Q Somehow, Ive injured my right buttock. Im not really sure how and when although I suspect it could have occurred at the gym that Ive recently started attending. All I know is that it aches whenever I run. Any ideas as to what the injury is and what I can do about it?
A Youre unsure how the injury occurred, which indicates a problem that has come on gradually and is being further aggravated, to the extent that running is now painful. If you have been running regularly and have never had any similar injuries, then the recently incorporated strength training in the gym may be causing the problem.
Muscular problems in this area could come from the upper hamstrings, the gluteus maximus or some of the deeper hip muscles. So, if you have been doing over-vigorous exercises in the gym, such as hamstring curls, squats or abductor exercises, the pain will no doubt also occur, and probably get worse, as you perform these exercises.
You also may have been aggravating your lower back during your gym work. If you are using too high a resistance, or your technique is incorrect, a lot of strain can be placed on the lower lumber spine and pelvis, causing it to become inflamed and commonly referring pain into the buttocks. In this situation, the lower back may stiffen up soon after your gym session or by the next morning.
Running will aggravate things further as the jarring is taken by the lower back, further irritating it and causing more inflammation, which can lead to pain referring into the buttock.
Firstly, get a qualified instructor to look at your strength-training programme and technique. Theyll be able to tell you whether the ways you are performing the exercises are contributing to your injury, and they should be able to show you how to reduce the physical strain on the injured area.
Of course, it would also be a good idea to see a chartered physiotherapist or a registered osteopath for a full examination of the painful area. Theyll be able to isolate the injured muscle and diagnose the problem, give you a course of treatment and advise on the appropriate exercises to help prevent recurrence.
Cameron Reid, registered osteopath