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What Is Dead Butt Syndrome? 6 Workout Moves That Help This Painful Condition

woman sitting at home desk

What you need to know about “dead butt” syndrome

Due to Covid-19 stay-at-home orders, many people are spending more time at home, whether they’re working remotely or currently unemployed. Unfortunately, more time at home can lead to sedentary behaviours, such as sitting for long periods of time on the couch or your at-home office chair. Sitting can take a toll on the body, affecting everything from the neck to your legs.(Also, here are some simple stretches to do when working from home.)

“When we sit for long periods of time some very important elements of our core can become compromised,” says Sue Hitzmann, manual therapist and exercise physiologist and creator of the MELT Method and Melt Performance.Once you do finally stand up, the components of your core muscle groupyour trunkand key elements of your hip joints don’t move as smoothly, and your body compensates by putting stress on areas not designed to handle the demand.

Enter: Dead butt syndrome, clinically known as gluteus medius tendinopathy. The condition is caused by inflammation in the tendons in one of the smaller muscles that make up the buttocks, called the gluteus medius.

This pain can begin with little things like tension or aches in your neck and low back, or you’ll find yourself constantly shifting in your chair to find (in vain) a comfy position. Eventually, the symptoms are more noticeable and frequent. Your hips feel tight and your back will feel stiff. Your joints will snap, crackle, and pop when you move. But the symptoms aren’t just felt on the inside, they’re seen on the outside too, like a swayback posture for starters. (Here are workouts that’ll help to improve your posture.)

“The easiest and most obvious thing you can do during the workday is to get up more often,” says Hitzmann. If necessary set a timer to remind yourself to get up for a few minutes every hour. Then try these MELT Moves created by Hitzmann; you can do them three times a week for best results.

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