Dr Nicole Cuikerman
Many of us spend hours a day sitting either at our desk, driving to and from work, or on the couch after a long day. This time probably increases over the winter months when we tend to hibernate to stay warm and spend less time outdoors. When in a seated position our buttocks muscles are inactive. Overtime this can lead them to become weak and dormant.
Why does this matter you may ask? Well, our gluteal muscles are the biggest and one of most important muscles in the body. They are necessary for pelvic stability and propulsion standing, walking and running, supporting your core, strength when lifting and provide protection of our back, hips, knees and ankles.
The gluteal muscles are made up of a group of three muscles; gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Weakness or inactivity can cause malalignment of the pelvis and thigh bone. When this occurs our biomechanics change which may pose strain on various joints, for example a weak gluteus medius results in our hips rolling inwards placing excess strain on our knees and ankles. This can lead to a range of complaints such as tendonitis, bursitis and patella-femoral tracking syndrome. Furthermore; pelvic dysfunction or instability from poor gluteal function results in compensation by other muscles and vulnerability to our core predisposing lower back pain.