Dead Butt Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention (2023)

If you spend hours a day sitting and don't get up often to stand, walk or otherwise move, you may have a problem commonly known as "dead butt syndrome" (DBS).

The clinical term for this condition is gluteus medius tendinopathy, although it is also often referred to as glutamnesia.

As you might expect from its common name, the condition results from the glutes essentially "forgetting" their primary purpose: supporting the pelvis and keeping the body in proper alignment.

Exercising more and sitting less can help prevent or treat dead butt syndrome, but you need to be aware that this weird sounding condition can lead to other problems if not taken seriously.

After long periods of sitting, the glutes (gluteal muscles) in your buttocks may feel numb or even a little sore. But walking and light stretching can bring them back to life quickly.

In more severe cases, dead butt syndrome symptoms can cause pain and stiffness elsewhere. You may experience pain in one or both hips, lower back and knees. Pain can reach the leg as well as the trailSciaticafeelings.

Loss of strength in the glutes and hip flexors can also occur if DBS is left untreated. If one hip is particularly affected, even lying on that side can be painful.

DBS can even cause thisInflammation of the hip bursa, a fluid-filled sac that facilitates movement in the hip joint. Other signs of bursitis (bursitis) include pain and swelling in the affected area.

(Video) How to Tell if You Have Symptoms of Dead Butt Syndrome

Leg pain can also occur due to balance and gait problems triggered by DBS symptoms.

To relieve hip and back pain when walking or running, you can change your normal stride length. But this can put additional strain on your knees, ankles, and feet that they aren't used to, causing the pain to radiate away from your butt.

A sedentary lifestyle – one withsitting too muchor lying down and not getting enough exercise – can cause your glutes to stretch and yourhip flexorstie a little tighter.

The hip flexors are muscles that run from the lower back, through the pelvis and the front of the thighs. You are responsible for moving your legs when walking, running, and climbing stairs.

When the hip flexors are notstretched out, just a brisk walk can trigger an episode of dead butt syndrome. Allowing the hip flexors to contract and the glutes to lengthen can lead to inflammation of the gluteus medius tendons.

Ogluteal muscleIt is one of the smaller muscles in the buttocks and the tendons that support it are prone to this type of injury.

Interestingly, people who run a lot are at a higher risk of DBS if they spend a lot of time at a table outside of running.

The stress of long-distance running or other strenuous exercise can be too much for muscles and tendons that remain in one position for too long. Other types of athletes and dancers are also at greater risk.

Diagnosticar DBS

(Video) Dead Butt Syndrome, aka Gluteal Amnesia - Ask Doctor Jo

If you experience dead butt syndrome symptoms — especially with weight-bearing exercises like walking or climbing stairs — see your doctor.

A sports medicine or orthopedic specialist may also be a good choice to assess your symptoms and start a treatment program if needed.

The doctor will review your symptoms and medical history and look at areas of pain and stiffness. You may be asked to move or stretch your legs in different positions and report any changes in symptoms.

They may also order an X-ray or MRI, but only to rule out other possible conditions. These types of imaging tests are not particularly effective in diagnosing DBS.

The proper treatment for dead butt syndrome depends on how advanced it is and your physical activity goals. If you're a runner trying to get back on track as quickly as possible, you should work closely with a sports medicine specialist to ensure you get back on track safely.

For most people, including runners and other athletes, the usual treatment involves taking a break from exercise or sports. You will probably be advised to also follow the RICE protocol:

  • To relax:stay as far away from your feet as possible
  • Eis:Relieve pain and swelling with an ice pack or cold compress
  • Compression:Wrapping a sore knee or back may be advisable, but consult your physician for specific instructions.
  • Elevation:Keep the leg or legs elevated and well supported

In severe cases, physical therapy and massage therapy may be required. Part of physical therapy can include flexibility and strengthening exercises that you can do at home.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or similar treatment may be appropriate for severe tendon and muscle injuries.

With PRP, you are injected with a concentration of your own platelets, the types of blood cells involved in blood clots and healing. Injections will be given at the site of your injury. They should speed up the healing process.

(Video) Dead Butt Syndrome: What Is It and Do You Have It?

Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) may improve DBS symptoms.

The simplest preventative strategy for dead butt syndrome is to break up long periods of sitting with regular walking. Climbing stairs can be particularly helpful.

If you need a reminder, set a timer on your phone or computer to notify you every hour or half hour. The movement stimulates blood flow to tight areas and revitalizes your "dead butt".

In general, try to take the stairs whenever possible. Not only does this activate the muscles and tendons affected by DBS, but it is also good cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercise.

There are several simple exercises you can do a few times a week to maintain strength and flexibility in your glutes, hip flexors, and hip joints.

Hamstring Stretches

There are several ways to stretch the muscles in the back of your thighs, but an easy one is to stand with your left leg in front of your right.

  1. With your right leg slightly bent and your left leg straight, bend slightly at the waist until you feel a slight pull on your left hamstring.
  2. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch legs.
  3. Work your way up to holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Learn how to stretch the hamstrings here.

(Video) Dead Butt Syndrome? Gentle Pilates Yoga Physio Program Fix!

Glute Squeeze

You can also do this exercise standing up.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  2. Tighten your abs and hold your shoulders back while firmly contracting your glutes for about 3 seconds.
  3. Then slowly relax your glutes for one full rep.
  4. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.


This exercise works your glutes, quads, hamstrings, abs, and calves. You can do this with or without weights.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. With your core muscles engaged, slowly bend your knees so that your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
  3. Then slowly return to your starting position. That's 1 repetition.
  4. Do 12 to 15 reps a few days a week.

For added resistance, use a barbell across your shoulders or a specially designed squat rack.

Learn more about squats and see variations here.

lift a leg

This is one of the best exercises for your core muscles and hip flexors.

  1. Lie down on a firm but comfortable surface.
  2. Keeping your legs straight, lift them up slowly enough to keep them straight but feel your muscles contract.
  3. Then, slowly lower them until your heels are a few inches off the floor.
  4. Do 10 repetitions.

glute bridge

This exercise is also done in the supine position.

  1. With both knees bent at a 90-degree angle and shoulders flat on the floor, lift your hips toward the ceiling.
  2. Then lower them again. Remember to push down on your heels for stability.

See how to do the glute bridge and learn fun variations.

With the right treatment and exercises, you can bring your "dead butt" back to life and keep it that way for a long time.

And if you make time to exercise throughout the day—and incorporate DBS-preventive exercises into your weekly routine—you might never have to deal with this issue again.

However, keep in mind that if you don't control your glutes and hip flexors and then strain them during running or other strenuous activity, you could experience these symptoms again.

(Video) Dead Butt Syndrome: Side effect of sitting too long | Nicole Simonin | TEDxCapeMay

If you're a serious runner, you should speak to a sports medicine specialist about functional movement screening (FMS), which looks at the biomechanics of your running form. This can help improve your performance and reduce the risk of DBS returning.


1. Exercises for LAZY BUTT SYNDROME - a.k.a. gluteal amnesia
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2. Gluteal Amnesia and Dead Butt Syndrome - How To Test Your Glutes, Best Exercises and Gluteal Anatomy
(Travis Tarrant)
3. What is Dead Butt Syndrome? | The TMI Show
4. ‘Dead Butt’ Syndrome: How Sitting All Day Takes A Toll On Glutes | TODAY
(TODAY with Hoda & Jenna)
5. Dead Butt Syndrome…Are Your Glutes Dead??
(General Fitness Company)
6. Best Self Treatment Techniques To Get Rid Of Piriformis Syndrome
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