What is Gluteal Amnesia?
Gluteal amnesia or dead butt syndrome is a condition in which the gluteal medius muscle gets inflamed and forgets to function normally. Sitting for long hours has its own set of disadvantages to the body. From increasing the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes it can even take away years off your life. Gluteal amnesia is one disadvantage of long sitting that no one ever would have thought about.
Sitting for long hours can restrict the blood flow causing gluteal amnesia which can lead to hip pain, back pain and problems with the ankle. An individual would also find it difficult to perform exercise which targets the gluteus, properly.
How Does Gluteal Amnesia Occur?
When the gluteus medius muscle is not engaged or worked properly it stops functioning the way it should (to help move efficiently). Gluteal amnesia is a weakness of the gluteus when the body forgets activating the muscle when needed. As these muscles stay inactive, other muscles start taking their load. This leads to loss of full range of motion of hips, causing the hips, knees, back, and shoulders to take the load.
Gluteal amnesia can also lead to poor posture as the gluteus is responsible for keeping the torso upright.
Who Is At Risk Of Gluteal Amnesia?
Gluteal amnesia can affect anyone, especially those who have desk jobs and do not take frequent breaks. It affects people who have a sedentary job more.
Those with poor posture are also at risk of developing gluteal amnesia. Poor posture leads to a slump which means the body is constantly in flexed position putting glutes in a constant stretch.
Active runner, who does not pay attention to all muscle groups are also at risk of gluteal amnesia. Pounding pavement in runners is quad dominant and pays less attention to gluteus activation.
How Can Gluteal Amnesia Be Treated?
Gluteal amnesia can be detected easily as it sets in, there might be an anterior pelvic tilt and pain in hamstrings while exercising.
There are few simple exercises which can rev up these muscles. Even if the glutes are in good shape, working on them consistently can help prevent gluteal amnesia. These exercises also help in improving lumbar muscle strength and reducing low back pain.(1)
Lie down on the back with feet hip-distance apart. Press the heels onto the floor. Tuck-in the pelvis and raise the hip upwards engaging the gluteus. Hold in for some time and lower down. Repeat it for 15-20 times.
This exercise targets the gluteus medius muscle and activates it.
Clamshells and Hip Abduction
Lie down on the side with the feet stacked and knees bent at 90 degrees. Lift the knee up away from the body midline keeping the heels together. After repeating it 15-20 times, straighten out the top of the knee and abduct the leg.
Bend down on hand and knee position engaging the core. Looking down, flex the right foot pressing the heel to the sky. While lifting the leg keep the knee bent and involve the glutes to perform this function. Bring the leg back to the starting position and repeat the same with the other leg.
This exercise can be performed 15-20 times with both the legs.
Stand tall with the feet and should width apart. Bend the knees, sitting on the hips with the chest upright. Pause for 5 seconds squeezing the glutes. Return to the standing position and repeat.
Squats target the quads and glutes and help in activating them to a good extent.
Hold on a pair of dumbbells. Begin with standing upright with the position of the feet slightly wider than the hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and both hands holding the weight. Hinge at the hips, lowering the weights towards the ground, keeping the spine straight. Do it till you reach the lowest point without rounding the back, after which come back to the starting position.
This one exercise activates the glutes, lower back, and inner thigh.
Band Lateral Walks
Stand straight with feet directly under the hips and a band wrapped around the lower leg. Step sideways to the right as far as you can, pushing the knees outward as you sit low putting the weight on the heels.
Repeat the motion from the left.
Gluteal amnesia can be treated by keeping up the activity of the muscles involved. Following a few of the above exercises can be of help. Consult a physical therapist if you face any problem while performing them. Also never overdo any exercise as instead of being beneficial they might harm the body.