Do you have “Dead Butt Syndrome” or “Dumb Butt Syndrome”? Is this a real thing?


Yes it is and it is more common than you dead butt syndromethink. No, it doesn’t mean your butt’s been given the Last Rites; It’s when your glutes don’t fire because your hips may be too tight, weak and/or you have inflammation of the tendons that are attached to the gluteus medius, which is one of the three muscles in your butt. This is a condition called Gluteus Medius Tendinosis and basically when the muscle becomes inflamed it causes serious hip pain, which can lead to lower back and hip pain, tight IT bands, knee pain and injury. It’s especially common in runners, but it can also hit cyclists, gymnasts and yogis. Total Health Systems in Macomb County says the good news is you can avoid it and even reverse it with a few simple tweaks.

What is Dead Butt Syndrome and how to prevent it…
Your glutes are arguably the most powerful hip muscles and are extremely important when it comes to human kinetic movement. The gluteus medius is located on the outer surface of your pelvis and it helps power your thighs forward. If you neglect your strength training and continue exercising and doing long miles week after week, this muscle can eventually become inflamed due to the repetitive stress and the result could be hip pain, back pain and knee pain that can be so severe it could put a halt to your training.dumb butt

That said, when they’re not working correctly, other muscles must work harder to accomplish whatever movement is being done. Over time, chronic injury such as IT band syndrome, low back pain, knee pain and a host of other issues are likely to occur.

Dead Butt syndrome can be caused from…
Think about how many hours a day we are sitting. Most of us commute to a desk job and then we come home and watch TV. All that sitting adds up and causes your hips and knees to flex while putting the glutes in an elongated and relaxed position. Runners who have this condition often experience severe hip pain during and after running for long or short distances because of tight hips.  Because the gluteus medius muscle controls the pelvis as well as the hips, people who have “Dead Butt Syndrome” may also walk with a wobbling or lurching gait. When standing still, people may tend to shift their weight over one hip. Over time, the hip flexors become tight and weak and before you know it the brain has forgotten how to contract the glutes, and they become “dead,” so to speak.

Dead Butt syndrome can be prevented or reversed…
To help prevent or to reverse this condition stretch the hip flexors and strengthen the glutes. When a muscle is stretched, it allows the brain to cut off stimulation to that muscle and stimulates the opposite muscle to contract. A great way to accomplish at Total Health Systems is to foam roll the hip flexors and quads, and then stretch them out. Then end with glute strengtheners like prone hip extensions, side laying leg raises, clams or simply squeeze the glutes together and hold for a few seconds. In some cases the hip flexors may be weak on one or both sides. Strengthen the hip flexors by laying supine and doing leg raises. Repeat these exercise until the muscles feel fatigued, rest, then repeat. Another exercise is to get your body to re-teach the glutes to fire. Laying prone squeeze both glutes, raise one leg, hold for one second, lower your leg and relax. Do these one or two times a day doing a set of 10.

By doing these exercises and stretches at Total Health Systems in Macomb County, in no time, the glutes will “rise from the dead” and allow for natural hip motion, more efficient gait pattern and to help  with decreasing low back, hip, IT band and knee pain.

Written by Michael J. Golemba PTA at Total Health Systems.