Buttock muscle pain is a common concern, for people who spend long hours sitting, lead very active lives, and honestly anywhere in between—either way, having it really can be a pain in the butt!
The buttocks, or the glutes are made of the three major muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. These muscles participate in any movement involving the lower body, whether walking, running, standing, or sitting. So of course, it would be imperative to know how to relieve buttock muscle pain ASAP.
In this article, we will go over how to relieve buttock muscle pain along with the common causes of it.
How to Relieve Buttock Muscle Pain: General Pain
If your pain is a generalized buttock muscle pain that hasn’t needed extensive therapy, here are some things you can do right off the bat in hopes of a speedy recovery.
- Rest: This tactic will work if the source of your pain is due to overworked muscles. Don’t forget the importance of rest and recovery!
- Stretching: If your pain is due to muscle tension, gentle stretches can help relax this area, releasing the accumulated tension. More on this later.
- Massage: Getting a massage that targets this area or using a foam roller to put pressure can also help relieve the tension. Even better, the QL Claw would be able to get into the deeper muscle tissue.
- Over-the-counter pain meds: While you should avoid frequent use, certain pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen work by decreasing inflammation. I can see how taking a pill would help with quick relief, however, they won’t get to the root cause of the pain.
- Ice and heat: Using ice on the affected area or sore muscle can help reduce pain from inflammation. Alternating with heat can help improve circulation and relaxation. This method is most effective in the first 48 hours.
- Ergonomics: If the source of your pain is due to poor body mechanics when sitting (maybe you work long office hours?) then consider using special cushions for relieving pressure on the buttocks.
- CBD Cream: If your pain appears to be due to muscle soreness or strain, you can try CBD cream 1000mg or CBD Massage.
How to Relieve Buttock Muscle Pain with Stretching
Here are a couple of simple stretches that can help you relieve your tension and pain in the buttock muscles. Remember to stretch slowly and gently if an area has discomfort and to not overstretch as well.
- Starting in a plank pose, bring your right knee towards your right hand
- Slide left leg back (but keep it straight)
- Lower your hips, feeling the stretch in your right buttock muscles
- Breathe and hold the position
- Switch sides
- Sit down and cross your right ankle over your left knee
- You should have a 90-degree angle between the spine and thigh
- If able, place gentle pressure on your right knee
- Another variation is that you may also lean forward
- Switch sides
Lizard Pose (Yoga Stretch) This stretch targets hip flexors and glutes
- Start in lunge position
- Lowering hands to the inside of front foot and sink hips down
- Feel the stretch in the back leg’s glutes and hip
- Lie on your back
- Bend your knees
- Lift your hips towards the ceiling and engage your glutes
- Hold position stretching your hip flexors and glutes
How to Relieve Buttock Muscle Pain with Massage
Getting a massage is a great non-invasive measure that can help with relaxation and circulation. If done correctly (and routinely if needed) it can relieve the tension and discomfort in many muscles.
Just like other muscles in the body, glutes are at risk for knots and trigger strain. Taking advantage of a professional deep tissue massage, using trigger point massage, or an at-home massage tool such as the QL Claw can help release the tightness
Check out our useful page on achieving a deep glute release with the QL Claw!
As a quick overview, you can find knotted areas in your muscles if they feel especially tight or painful when pressure is applied. Knowing how to assess for trigger points or use a trigger point chart can show where pain referral patterns lie in your muscles. Simply put, referral pain means the source of pain is not always where you feel it - it can be at another location within the muscle!
With these resources regarding trigger points and glute release, hopefully, you will be able to say sayonara to discomfort. Additionally, if you have access to a massage therapist that offers deep tissue massage that’s awesome as well!
How to Relieve Buttock Muscle Pain with Exercises
After the initial pain subsides, you can learn how to relieve buttock muscle pain (or prevent it) by strengthening your glutes and hip abductors.
As a basic overview, the gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in your body) works on providing stabilization and balance. As a hip extensor, it functions when we do all types of movement from walking to running, standing, and climbing. Pretty much any lower body movement you do would likely involve the gluteus maximus.
You can read about how to use a leg press for glutes, as this machine targets the gluteus maximus in particular.
You can also read more about how the gluteus medius has the function of hip abduction. They go to work for you when standing straight to balance on one leg and also when doing things like running.
Some examples of exercises you can try are:
- Fire hydrants
- Single-leg glute bridges
- Suitcase Carry
- Lateral Lunge
- Read more in detail on how to do gluteus medius exercises.
You may be wondering at this point, what about the gluteus minimus? This muscle is beneath the medius and also performs hip abduction, internal rotation, and hip joint stabilization. And yes, because of the term minimus it is indeed the smallest of the three glutes.
I recommend checking out this page about gluteus minimus exercises. It goes more in-depth about exercises such as the lying hip abduction and lateral band walk. (Also check out our pages on lower glute exercises and abduction exercise.)
All together, while some of their functions overlap, the glute muscles play an essential role in hip movement, stability, and overall body movement. So you can see why strengthening them can not only help you move better but improve steadiness during your activities.
How to Relieve Buttock Muscle Pain: Root Causes
Below are some common causes of buttock muscle pain. Sometimes the specific moment when the discomfort started may escape your memory and for the sake of prevention, these common causes are good to know!
Muscle strain or overuse
Muscle strain can easily occur with activities such as long-distance running or any repetitive motions that constantly engage your glute muscles. If you are intesely working out your glutes make sure you take into account proper rest and recovery. Also, be aware of factors such as correct form, warm-ups, and stretching.
Sciatica / Piriformis Syndrome
Sciatica is nerve compression of the sciatic nerve, often thought to be caused by the piriformis muscle, causing muscle tension, and trigger points. Stats say that approximately 5% of sciatica cases are caused by piriformis syndrome. The pain caused by this is described as “sharp, severe, radiating pain from the lower back or buttock down the back of the leg and into the thigh, calf, and foot.” 
Some causes of piriformis syndrome include:
- Abnormal spine alignment
- Intense exercise
- Previous hip surgery
- Foot problems 
Hip bursitis is when the bursa in your hips becomes inflamed. What’s a bursa? It’s a fluid-filled sac that serves to reduce friction between bones, muscles, and tendons in various hip areas, including the outside of your hip within the greater trochanter (which is the typical area of hip bursitis).
Repetitive movements, overuse, arthritis, or injury can cause this condition. While bursae are in the hip, the pain can travel beyond the hip area towards your buttocks, lower back, or down the thigh.
Herniated discs in the lumbar spine
If you have a herniated disc (medically diagnosed) that is located in your lumbar area, you may feel pain in your back, thighs, calves, and even buttocks.
How to Relieve Buttock Muscle Pain: Conclusion
Hopefully, this page has shed some light on ways about how to relieve buttock muscle pain. There are many options available that you can try before doing anything invasive or relying on prescription meds. Other available methods I didn’t even review are acupuncture or physical therapy!
Having used the QL Claw for myself for lower back (and other muscle) pain, I would surely keep this in my muscle-relieving arsenal. Despite knowing about trigger points and CBD products, it’s always wise to keep a deep tissue massage tool around to get into those hard-to-reach spots! As I always say, the more you know, the better - especially when it comes to your body and pain. Here’s to you having a pain-free stride in your future.
 Shmerling, R. Ask Dr. Rob about piriformis syndrome. Harvard Health Publishing, 2022. www.health.harvard.edu/