This is one of the most common questions I get from new massage clients. There…
Think about a normal day in your life. You wake up, drive to work, sit in the office, drive home, unwind on the couch, sit for dinner, and go to sleep. Sure, you might walk to your car or squeeze in a 30 minute workout; however, the majority of your day is spent sitting. Sitting on what? Your butt! It is one of the most neglected parts of your body. It’s easy to forget its there and the role your butt plays until it is compromised. You could be affected by Dead Butt Syndrome and massage can help!
What is Dead Butt Syndrome?
Dead Butt Syndrome (DBS) is also known as gluteal amnesia. Caused from sitting for extended periods of time, DBS happens when your glutes have forgotten how to operate properly. Over time, your butt becomes weaker and can cause you to gain weight and blood clots. Yikes! So how does this happen?
In the attn: article “Dead Butt Syndrome is a Thing”, physical therapist Chris Kolba explains that:
“When you sit a lot, the hip flexor gets shortened and tighter, which leads to the butt muscles not firing or working as optimally as they should.”
DBS is only worsened by tight hip flexors which is a result of sitting for too long. Our sedentary lifestyles and jobs are huge factors contributing to DBS, and it could have long-term consequences on your health.
Hurting Our Butts (And Our Overall Health)
Being sedentary for the amount of time that most Americans are is hurting our health and our derrières.
Our glutes (gluteal muscles) are some of the strongest muscles in the whole body. They serve as the foundation for most activities. Dead Butt Syndrome won’t cause your glutes any pain; however, other muscles are forced to overcompensate when they aren’t functioning properly. This imbalance in your body can lead to injury and other pain. Kolba also says that “prolonged sitting can also create a ‘laminating effect’ between the muscle fibers, in which the continual compression of the tissue causes them to get tacked down, losing their elasticity and ability to contract optimally.”
If you think that since you workout, you are immune to Dead Butt Syndrome, then you are wrong! Even with your trips to the gym, your butt can still suffer. Researchers have found, at the bottom of the issue, is that sitting for long periods of time and bad posture are the direct causes of this issue. Poor posture in particular means an unengaged core, rounded back, slumped shoulders and un-engaged glutes.
Identifying Dead Butt Syndrome
When I am on my feet all day giving massages, sitting down is a much needed break. Other days when I spend hours seated I can feel just as tired as when I stand. Why? These are signs of sitting too much and also happen to be early signs of Dead Butt Syndrome. Other signs of DBS include tight hip flexors and instability in your hips.
Squeeze Those Buns!
Luckily, Dead Butt Syndrome is reversible and there are multiple ways to heal your rear. All you have to do is get up and engage your butt.
- Do exercises that target the gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus (squats, lunges, etc.)
- Get up and walk around at work every couple of hours
- Flex your glutes at your desk to wake them up
- Foam roll out your glutes, hip flexors, and IT band
Work the muscles by squeezing those buns! When I have a work day at my desk I take frequent breaks to stretch, walk around, and get on my feet. Investing in a standing desk has also helped me not to sit as much throughout the day!
Massage Can Help!
One way I combat DBS is with massage. Massage is a great way to stimulate and increase blood flow to all areas of your body, including your butt. Now, I know it may sound strange but butt massage is just like any other massage. It can be incredibly relaxing. Whether you take the time to invest in a massage therapy session or do it at home, your butt can benefit from massage techniques. The best techniques are circular motions around the muscle or for a deep tissue massage, apply medium pressure directly on the muscle.
Get out of your chair and prevent Dead Butt Syndrome with regular exercise throughout the day and, yes, butt massage. Your buns will thank you!