A strained gluteal muscle is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the group of three muscles in the buttocks.
|Posterior Hip and Thigh Muscles|
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This problem with the gluteal muscles may be caused by:
- Stretching the muscles too far
- Putting sudden stress on the muscles when they are not ready
- A direct blow to the muscles
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- Playing sports that need bursts of speed, such as track, basketball, soccer, football, and rugby
- Prior gluteal injury
- Tight gluteal muscles
Problems may be:
- Pain and tenderness in the buttocks
- Gluteal muscle stiffness or weakness
- Bruising on the buttocks
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Images may be needed if symptoms are severe. This can be done with an MRI scan .
How long it takes to heal depends on how badly the muscles are strained. Treatment will include:
- Resting the area
- Ice to ease pain and swelling
- Compression bandages to help move fluids out of the area
- Elevating the area to help fluids drain or prevent fluids from building up
Medicines may also be given to ease pain and swelling.
This problem may be prevented by:
- Keeping the muscles strong to absorb the energy of sudden physical stress
- Learning the proper technique for exercises and sports
- Warming up the muscles slowly and stretching them properly
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine http://www.casem-acmse.org
Bourne MN, Timmins RG, Opar DA, et al. An evidence-based framework for strengthening exercises to prevent hamstring injury. Sports Med.2018;48(2):251-267.
Derry S, Moore RA, Gaskell H, McIntyre M, Wiffen PJ. Topical NSAIDs for acute musculoskeletal pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2015;(6):CD007402.
Lehecka BJ, Edwards M, Haverkamp R, et al. Building a better gluteal bridge: Electromyographic analysis of hip muscle activity during modified single-leg bridges. Internat J Sports Phys Ther. 2017;12(4):543-549.
Muscle strains in the thigh. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00366. Updated September 2019. Accessed July 29, 2020.
Sports-related groin pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/sports-related-groin-pain . Updated October 31, 2019. Accessed July 29, 2020.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
- Review Date: 03/2020
- Update Date: 07/29/2020