Gluteus Maximus Muscle: Low Back, Hip, Tailbone, Buttock Pain

What pain and symptoms are caused by the gluteus maximus muscle?

Pain pattern of the gluteus maximus

Pain in the low back, hip, and buttocks can indicate gluteus maximus dysfunction. Pain occasionally will extend into the back of the upper thigh.

  • Low back pain
  • Outer hip pain near and or around the joint
  • Pain around the tailbone
  • Pain and burning in the buttocks
  • Increased pain when walking uphill or up an incline
  • Inability or increased pain when you bend over to touch your toes

Where is the gluteus maximus muscle?

The gluteus maximus is the large muscle of the buttocks.

What movements does the gluteus maximus muscle control?

  • Straightens the thigh at the hip
  • Twists thigh away from the body
  • Lifts leg out to the side

Activities that cause gluteus maximus pain and symptoms:

  • Jumping
  • Falls
  • Swimming especially when using the flutter kick
  • Climbing
  • Deep knee bends
  • Repetitive lifting of heavy objects with knees bent (this may protect your back, but puts enormous strain on the glute max)
  • Prolonged sitting on hard surfaces
  • Sitting for long periods
  • Prolonged sitting on a wallet

Interesting facts about the gluteus maximus:

The gluteus maximus is the muscle that allows humans to walk upright.

Clinical diagnoses to which the gluteus maximus muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac Joint Displacement
  • Inflammation of the Sub Gluteus Medius Bursa
  • Sciatica
  • Hip Dislocation
  • Hip Pointer
  • Intervertebral Stenosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Tensor Fasciae Latae Syndrome
  • Cauda equina syndrome



You use the gluteus maximus muscle to straighten the leg at the thigh and to twist the leg outward and away from the body.

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the gluteus maximus:

Satellite Trigger Points: Gluteus medius, Gluteus minimus, Hamstrings, Iliopsoas, Rectus femoris, Pectineus, Tensor fasica latae

Affected Organ System: Digestive System; colon

For detailed anatomy information see: Gluteus Maximus Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Help with Gluteus Maximus Muscle Pain

Warm Therapy Gel For Low Back, Hip and Buttock Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.
Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel
is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. Unlike other over the counter heating creams, it provides warmth without burning heat.  Applying Sombra to the muscles across the lower back and down into the hips, buttocks and upper back of the thighs can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the gluteus maximus  muscle. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and pain from arthritis.

Cold Therapy Gel For  Low Back, Hip and Buttocks Injury and Pain

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  It is better than warm therapy gels and creams for recent injury muscle pain as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If  your pain is from a recent injury to the glute muscles I would recommend applying Biofreeze across the low back, hips and entire buttock area.

Support for Hip, Buttock, and Low Back Pain Related To The Gluteus Muscles


The Cramer E6 Groin Hip Spica is a full hip wrap and provides support for hip, buttock, groin and thigh pain and injuries. The wrap is made to fit high up on the thigh and wraps around the hip with a abdomen band that will hold the wrap in place. The brace is pliable neoprene which provides warmth and makes it comfortable to wear. Recommended by Physical Therapists and athletic trainers for high thigh and groin injuries. Consider this brace if your pain is in the buttocks, hip, groin and upper thigh area.

Self  Treatment For Gluteus Maximus Hip, Buttock, and Low Back Pain

Do you know that muscle ‘knots’ in the gluteus maximus muscle can cause pain throughout the hips, buttocks, and low back?

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.

If you are interested in treating back and hip pain caused by trigger points I  recommend you purchase Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain,  how to find the trigger point and treat it. He also provides stretching and strengthening exercises for each muscle. If you suffer with unresolved back, hip, buttock and leg pain I highly recommend this book. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. Relieving trigger points in the glute muscles have helped many people reduce or even resolve their low back, buttock and hip pain issues. This book is a must have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

The Theracane Massager is a self treatment massage tool for use on those hard to reach areas on the neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs. If you are considering buying the book The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, you will need to buy the Theracane to use the treatment methods detailed in the book.





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