How to Treat Buttock Pain When Sitting and Lying Down

Learn about common causes of buttock pain when sitting and lying down and how to get relief, with exercises from physical therapists.

Published Date: Feb 23, 2024

How to Treat Buttock Pain When Sitting and Lying Down

Learn about common causes of buttock pain when sitting and lying down and how to get relief, with exercises from physical therapists.

Published Date: Feb 23, 2024

How to Treat Buttock Pain When Sitting and Lying Down

Learn about common causes of buttock pain when sitting and lying down and how to get relief, with exercises from physical therapists.

Published Date: Feb 23, 2024

How to Treat Buttock Pain When Sitting and Lying Down

Learn about common causes of buttock pain when sitting and lying down and how to get relief, with exercises from physical therapists.

Published Date: Feb 23, 2024
Table of Contents

Let’s face it: Sitting, in a lot of instances, is unavoidable. Whether you have a desk job, attend school, are retired, or spend a lot of time in your car for work or driving kids to a dozen activities, there’s a fair chance you have to spend a good amount of your day on your butt. And plenty of other daily activities require us to sit or lie down, from sitting down to a meal to lying in bed at night. So if your buttocks hurt when you’re seated or even lying down, it can be pretty difficult to function in everyday life. 

Changing positions or standing more when possible can help prevent some of this pain, but, realistically, sitting less isn’t always an option. It also doesn’t address the root cause of your discomfort. So while there are steps you can take to manage any buttock pain you’re feeling, there’s also a lot you can do to treat the underlying causes so you can prevent the pain from happening in the future. 

Read on to learn more about what causes buttock pain when sitting and lying down and how to treat it — especially with exercises recommended by our Hinge Health physical therapists. 

Our Hinge Health Experts

Julianne Payton, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist
Dr. Payton is a Hinge Health physical therapist with 8 years of experience and specializes in ergonomics and workplace injuries.
Jonathan Lee, MD, MBA
Orthopedic Surgeon and Medical Reviewer
Dr. Lee is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and an Associate Medical Director at Hinge Health.
Maureen Lu, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist and Clinical Reviewer
Dr. Lu is a Hinge Health physical therapist and board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist with over 17 years of clinical experience.


Buttock pain when sitting and lying down can be generally uncomfortable, but specific symptoms can vary depending on what’s causing the pain, says Julianne Payton, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Hinge Health. According to Dr. Payton, when it comes to buttock pain, you may experience: 

  • Aching or burning pain in your buttocks (glutes) or tailbone area

  • Pain that radiates to your pelvis, hips, and low back 

  • Numbness or tingling in one or both legs

  • Difficulty sitting or lying down for extended periods

  • Difficulty moving from sitting or lying down to standing

The good news: No matter what symptoms you’re experiencing, in most cases, buttock pain when sitting and lying down resolves with time and conservative at-home treatments. 

Buttock Pain: A Hinge Health Perspective

Often staying in the same position for a long time can be a main driver of buttock pain, especially if your body is already a little sensitive from chronic low back or hip pain. Regular movement, whether through exercise or physical therapy, can help reduce that sensitivity and increase your tolerance for sitting without discomfort.

If you’re reluctant to move because you think you’ll cause more damage or injury to your buttocks, know this: Movement is often the fastest way to healing. As our Hinge Health care team says, movement is medicine. Movement helps rehab the glutes and surrounding muscles by increasing blood flow to the area, and gradually improving strength and flexibility. “It may not feel that good at first, but you’re likely to feel better as you go,” says Dr. Payton. 

Common Causes of Buttock Pain when Sitting and Lying Down 

Often, multiple factors can contribute to pain in the buttocks. Some of the most common reasons for buttock pain when sitting and lying down include: 

  • Not changing positions enough. Your buttock area can become sensitive if you frequently sit or lie down in the same position, particularly if you already have low back or hip pain. Prolonged positions can create fatigue and soreness.

  • Too much lower body activity too soon. If you’ve recently started an exercise program that engages your glutes more (like a strength training class with lots of squats or a new running regimen), you may be doing more than your body is ready for. Muscle strain can cause buttock pain. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge yourself with more strenuous workouts. You just want to do it gradually to build strength and tolerance. 

  • Hip arthritis. Normal changes in your hip joint can impact your glute muscles and create tightness, resulting in discomfort when you sit or lie down. Referred pain from the hip joint can also cause buttock pain. 

