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Reasons for Butt Pain After Exercise?

author image Martin Booe
Martin Booe writes about health, wellness and the blues. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Bon Appetit. He lives in Los Angeles.
Reasons for Butt Pain After Exercise?
Reasons for Butt Pain After Exercise? Photo Credit: fizkes/iStock/GettyImages

Experiencing pain in the buttocks after exercising is far from unusual. It typically indicates one or another common kinks in the musculoskeletal system such as muscle spasm or interference from a vertebral disc. The particular location of the pain may tell you something about its cause, as does whether the pain is sharp, dull or aching. If the pain is severe, it's a good idea to see a doctor.

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Pain in the rear shouldn't force you to curtail your activities. Here is a look at some possible causes of and remedies for butt pain after exercises.

Read More: The Best Stretches for Sciatic Nerve Pain


Most people can tell the difference between muscle soreness of the "no pain, no gain" variety and pain that may indicate that something's actually wrong. If you've just taken up running or are doing resistance training for your lower body, you may be experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

The gluteals, which are the three big muscles that comprise the buttocks, are quite powerful when they go into spasm and when you've awakened them from a long winter's nap with vigorous exercise, they may hurt -- a lot.

Heat or ice may sooth inflammation.
Heat or ice may sooth inflammation. Photo Credit: sasimoto/iStock/GettyImages

Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis muscle extends from the sacrum to the outer hip bone. Like the gluteus maximus it can exert a lot of pressure on the sciatic nerves. Although the piriformis is a mighty muscle, it is easily insulted and is quite often severe enough to merit medical attention. Exercises that involve a lot of repetitive lower body motion such as running, rowing or cycling may activate or irritate the piriformis muscle, triggering a chronic spasm that can be quite painful.

Read More: Exercises to Reduce Buttocks Pain

Degenerative Disc Disease

The lower part of the spine is cushioned by a series of vertebrae that serve as shock absorbers for the spinal cord. Between these vertebrae are firm, but squishy, discs that serve as cushions between the vertebrae. When these discs become ruptured or slip out of place, they can put pressure on the nerve roots and irritate the sciatic nerve. When a disc is involved, it's not unusual to feel pain in the middle of your butt that may radiate down one or both legs. Exercise can aggravate the position of the disc, causing it to rub against the nerve roots.


Each of these conditions can range from mild to severe. Stretching, yoga and gradual warm-up before exercising can do wonders to reduce pain from exercise. Heat, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and massage may help. Otherwise, you're not a sissy if you seek the advice of a good sports medicine doctor or therapist.

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