Dormant Butt Syndrome

dormant butt syndromeDo you suffer from DBS?

As far as I know, Dormant Butt Syndrome (DBS) isn’t really a disease, but rather a phrase coined by a physical therapist at a medical center in Ohio.

Millions of Americans (myself included) suffer from knee, hip and/or lower back pain. Therapist Chris Kolba, PT, PhD, MHS, blames too much sitting, which is weakening our gluteus or butt muscles.

The entire body works as a linked system, and a lot of times when people come in with knee or hip injuries, it’s actually because their butt is not strong enough. The rear end should act as support for the entire body and as a shock absorber for stress during exercise, but if it’s too weak, other parts of the body take up the slack and it often causes injury.

It’s like that kids’ song Dem Bones:

The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone.

The leg bone’s connected to the thigh bone.

The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone.

And so on.

Our body parts work together, and if one part is weak, another part has to work harder and is more likely to be strained, sprained or just painful.

Sitting too much is our worst enemy

Kolba recommends getting up frequently during the day to stretch and walk. Strengthening exercises for the lower body can also help prevent or treat lower body pains.

The Mayo Clinic website has an excellent slide show of basic stretches.

I’ve posted before about how unhealthy prolonged periods of sitting can be. Recent research has shown that even sitting for as little as an hour at a time can be bad for our metabolism, muscles and joints.

Here are two great videos from Dr. Mike Evans and Dr. Aaron Carroll that explain in more detail why sitting is bad and moving is good.



So do your glutes (and hips and knees and heart and everything else) a favor and make sure you are getting up from your chair or couch for at least 5 minutes every hour.

DBS might not be a real disease yet, but given our trend to put a label or diagnostic code on everything, perhaps there will soon be a National Dormant Butt Syndrome Foundation to increase awareness and raise money for this terrible affliction.

Luckily, the cure is simple and inexpensive. We just need to get off our butts and move.


Frugal Nurse


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