  • Sciatica. The sciatic nerve is a bundle of nerve roots that branch off from the base of the spine — each nerve then travels from your lumbar spine (low back), through your buttocks (glutes), and down the back of each leg. Sciatica refers to symptoms of pain, as well as numbness, tingling, or weakness, that’s felt along the sciatic nerve when the nerve gets inflamed or compressed. You might experience pain in your buttocks and possibly tingling in your legs.  

  • Irritated hamstrings. Your hamstrings — made up of three muscles located at the back of the thigh that are essential for walking, running, and jumping — originate in the same region as your glute muscles. If your hamstrings get tight, inflamed, or irritated, you may also experience some pain in your glutes, especially when sitting down.

  • Injury. An injury, such as falling on your butt or tailbone, can also make sitting or lying down more painful due to the pressure on those injured areas. 

Treatment Options for Buttock Pain

There’s a lot you can do to treat buttock pain at home. The following tips from our Hinge Health physical therapists and medical doctors can provide relief for buttock pain when sitting or lying down:

  • Change positions often. There’s no such thing as the “wrong” posture. But if your buttocks are bothering you, Dr. Payton says it’s a good idea to change positions more frequently throughout the day. Get up from your seat when you can, and try changing positions in your chair every hour or two for some relief.

  • Move your body. Counterintuitive as it may seem to move when you're in pain, exercise is actually one of the most effective ways to manage your discomfort, heal your body, and restore your day-to-day functioning. Stretching, taking a brisk walk, and engaging in physical therapy can all help. The exercises and stretches suggested below are a great place to start. 

  • Ice or heat the area. Ice or heat applied to the sore buttock area can help relieve symptoms and improve your functioning. Dr. Payton encourages trying both and using whichever feels better to you.

  • Try over-the-counter medication. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be helpful for buttock pain when sitting or lying down. It’s important to make sure that you are safely able to take these medications, based on your medical history.

Exercises to Ease Buttock Pain

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Along with promoting blood flow to your glutes, which can help with pain management, this exercise moves your back and hips into a different position than when you’re sitting. “Doing this motion can help bring down your pain and sensitivity,” says Dr. Payton.

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Stretching and strengthening can both be helpful for easing buttock pain, according to Dr. Payton. Stretching can help improve blood flow and mobility in the hips and back, both of which can reduce pain in the buttocks. Strengthening exercises also help with blood flow to the area which can help manage pain. Plus, stronger hip and back muscles can better support the entire area, so you’ll be less likely to have this kind of pain in the future. These exercises, recommended by Hinge Health physical therapists, are a great place to start. 

The information contained in these videos is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or treatment for any specific condition. Hinge Health is not your healthcare provider and is not responsible for any injury sustained or exacerbated by your use of or participation in these exercises. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your medical condition or treatment.

PT Tip: Adjust Your Seat 

Switching up your sitting posture can go a long way in helping reduce (and prevent) buttock pain. An office chair with an adjustable tilt feature can help relieve pressure on your glutes when you’re sitting, says Dr. Payton. “Play around with the tilt and make small changes every hour or two until you find the right one for you,” she says. If your chair isn’t adjustable, try using a small pillow or rolled-up towel to support your lower back and hips, which can help ease pain in the glutes. 

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you.

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

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  1. Davis, D., Maini, K., & Vasudevan, A. (2023). Sciatica. StatPearls Publishing.

  2. Poudel, B., & Pandey, S. (2023). Hamstring Injury. StatPearls Publishing.

  3. Sadler, S., Cassidy, S., Peterson, B., et al. (2019). Gluteus medius muscle function in people with and without low back pain: a systematic review. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 20, 463. doi:10.1186/s12891-019-2833-4

  4. Teirlinck, C. H., Verhagen, A. P., van Ravesteyn, L. M., Reijneveld-van de Vendel, E. A. E., Runhaar, J., van Middelkoop, M., Ferreira, M. L., & Bierma-Zeinstra, S. M. (2023). Effect of exercise therapy in patients with hip osteoarthritis: A systematic review and cumulative meta-analysis. Osteoarthritis and cartilage open, 5(1), 100338. doi:10.1016/j.ocarto.2023.100338

Table of Contents
SymptomsButtock Pain: A Hinge Health PerspectiveCommon Causes of Buttock Pain when Sitting and Lying Down Treatment Options for Buttock PainPT Tip: Adjust Your Seat How Hinge Health Can Help You References