Deep Gluteal Syndrome
What is a deep gluteal syndrome?
Deep gluteal syndrome is characterised by pain and numbness in the buttocks that may extend down the back of the leg. This is caused by muscles in the area entrapping or irritating the sciatic nerve, which can happen when the gluteal muscles spasm and swell due to trauma or irritation. While minor pain that subsides after a few days is normal, more intense pain that persists even after resting may be indicative of deep gluteal syndrome.
How do I know if I have deep gluteal syndrome?
Signs and symptoms of a deep gluteal syndrome injury may include:
- Nerve pain in the back of the thigh, lower leg, and sole
- Soreness/ achiness in the buttock
- Numbness/ tingling down the back of the leg
- Worsening pain when you sit for longer periods of time
- Worsening pain when you walk or exercise
- Intense lower body pain
How is deep gluteal syndrome diagnosed and managed?
It is usually diagnosed through a physical examination carried out by a Doctor or Physiotherapist. Depending on the nature of your back pain and associated symptoms, the medical specialist might order some scans to help determine if there is a specific cause for your pain. In most cases however, a scan is not needed and a Physiotherapist will be able to manage your condition safely and effectively. Only in rare and more severe cases would a surgical intervention be warranted.
How can Physiotherapy help?
The Physiotherapist will carry out an assessment of the lower back region as well as your lower limbs to determine where the problem areas are. Physiotherapists can help with strengthening the hip and increasing the flexibility of the surrounding musculature to ensure better movement and lesser pain.
Treatment may include but is not limited to:
- Advise and education pertaining to your condition
- Soft tissue therapy
- Movement with mobilisation
- Heat therapy
- Dry needling
- Shockwave therapy
- Movement training
- Returning to sport training
- Personalised home exercise program