Save Yourself From Dead Ass Syndrome

Last year, as more and more people worked from home, physical therapists saw an increase in patients with “dead butt syndrome,” or DBS for short, which is pain, numbness, and tingling in the butt that can often spread to the lower back and legs. If you’ve ever got up after sitting for a while and feeling tingling and numbness in your butt, it’s a bit like DBS, only for some people it progresses to the point that it seriously affects their quality of life.

“If these symptoms persist for more than an hour or two and you do notice that they are affecting you throughout the day, […] then I would recommend further medical evaluation,” said Dr. Tyler. Detmer is a physical therapist at the University of Washington, St. Louis.

Is Dead Ass Syndrome a Real Medical Diagnosis?

DBS is commonly associated with gluteal muscle weakness, but as Detmer explains, the condition is not a formal medical diagnosis, but rather an umbrella term for the myriad problems that can cause these symptoms. Just as sciatica refers to pain along the sciatic nerve that can have different causes, DBS is an abbreviation for a set of symptoms – in this case, tingling, numbness, and pain in the back, buttocks, and legs, for different reasons.

Sometimes you can see a syndrome of the dead buttock, called “gluteal amnesia”, the cause of which is the fact that the buttocks have forgotten how to shoot. However, this is a delusion. “Our glutes don’t just forget how to work,” Detmer said.

Instead, the causes of weakened gluteal muscles can be complex, such as decreased performance due to restricted circulation, compression of the sciatic nerve, or general muscle stiffness. With limited circulation, your muscles may simply not receive the oxygen or nutrients they need to function optimally; or if the sciatic nerve is pinched, the nerves stop working, which can cause numbness and tingling. “You can think of it like kinking a garden hose,” Detmer said.

How does dead ass syndrome develop ?

Our glutes are responsible for the movement of the hips and stabilization of the pelvis, in addition to the surrounding muscles that help and improve these movements. This includes the hip flexors, which will contract when the buttocks are relaxed, and vice versa, allowing opposite movements. Poor posture, such as lounging on your laptop all day, can also be a factor in the development of DBS.

The good news is that even if you suffer from DBS, “we tend to create repetitive patterns to compensate for any problems that may arise,” Detmer said. Our bodies are flexible. They simply cannot deal with the stress of a Zoom meeting after a Zoom meeting without regular stretching or movement.

How to Avoid Dead Ass Syndrome

Most people who develop DBS do so because they sit all day. Given how much our work environment has changed over the past year, Detmer has seen many more people with DBS at his clinic, as well as other ergonomic problems such as neck pain and sciatic nerve pain.

Detmer’s biggest recommendation for preventing DBS is to keep you moving regularly throughout the day by getting up from your desk at least every 30 minutes or an hour. This movement will improve circulation as well as prevent excessive muscle stiffness. He also recommends adding a few stretches and exercises, such as a few squats, a few foot marches, or toe touches.

Apart from moving regularly during the day, it is also very important to set up your office in such a way that you can work without creating problems like DBS. This means that you cannot work on a laptop all day while sitting on the couch. “I would recommend trying to replicate the office environment as much as possible when you work from home,” Detmer said.


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