Ischial bursitis (sitting bone) pain

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Ischial bursitis pain is pain on the part of the pelvic bone (ischial tuberosity) that we sit on. It is not to be confused with the coccyx which sits at the base of the spine. Ischial pain refers to pain from the pelvic bone sitting under the buttock muscles ( gluteals)

Ischial bursitis describes inflammation in the fluid filled sac which lies on the underside of the ischial tuberosity. It often arises as a result of overloading of the hamstring muscles due to increased or excessive activity or through prolonged sitting. Alternative causes are sports which involve rapid accelerations, kicking and extremes of hip movement such as dance as they place significant load through the hamstring tendons.

How is ischial pain treated?

In the majority of cases, ischial pain can be managed very effectively by adhering to the following routines. The most effective aspects are avoiding aggravating activities and prolonged sitting.

Modifying seating positions
This could be using a seat with better cushioning to alleviate pressure on the painful area. Specialist seat cushions are available if needed.

Ceasing aggravating sporting activities
This does not mean that you will have to stop cycling, running etc forever. However, the ischial bursa and/ or hamstring tendons may need 4-6 weeks of relative rest initially to settle symptoms while you work on strengthening the hip muscles (see below).

Regular exercises to strengthen the hip muscles and tendons.