Categories: Orthopaedics

Sit Bone Pain

Have you been sitting for hours together only to notice a sharp pain in your butt bones? This could be a condition related to your ischial tuberosity. This problem is referred to as seat bones or sit bones since it absorbs all your weight when you sit down.

What is Ischial Bursitis?

The pain in butt bones when you sit too long is caused by inflammation or irritation of the ischial bursa. It’s a condition where the fluid-filled sacs in the pelvis become inflamed and swollen, causing the sit bone pain.

Ischial Bursitis can cause a lot of problems with sitting, walking, or running. There are several treatments available to improve your symptoms and reduce inflammation in the area. In this article, we’ll discuss everything about butt bone pain from sitting, its causes, symptoms, and treatments.

What Causes Ischial Bursitis?

Ischial Bursitis can result from sitting too long on hard or uncomfortable surfaces, injury to the tendon or hamstring muscle because of certain physical activities, or from trauma to the area. It causes pain right at the centre of your buttock and may sometimes move down to the back of the leg. This pain is often confused with sciatica, a pain that is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. However, a doctor would be able to tell the problem by doing a thorough physical examination.

Symptoms of Ischial Bursitis

Some of the symptoms of ischial pain include:

●     Pain when you walk or run

●     Pain or stiffness in the pelvis area

●     Pain when you sit down

●     Swelling or redness around the area

●     Trouble sleeping on the affected side.

The butt bone pain from sitting down and getting up is diagnosed through a simple physical examination and review of the symptoms you experience. Your doctor may ask you to stand, sit, or move your hips and legs. If at all, your doctor is unable to identify the cause of your symptoms, then you may be asked to do an X-ray, so that your doctor can have a better view of the pelvis area. An MRI scan or ultrasound may also be performed to check for any swelling and inflammation. In some cases, a little fluid sample may also be taken from the affected area as well.

Treatment for Ischial Pain

The pain you may experience is most often resolved on its own when you take rest. However, Ischial bursitis pain can sometimes take longer to heal since it’s impossible to completely avoid sitting down. Some of the treatments for Ischial pain are as follows:

Taking Maximum Rest

Simply resting from any physical activity that causes the pain can help treat your problem. Avoid sitting down on hard surfaces for too long, and try to lie down and rest to relieve your pain.

Ice Packs

In some cases, your doctor may advise you to use ice packs to reduce any swelling and inflammation in the area. Ice packs help with any muscular pains, and using one to treat your sit bone pain can also be helpful.


Sometimes sit bone pain can be easily treated through over-the-counter pain relievers such as anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen medication. Most of the time, your doctor may advise you to take any over-the-counter medication to treat your pain. If medications aren’t effective, you may be given an injection of corticosteroid to help reduce any inflammation in the bursa area.

Ring cushion/air cushion

Soft cushions can reduce the compression on the butt bones and helps in reducing the inflammation and healing faster

Frequent postural changes

Continuous constant stress on any part of the body can result in inflammatory disorders and therefore by changing postures frequently significantly reduces the stress on butt bones too.


Physical therapy is also useful to strengthen the ischial tuberosity muscles and improve flexibility. Climbing stairs can also prove to be helpful. However, whenever you do so make sure to hold a railing in case you suddenly feel the pain that could affect your balance. Stretching exercises could also be helpful to increase your flexibility in the hamstring.

However, before you start any kind of stretches or exercises, it’s important to check with your doctor. A healthcare professional will be able to tell you what exercises are good for you and which ones might worsen the problem. A therapist can provide a range of different exercises and stretches to treat the pain and improve movement in the back, legs, and buttocks.

Some exercises and stretches for ischial tuberosity include:

Lying Down Buttocks Stretch

The lying down buttocks stretch can be performed in the following way:

●     Lie down flat on the back with your head resting on a cushion or pillow.

●      Keep your legs straight.

●     Slowly start bending the right knee inwards towards your chest.

●     Now, placing the hands around your thighs, below the back of your knee, pull your knee closer to the chest.

●      Hold in this position for about 5 to 10 seconds.

●     Slowly straighten your leg and repeat the same with the other knee.

●      Repeat 5 to 10 times on each leg.

Hip Extensions

Hip extensions are another great exercise when you experience pain in your butt bones. These exercises help to strengthen the buttocks and lower back. You can perform the hip exercises in the following way:

●      Begin on all fours with your knees under the hips and your hands under the shoulders. Make sure to keep the neck straight.

●     Stretch your left arm out in front and stretch the right leg out straight behind.

●     Now, slowly raise the stretched left arm and right leg until they are well aligned with your back.

●     Hold in this position for about 2 seconds before switching sides.

●     Repeat the exercise stretching the left leg and right arm.

●     Repeat these stretches about 5 to 6 times.

Sitting Rotation Stretch

The sitting rotation stretch is perfect for the oblique muscles and buttocks. This stretch can be performed in the following way:

●     Sit in an upright position with your back straight and your feet stretched straight out in front of you.

●     Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor.

●     Slowly, move your right foot to the outside of your left knee.

●     Now, gently start twisting to the right side, while you push your left elbow against the right knee and look over your right shoulder.

●     Hold in this position for about 30 seconds, and then return to the starting position.

●     Repeat with the other leg.

These are some excellent stretches and exercise you can perform to treat sit bone pain. In case you experience any pain in the lower back, legs or buttocks stop the exercises immediately. Also, to be on the safer side, check with your doctor before starting any exercises.

Dr. Rajendra Reddy | Consultant – Orthopaedics | Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, HSR Layout

Narayana Health

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