Everyone knows that sitting for too long is not good for our body. Several studies have linked it to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. However, there is another health risk from sitting all day that you probably are not aware of; gluteal amnesia, or also know as dead butt syndrome.
The name may sound like a joke, but it is a common condition. Dead Butt Syndrome begins when one of the three major muscles in the butt, the gluteus medius, stops firing properly. It can also occur when you spend long hours parked in a chair.
What is the purpose of the gluteus medius? Well, it helps to stabilize the pelvis. If it stops working, gluteal amnesia will happen. This can result in hip pain and lower back pain, including ankle and knee issues, as your body attempts to counteract for the imbalance.
This muscle imbalance can also happen with highly active individuals who have strong hamstrings or quads; Even marathon runners suffer from this condition.
How do I know if I have Dead Butt Syndrome?
A practitioner uses a physical exam called Trendelenburg test to know if you have Dead Butt Syndrome. During this test, you will be asked to lift one leg in front of them while in a standing position. If your pelvis plunges down on the side where your leg is lifted, that displays weakness in the muscle on the other side.
The curve in one’s back can also show gluteal amnesia. The lower back, or also known as the lumbar spine, should have an S shape. A more extreme arc might beckon the hip flexors are so packed they are hauling the spine along.
What can I do to avoid Dead Butt Syndrome?
Try to have breaks from your chair over the day. It can be as easy as standing up and walking around or stretching at your table. If you think you are forgetful, set an hourly alarm on your phone. This will encourage you to squeeze the muscles in your butt at frequent intervals.
And if you do exercise, please do not forget the booty. Do a number of squats, leg lifts, and bridges. For additional resistance, add an ankle weight or a band to these exercises.
Beyond everything, the best way to avoid Dead Butt Syndrome is by mixing up your everyday routine. If you have an exercise ball, sit on it for part of the day. Take some time walking around. Whatever you do, just do not let your body get into a repetitious cycle.