What Doctor to See for Buttock Pain?

Buttock pain can be a distressing and debilitating condition that affects individuals of all ages and lifestyles. Whether it’s a dull ache, sharp twinges, or persistent discomfort, buttock pain can significantly impact one’s quality of life and daily activities. If you’re experiencing such discomfort, it’s crucial to seek proper medical attention to diagnose the underlying cause and determine the most effective course of treatment. But what doctor to see for buttock pain? 

In this article, we will explore the different medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating buttock pain. 

By understanding the expertise of these professionals, you can make an informed decision and ensure you’re consulting the right healthcare provider for your specific condition. 

Don’t let buttock pain hold you back – let’s find out who can help you find relief and get back to living a pain-free life.

Understanding Buttock Pain

Buttock pain can be caused by various factors, ranging from muscle strains to underlying medical conditions. Understanding the common causes and symptoms of buttock pain can help in determining the appropriate course of action for diagnosis and treatment.

Identifying Common Causes

  • Muscle Strain: Overexertion or sudden movements can lead to strain in the muscles of the buttocks, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Sciatica: Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve can result in radiating pain from the lower back through the buttocks and down the leg.
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints, can cause localized pain in the buttock area.
  • Herniated Disc: A ruptured or herniated disc in the lower back can cause buttock pain if it impinges on nearby nerves.
  • Arthritis: Conditions like osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis can lead to buttock pain, particularly if the hip joint is affected.
what doctor to see for buttock pain

Recognizing Symptoms

  • Location and Nature of Pain: Buttock pain can vary in location and nature. It may be localized to one side or affect both buttocks. The pain can be sharp, throbbing, or a dull ache.
  • Radiating Pain: If the pain extends from the buttocks down the leg, it could be a sign of sciatica or nerve impingement.
  • Stiffness or Limited Mobility: Buttock pain may be accompanied by stiffness or difficulty in moving, especially when getting up from a seated position or walking.

Read More: Buttock Pain After Car Accident

Seeking Medical Attention

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional to accurately diagnose the cause of buttock pain and determine the most effective treatment plan. Depending on the suspected cause, the following specialists can provide appropriate care:

  • Orthopedic Surgeon: Specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, including fractures, ligament injuries, and joint problems.
  • Physical Therapist: Provides exercises, stretches, and manual therapy to address muscle imbalances and movement dysfunctions.
  • Pain Management Specialist: Focuses on managing chronic pain conditions and can offer various treatment options, such as medications, injections, or alternative therapies.
  • Neurologist: Specializes in diagnosing and treating nerve-related conditions, including sciatica and other nerve impingements.
  • Primary Care Physician: Serves as the initial point of contact and can evaluate symptoms, provide basic treatment, and refer patients to appropriate specialists if needed.

Read More: Buttock Pain After Lumbar Fusion: The Real Reasons Explained

What Doctor to See for Buttock Pain?

When experiencing buttock pain, it’s important to consult the appropriate medical professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating the underlying cause. 

The following healthcare providers can offer valuable expertise in addressing buttock pain:

Orthopedic Surgeon:

Orthopedic surgeons are skilled in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions. They can help with buttock pain related to fractures, ligament injuries, or joint problems. 

An orthopedic surgeon will conduct a thorough evaluation, which may include physical examinations, imaging tests, and medical history reviews. 

Based on the diagnosis, they can recommend appropriate treatment options such as surgical interventions, medications, or physical therapy.

Read More: Reasons for Sciatic Pain in Early Pregnancy

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists specialize in restoring movement and function, making them valuable for addressing buttock pain caused by muscle strains or imbalances. 

They assess the patient’s condition, develop personalized treatment plans, and provide exercises, stretches, and manual therapies to relieve pain and improve mobility. 

Physical therapists may also focus on correcting posture, strengthening weak muscles, and improving overall body mechanics.

what doctor to see for buttock pain

Pain Management Specialist

Pain management specialists focus on diagnosing and managing chronic pain conditions. For individuals with persistent or severe buttock pain, a pain management specialist can provide comprehensive treatment plans. 

They may utilize a combination of medications, injections, physical therapy, and alternative therapies like acupuncture or nerve blocks to alleviate pain and enhance quality of life.

Read More: How to Tell the Difference Between Sciatica and Hamstring Pain


Neurologists specialize in diagnosing and treating nerve-related conditions, which can cause buttock pain. 

If the pain is accompanied by symptoms like radiating pain, numbness, or tingling down the leg, it may indicate nerve impingement or sciatica. 

A neurologist will perform neurological examinations, order relevant tests such as nerve conduction studies or imaging, and recommend appropriate treatments, which may involve medication, physical therapy, or surgical interventions.

what doctor to see for buttock pain

Primary Care Physician

A primary care physician is often the initial point of contact for individuals experiencing buttock pain. 

They play a crucial role in evaluating the initial symptoms and determining the need for further evaluation or referral to a specialist. 

Depending on the severity and nature of the pain, a primary care physician may provide basic treatment options, recommend imaging tests, or refer the patient to an orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist, or other specialists for specialized care.

