It is an actual thing. Had I been given the responsibility of assigning a name to the affliction, I may have been tempted to give it something more fun sounding such as Tired Tushy Troubles.
Dormant Butt Syndrome (DBS), also sometimes referred to as Gluteal Amnesia, presents itself when you have been inactive for a long period of time in positions that allow your glutes to “forget” to do their main job, which is to support your pelvis and keep your body in proper alignment. Symptoms are numbness, soreness, or even pain in your butt muscles, which should be among the largest and strongest in your body. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, consult your physician to see if DBS may be the cause.
Here is some free ammunition for your next argument. When your significant other remarks that you are being a pain in their nether region, you might respond, “I might not be able to take credit for that—check with your doctor to see if you have Dormant Butt Syndrome.” You’re welcome. 😉
Experts have long advised that sitting for too long is detrimental to our health. Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, addressed risks of sitting too much: “Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions—increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels—that make up metabolic syndrome. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
Physical therapist Chris Kolba of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who coined the term “Dormant Butt Syndrome,” shared in a May, 23, 2016, press release that often knee and hip injuries happen during exercise if the glutes are not strong enough to support the body and provide shock absorption. Additionally, he stated, “It’s actually caused quite often by inactivity and the way we sleep. …Sitting for periods throughout the day weakens the gluteal muscles and puts strain on other parts of our core, as does sleeping in the fetal position.”
So, if you spend hours at a time sitting and do not get up and move around, you may find yourself very stiff and with a sore backside when you finally do stand-up. If not taken seriously, your body will consequently suffer further. As mentioned, you may find pain in one or both hips, and in your knees. DBS also may be the reason for lower back pain or the shooting pains down your leg, similar to sciatica. Leg pain may lead to compensation in your gait, which in turn could create discomfort in your feet and ankles. Each part of your body is linked to another.
Prevention is the best way to protect against Dormant Butt Syndrome. Move more and sit less. Exercise and strengthen those muscles that make up your derriere. The goal doesn’t need to be buns of steel. Focus on the benefits of having stronger glutes, better posture and balance, the ability to stand longer and climb stairs, and less back, hip, and knee pain.
As is always my suggestion, use any opportunity as a reason to dance. Break up your long periods of sitting with alarms that will play songs you cannot help but dance to. When the music starts, your body will do its thing and your butt will be dormant no more!
Contributing writer Denise Lum is a Health and Fitness Coach raising her family in Alameda. Contact her via [email protected] or FitnessByDsign.com. Her writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Denise-Lum.