. This wear and tear of the joints is not only common in the knees and the hips but also in the spine. The exact reason why the joints of the spine begin to wear out is not known and may be a combination of factors, such as doing a lot of lifting, having a family history of spine problems or having an injury to the spine. This wear and tear is a form of arthritis, which is where the cartilage in the spine joints begins to wear out.

Piriformis Syndrome

What is piriformis syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain. The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain).

What causes piriformis syndrome?

Suspected causes include:

  • Muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle, either because of irritation in the piriformis muscle itself, or irritation of a nearby structure such as the sacroiliac joint or hip
  • Tightening of the muscle, in response to injury or spasm
  • Swelling of the piriformis muscle, due to injury or spasm
  • Bleeding in the area of the piriformis muscle.

Any one or combination of the above problems can affect the piriformis muscle (causing buttock pain) and may affect the adjacent sciatic nerve (causing pain, tingling, or numbness in the back of the thigh, calf, or foot).

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

Inflammation of one or both SI joints is called sacroiliac joint dysfunction, or sacroiliitis. With this condition you may experience a sharp, stabbing pain that radiates from your hips and pelvis, up to the lower back, and down to the thighs. Sometimes it may feel numb or tingly, or as if your legs are about to buckle.

What causes sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

Causes of SI joint pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Injury
  • Pregnancy
  • Gout


What is arthritis in the buttock?

While the buttock itself is composed mainly of three muscles meaning the buttock can’t develop arthritis, the sacroiliac joint located in the hip can develop inflammatory arthritis, causing pain in the buttock.

What causes arthritis pain in the buttock?

Buttock pain can be caused by inflammatory arthritis in the SI joints.

Vascular Disease

What is vascular disease?

Vascular diseases are conditions which affect your vascular system. They are common and can be serious. One type of vascular disease is called peripheral artery disease (PAD). This is when narrowed or blocked arteries reduce the blood flow to your legs. A symptom of PAD is called “claudation,” which is pain in your thigh, calf, or buttock that happens when you walk and can make you limp.

At first, claudication pain occurs when you walk a certain distance and goes away when you rest. But as the disease gets worse, the pain can occur when you walk shorter distances. Over time, you may no longer be able to walk because the pain is so severe.

What causes the vascular disease, peripheral artery disease (PAD)?

The cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs. Plaque is a substance made up of fat and cholesterol. It causes the arteries to narrow or become blocked. This can reduce or stop blood flow, usually to the legs.

SEVA Med Care treatments and procedures for buttock pain:

  • Piriformis Injection
  • Physical Therapy
  • Sacroiliac Joint Stabilization