Pain in the Buttocks (Mind Your Body)

October 1, 2015

Dr Yue Wai Mun answered a Mind Your Body 59-year-old reader’s question on his pain in the buttocks. He has been experiencing some pain in the buttocks when he gets up from bed and standing up to walk. He believes that the pain is due to the nerves below his buttocks and would like to know what can he do about it.

Dr Yue thinks that he might be suffering from a degenerative condition in his lumbar spine. This degeneration normally starts in the lower spinal discs, leading to unstable spinal segment, and can also cause the nerves in the spine to be compressed. In order to assess the condition to determine the problems such as spinal stenosis, X-rays of the lumbar spine and sacrum and MRI scans will be performed.

Various treatments are available, depending on the diagnosis and severity of the condition. Conservative treatment like physiotherapy, medication and activity modification are sufficient for milder problems. Nerve decompression and spinal fusion surgery may be needed if the above conservative treatment do not work.