Pain in the Ass? Here’s Your Fix
By The Editors

If your butt hurts right now from all that sitting you do, we're here to help...grab a tennis ball, get your back against the wall, and let's get started. Caution: You may have to actually stand up to do this.

Pain in the Ass? Here’s Your Fix


Want to ease lower-back pain caused by over-sitting?

Up against the wall! Just follow this simple exercise.

They say if you haven’t suffered from back pain, just wait.

A study reported in 2007 in the journal Neurologic Clinics, found that up to 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. The other 20% are squids.

Point is, everybody gets a backache some time. And lower back pain can cover a wide region extending from the waist through the buttocks and hips. One of the most common of these aches is piriformis syndrome — literally a pain in the ass, a dull ache that often radiates down the back of the thigh, sometimes causing a pins and needles feeling.

You spend all day sitting on your ass. No wonder it aches.

It’s exacerbated by a lot of sitting, especially with legs crossed in a figure-four position. The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttock, like a cheap plastic plug in the hands of an angry hooker. Because the sciatic nerve travels nearby through the pelvis, the piriformis can compress and irritate the nerve.

If it’s happened to you, you may have noticed that it hurts like hell.

There are lots of low-back strengthening exercises you can do to prevent pain, but if your butt hurts right now from all that sitting you do, try unlocking the muscle tightness in your glutes and your hip external rotator muscles with a ball and a wall.

Here’s what physical therapist Mike D. Ryan, PT, ATC, a former NFL head athletic trainer and the author of Foam Rolling for Dummies suggests:

  1. You can use a special roller ball made for these exercises, or a lacrosse ball or tennis ball will work in a pinch to work out that pinch.
  2. Stand with your back to a wall and place a ball between your butt cheek and the wall. Keep your spine well aligned.
  3. Breathe slow and deep while moving the ball slowly around looking for those painful myofascial trigger points, small, painful knots (Ryan calls them “grapes.”)
  4. Rest on each trigger point for three slow breaths, “allowing the roller ball to melt into the muscle like a hot knife through butter.”
  5. Next, slowly walk the ball up and down and around your glutes and on the side of the hip, below your beltline and between your front and back pockets. Hunt for other trigger points to massage.
  6. Don’t roll on any bony hip or pelvis bones.
  7. Be creative while you roll, changing knee and hip angles by rotating your knee outward or “opening the gate” to find more “grapes.”

And one more thing: Do your ass a favor and don’t sit so much. Just be a stand-up guy.