Wake Up Glute!!

Low Back and Glute pain plagues many of our incoming patients, but at Performance Chiropractic in South Edmonton we treat the pain directly at the source to eliminate it quickly.  Dr. Carly has been treating and getting her patients out of pain with using these tricks below.

Having your glutes not activate properly, also known as “glute amnesia” is more common than you think! Not only do desk jockeys suffer from this, but many strength athletes, including myself, do too.

It’s easy to correlate that sitting can turn off your glutes, and as a result cause more problems upstream, like low back pain, or downstream, like iliotibial band syndrome (ITB syndrome can potentially cause knee pain). However, it can be harder to wrap your head around the fact that people who can squat and deadlift hundreds of pounds aren’t using their glutes properly. Let me clarify that the issue is not WEAK glutes. If you tell a strength athlete that their knee pain or low back pain is due to weak glutes, they will most definitely roll their eyes at you. It is simply a matter of getting the brain to talk to those muscles better.

I personally started to have some right IT band pain after a lot of heavy squatting. After doing a few single leg squats and other isolation exercises it became clear to me that my right glute was not doing any work. My weightlifting coach likes to call it “Dead Glute Syndrome!”
A few things can cause us to not use our glutes properly; sitting a lot or injuring your low back or lower extremity are a few examples. Also, hardly anyone is completely ambidextrous and uses each side equally! Imbalances are common and many people develop them . A number of things can occur after this. Our hamstrings and low back tend to work harder than they need to. Our hips may shift to one side or a knee may cave in while squatting or running. All of these things can result in faulty biomechanics and lead to pain and injury.

So how do we wake up our glutes and get rid of pain? Firstly, getting chiropractic adjustments and having soft tissue work done such as active release therapy, or Graston can help restore normal motions of joints, improve range of motion, release tight tissues and decrease pain in the short term. This greases the groove neurologically for our next step: rehab. Single leg glute bridges, controlled stepping in all directions with a band around the knees, and single leg squats onto a box are all good ways to isolate the glutes. It is of utmost importance that you “feel the burn” in your glutes! This can take weeks of consistent rehabbing. Your hamstring, back muscles or anything else that has been compensating, will try to take over. Poking or hitting your glutes with a fist, also called “goading” will help to wake them up.

This may be overwhelming to hear and you may not know how to start. There are a ton of great resources out there, such as instructional videos on YouTube. There also happens to be a number of Chiropractors at Performance Chiropractic who would be happy to help you navigate this.

Dr. Carly