Collaborative Approach and Seeking Second Opinions

When dealing with complex cases of buttock pain, adopting a collaborative approach among medical professionals and considering second opinions can be beneficial. 

Collaboration and seeking additional perspectives can lead to more accurate diagnoses, effective treatment plans, and improved patient outcomes.

Collaborative Approach

In complex cases of buttock pain, involving multiple medical professionals can provide a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment. 

Collaboration allows for the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and different perspectives. For example:

Orthopedic Surgeon and Physical Therapist:

By working together, an orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist can ensure that the surgical interventions, if needed, are followed by appropriate rehabilitation and physical therapy to optimize recovery and restore functionality.

Pain Management Specialist and Neurologist:

Collaboration between a pain management specialist and a neurologist can provide a comprehensive assessment of nerve-related conditions causing buttock pain. 

This collaboration can lead to a tailored treatment plan that combines medication management, interventional procedures, and targeted therapies.

Primary Care Physician as the Coordinator:

A primary care physician can serve as the coordinator of care, facilitating communication and collaboration among specialists. 

They can ensure that all relevant information is shared among the medical professionals involved, promoting a cohesive and unified approach to the patient’s care.

Read More: Pros and Cons of Steroid Injections For Back Pain

Seeking Second Opinions

In cases where there is uncertainty about the diagnosis or treatment plan, seeking a second opinion can provide valuable insights and confirm or challenge the initial recommendations. Here are some reasons to consider seeking a second opinion:

Complex or Unresponsive Cases:

If the buttock pain persists despite initial treatment efforts or the condition is complex with multiple contributing factors, obtaining a second opinion can offer a fresh perspective and potentially uncover alternative treatment options.

Discrepancies in Diagnosis or Treatment Recommendations:

If there are significant differences in the opinions or treatment recommendations provided by different healthcare professionals, seeking a second opinion can help clarify the situation and provide the patient with more confidence in their treatment decisions.

Patient Peace of Mind:

Seeking a second opinion can alleviate any doubts or uncertainties the patient may have about the proposed diagnosis or treatment plan. 

It empowers patients to actively participate in their healthcare decisions and ensures they have explored all available options.


In conclusion, buttock pain can significantly impact an individual’s daily life and well-being. Seeking appropriate medical attention is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. 

Understanding the underlying causes and symptoms of buttock pain can help determine which healthcare professional to consult. 

Orthopedic surgeons specialize in musculoskeletal conditions, while physical therapists address muscle imbalances. 

Pain management specialists provide comprehensive care for chronic pain, and neurologists specialize in nerve-related conditions. 

Primary care physicians serve as the initial point of contact and can guide patients to the right specialists. 

Embracing a collaborative approach among medical professionals and considering second opinions can enhance the accuracy of diagnoses and treatment plans. 

By taking an active role in seeking appropriate medical help, individuals can find relief from buttock pain and regain their quality of life.


How long should I wait before seeking medical help for buttock pain?

It’s best to consult a healthcare professional if the pain persists for more than a few days or if it is severe or accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

Should I see an orthopedic surgeon for all types of buttock pain?

No, an orthopedic surgeon is primarily consulted for buttock pain related to fractures, ligament injuries, or joint problems. Other specialists may be more appropriate for different causes.

Can physical therapy help with buttock pain?

Yes, physical therapy can be highly beneficial for buttock pain caused by muscle strains, imbalances, or movement dysfunctions.

When should I consider seeing a pain management specialist for buttock pain?

A pain management specialist is typically consulted for persistent or severe buttock pain that has not responded to conservative treatments or when chronic pain conditions are suspected.

What are some self-care measures I can take for buttock pain?

Applying ice or heat, gentle stretching, and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain can provide temporary relief. However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Should I get a second opinion for my buttock pain diagnosis?

If you have doubts, uncertainties, or conflicting opinions about your diagnosis or treatment plan, seeking a second opinion can provide valuable insights and peace of mind.

Are there any lifestyle modifications that can help with buttock pain?

Maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture, and incorporating regular exercise can help prevent and manage buttock pain.

Can buttock pain be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition?

Yes, in some cases, buttock pain can be a symptom of a more serious condition like a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Seeking medical attention is essential for proper evaluation.

Can buttock pain be prevented?

While not all cases of buttock pain can be prevented, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing proper body mechanics, and avoiding excessive strain or trauma can reduce the risk.

Medical References

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  • Wu AM, Feng X, Li MX, Fan D. Expert consensus on the management of postoperative pain after spine surgery in China: The Third Edition. Orthop Surg. 2017;9(2):153-161.
  • Steiner C, Andrews R, Barrett M, Weiss A. HCUP Projections: Mobility/Orthopedic Procedures 2003 to 2012. U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2012.
  • Cherkin DC, Deyo RA, Volinn E, Loeser JD. Use of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9-CM) to identify hospitalizations for mechanical low back problems in administrative databases. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1992;17(7):817-825.
  • Seaman DR, Cleveland C. Spinal pain syndromes: nociceptive, neuropathic, and psychologic mechanisms. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999;22(7):458-472.

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