What is Dormant Butt Syndrome?


Whether I’m on or off the job, I constantly meet people who suffer from chronic lower back pain and joint pain in the knees. In fact, there was a time where I, myself, suffered the same fate and would wake up every morning with a radiating ache in my lower back. Luckily for me, my back pain has essentially vanished. But, if you’re one of the millions of individuals who suffer from these types of pains, one thing you may want to consider is Dormant Butt Syndrome.

In 2016,  Chris Kolba of The Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University came up with this medical term to describe the symptoms associated with long periods of inactivity and/or incorrect sleep posture. As stated above, these symptoms include back pain, knee pain, hip pain as well as injuries sustained in areas surrounding the glutes.

Basically, your muscles become weak from –  say, sitting at a desk 8 hrs a day at work or sleeping in the fetal position. When certain muscles are weaker than others, this can cause the body to compensate by relying on the surrounding muscles. As a result, you could end up with tight hip flexors which not only limits your range of motion but also leaves you vulnerable to injuries. In more serious cases, symptoms associated with Dormant Butt Syndrome could lead to hip or knee surgery.

Fortunately, for many people, there are long-term corrective actions that can personally be taken that may free them from these symptoms. Ultimately, you’ll want to address the muscle weakness that has developed as a result of inactivity. The main focus(es) would be on targeting your glutes through the following:

  1. Exercises like the hip thruster and jumping squats, which target the glutes and involve the surrounding muscles
  2. Stretching & Mobilization (consider using a foam roller)
  3. Walking

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