- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A physical therapist at Ohio State University claims to have quite literally gotten to the bottom of the reason millions of Americans suffer from knee, hip and back pain.

Dr. Chris Kolba, a physical therapist at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, said Monday that “dormant butt syndrome,” or DBS, may be the cause for chronic pain, affecting a range of individuals from athletes to the infrequently active. 

“It basically refers to the gluteus Maximus or the glute muscles just not functioning as efficiently as they should,” Dr. Kolba explained in a video released this week by Wexner.

“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 isn’t strong enough,” Dr. Kolba said in a statement. “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 often results in injury.”

Wear and tear can strain those muscles and pose real problems for people with DBS, Dr. Kolba said, and individuals who frequently exercise can avoid issues by doing basic thigh and hip stretches before and after.

“It’s actually caused quite often by inactivity and the way we sleep,” he said. “Sitting for periods throughout the day weakens the gluteal muscles and puts strain on other parts of our core, as does sleeping in the fetal position.”

Dr. Kolba said he coined the term “dormant butt syndrome” after repeatedly meeting with patients at Wexner who displayed the same symptoms, and urged individuals wishing to avoid a DBS diagnosis of their own to stretch regularly to keep their “shock absorbers” in shape.

“The important thing is keeping your hips mobile and loose through stretching and flexibility exercises,” he said. “And then doing specific exercises to strengthen the glutes such as squats, bridges and lunges.”

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