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  1. #1
    Registered User Canuck5056's Avatar
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    Anyone understand why I'm feeling pain in glutes/upper hamstring?

    For over a year now, whenever I sit down I gradually get more and more chronic discomfort in the area of my lower back/my glutes/upper hamstrings. It's been very debilitating for me...I have a couple classes with long two hour lectures on hard, non-padded seats and I'm having to make slight shifts in sitting position every 30 seconds to try to less my discomfort. Most of the time it's just in the glutes, but its when it moves into the lower hamstrings that it really bothers me. I don't know if it's just me, or if it's unusual, but I feel like when I'm sitting down I'm sitting on nothing but bone.

    When I'm standing, I don't feel it at all, it's only when I'm sitting/lying down. Sometime the pain moves into the side of my hips as well.

    I've seen my family doctor, a rheumatologist (arthritis doctor), and a physio and neither of them have any idea what's causing it. I have an MRI scheduled for a couple months from now but I was hoping for some advice. It's not a training injury; I've had it since before I started lifting weights.

    But since so many people are experts with the muscular-skeletal system, etc., I was really hoping someone might have some idea as to what is causing this and how to correct it.
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  2. #2
    Soon to be Dr. WTF westtexasfury's Avatar
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    My guess would be piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a muscle that stretches during internal rotation and extreme flexion at the hip. If it is short and tight, it can be overstretched during normal hip flexion, such as sitting down.

    The sciatic nerve bifurcates (splits) in the area around the piriformis. If the piriformis is gets overstreatched, it can impinge the nerve at the site of bifurcation. The sciatic nerve and its bifurcates innervate the posterior mucles of the hip, thigh, and leg.

    Since you feel pain in only the posterior hip and thigh, if you have piriformis syndrome, only one of the bifurcates is being impinged.


    One quick question for you, which of the following (you can pick more than one) best describes your pain?
    throbbing
    shooting
    stabbing
    cramping
    burning
    tingling
    itchy
    aching
    tender
    annoying
    spreading
    tight
    cold
    nauseating
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  3. #3
    Registered User Canuck5056's Avatar
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    Identifying the kind of pain is one of the most difficult things to do, but I'll give it a shot...out of those: tingling, aching, tender, spreading

    Thanks for your help, by the way.
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  4. #4
    Soon to be Dr. WTF westtexasfury's Avatar
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    I know it's kinda hard to describe pain, 3 of the 4 descriptors you picked out suggests a neurogenic problem, which means it's more than likely a problem with the sciatic nerve.

    FYI, the other descriptor is under the emotional lability category, which just means you're worrying about the injury, which is totally normal.

    But don't take my word for it, I'm still in school for sports medicine, so there might be something I'm missing, but if I was out, I would definitely say piriformis syndrome and I would refer you to a Neuro Physician.

    Sorry it took me a little bit to respond again, I went to the gym for a little bit.
    And good luck with your injury.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Canuck5056's Avatar
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    Thanks loads man, I'll definitely check out a neuro physician, there's few lengths I wouldn't go to to fix this problem.

    How would I go about contacting a doctor like that, through the yellow pages or through the hospital or a referral from my doctor?
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  6. #6
    I used to have hair BradleyS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Canuck5056 View Post
    For over a year now, whenever I sit down I gradually get more and more chronic discomfort in the area of my lower back/my glutes/upper hamstrings. It's been very debilitating for me...I have a couple classes with long two hour lectures on hard, non-padded seats and I'm having to make slight shifts in sitting position every 30 seconds to try to less my discomfort. Most of the time it's just in the glutes, but its when it moves into the lower hamstrings that it really bothers me. I don't know if it's just me, or if it's unusual, but I feel like when I'm sitting down I'm sitting on nothing but bone.

    When I'm standing, I don't feel it at all, it's only when I'm sitting/lying down. Sometime the pain moves into the side of my hips as well.

    I've seen my family doctor, a rheumatologist (arthritis doctor), and a physio and neither of them have any idea what's causing it. I have an MRI scheduled for a couple months from now but I was hoping for some advice. It's not a training injury; I've had it since before I started lifting weights.

    But since so many people are experts with the muscular-skeletal system, etc., I was really hoping someone might have some idea as to what is causing this and how to correct it.
    how long does this happen after you sit down?

    Does it happen on soft surfaces as well while sitting/laying down?
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  7. #7
    Registered User Canuck5056's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BradleyS View Post
    how long does this happen after you sit down?

    Does it happen on soft surfaces as well while sitting/laying down?
    Depends. If I've been sitting much recently it'll come back as soon as I sit down again, whereas if I go to the gym and then sit down after it might take a little while to start hurting (but inevitably will).

    It happens on soft surfaces as well.
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  8. #8
    Every second counts ShotClock's Avatar
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    I actually have the same thing. The tingling and stuff is from your sciatic nerve, as was suggested. Try the piriformis stretch (google it to find it) and see if the area feels tight/aches when you do it.

    In my case, the problem was a pulled hip extensor, most likely upper glute. But since you say you didn't get it from training, this may not be the case.

    Have you tried stretching your hams/glutes?
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  9. #9
    Registered User Canuck5056's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ShotClock View Post
    I actually have the same thing. The tingling and stuff is from your sciatic nerve, as was suggested. Try the piriformis stretch (google it to find it) and see if the area feels tight/aches when you do it.

    In my case, the problem was a pulled hip extensor, most likely upper glute. But since you say you didn't get it from training, this may not be the case.

    Have you tried stretching your hams/glutes?
    I have, and it does provide temporary relief, but the pain comes back after a short while. The piriformis stretch I googled (lie on back, one leg crossed the other, pulled up) is one I do regularly after training, and I'm very flexible in that area (can almost put leg behind head) and even though it feels good...again...temporary relief.

    The worst thing though is that this condition is mostly a problem in class, and I'm not about to get down on the floor and start doing stretches in the middle of lecture.

    "So by taking the variance and the mean-" *prof looks down at me on the floor*

    "Don't worry about me, sir...just stretching the ol' piriformis here. You were saying?"
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