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Massage Therapy for Buttock Pain

By Kristi Stephens ; Updated July 18, 2017

Massage can have a positive benefit on reducing your buttock pain. Different types may be used to increase your benefits, depending on the underlying cause of your pain. Massage can increase blood flow, bringing necessary oxygen to the tissue. It also helps to alleviate spasm and muscle guarding which can increase range of motion of the hip and back. Normalizing the tissue tension and mobility of the surrounding joints through massage can allow for an increase in normal function without pain.

Bony Structure

The pelvis and sacrum create the bony structure of your buttock region. The joints in this area include the actual hip joint which contains the head of the femur and the socket of the ilium. The pubic symphisis is on the anterior (front) aspect where your pelvis bones connect in the middle. The Sacroiliac joint is on the posterior (back) and is where your pelvis connects to your sacrum, commonly referred to as the tailbone. These areas allow for movement of the hips and low back. Restrictions of these joints can cause muscle guarding, spasm and pain.

Soft Tissue Structure

The gluteal region is a highly muscular area of your body. It contains the gluteus musculature, of which the gluteus maximus is the largest and most commonly known. According to the Sports Injury Clinic, myofascial pain is often related to tight gluts. The piriformis is a deep small muscle which can create many issues when it becomes spasmed and tight. It is in the area of your sciatic nerve and can cause compression and irritation to this nerve. This pain is commonly referred to as sciatica and can often create a radiating pain from your gluts down the back of your leg.

Trigger Point Locations

Your buttocks contain many trigger point which can help to eliminate pain, with the gluteus minimus and piriformis being common trouble makers. Using your tenderness as a guide can be helpful in locating these trigger points when you are in the general vicinity. Your gluteus minimus trigger point is is in the middle of your lower buttock in the area of the ischium bone. Your piriformis contains two trigger points which are effective in alleviating your buttock pain. One is locate at the outer edge of the middle of your tail bone. The other is on the outer aspect of your gluteal musculature in the area of your hip.

Trigger Point Massage

Your buttock musculature responds particularly well to trigger point therapy. This technique can be done with constant pressure, or with a circular massaging motion. You can use your thumb, your fingers, the side of your fist, or tools such as a tennis ball to provide the pressure. Locating the general area of the trigger point, palpate for soreness or tenderness. Once you find the pain, apply a sustained direct pressure to the muscle.


Massage should not be used for a diagnostic tool, but to help alleviate symptoms of pain. If you continue to have pain, or your pain gets worse, you should seek medical attention. Medical professionals can properly diagnose the cause of your pain, and facilitate any additional treatments that you may need.

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