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Gluteus Medius Muscle: Belt Line, Hip, Buttock, Thigh Pain

Painful areas to which the gluteus medius muscle contributes.

Pain in the buttocks and hip can indicate gluteus medius dysfunction. Pain occasionally extends down the side of the thigh as well as into the back of the thigh.

  • Pain in the lower back around the beltline
  • Pain in the hip
  • Pain in the buttock
  • Pain can extend down the outside of the leg
  • Pain can extend into back of the leg
  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Pain will prevent sitting on the afflicted buttock
  • Pain worsens when sitting or standing for extended periods of time
  • Pain when sitting slouched

Where is the gluteus medius muscle?

The gluteus medius is located toward back and side of the hip. It attaches the hip bone (ilium) to the upper leg (greater trochanter of the femur).

What movements does the gluteus medius control?

  • Moves the thigh sideways away from the body
  • The front muscle fibers assists with twisting the thigh in toward the other leg and lifting the leg out in front of the body
  • The back muscle fibers help to turn the thigh out away from the other leg

Activities that cause gluteus medius pain and symptoms:

  • Sitting for long periods of time with legs crossed
  • Standing on hard surfaces for an extended time
  • Walking and carrying a heavy item
  • Carrying a child on the hip
  • Always carrying heavy objects on one side such as filled buckets, heavy briefcase, etc.
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Running
  • Weightlifting

Interesting facts about the gluteus medius:

  • As you walk, the two gluteus medius muscles take turns supporting your full upper body weight. Every one pound of extra body weight adds two pounds to the gluteus medius workload.
  • The gluteus medius stabilizes the hip to allow you to stand on one leg.
Gluteus Medius Muscle Pain

The gluteus medius muscle moves the thigh sideways away from the body and twists the thigh in toward the body.

Clinical diagnoses to which this muscle symptom may contribute:

  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac joint displacement
  • Inflammation of the sub gluteus medius bursa
  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Hip Pointer
  • Hip dislocation
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Tensor fasciae latae syndrome
  • Intervertebral stenosis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Cauda equina syndrome

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

Satellite Trigger Points: Quadratus lumborum, Gluteus minimus, Piriformis, Tensor fascia latae

Affected Organ System: Urinary and Reproductive System

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

Help with Gluteus Medius Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For  Gluteus Medius Injury and Pain

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 medius or low back muscles I would recommend applying Biofreeze across the low back, hips and entire buttock area.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury

Warm Therapy Gel For Low Back, Hip and Buttock Pain

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 side and back of the thighs can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the gluteus medius muscle. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and pain from arthritis.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.

Recommended Back Support For Low Back Pain - Provides Support and Relief From Pain Caused By The Gluteus Medius Muscle

I seldom rave about products, but this is one product it would be hard for me to do without!

Professionals Choice Comfort Fit Low Back Support  is my go to back brace. This brace has helped me more than any other with low back and low abdominal pain. The lumbar pad provides support without the uncomfortable restriction and poking of metal supports. The band is wide, covering the entire lower back.  It has an adjustable Velcro front closure along with adjustable Velcro side panels which can be tightened or loosened to provide support and compression.  The brace also reflects your body heat back into the muscles, providing warmth to tight sore muscles. For those with recent injuries or flare-ups, it is comfortable enough wear all night and will not disrupt your sleep.

The brace is made of closed-cell, limestone-based Neoprene which is extremely durable and resilient. The brace retains it's shape over years of use and does not absorb moisture.  It can be machined washed on the gentle cycle.

I have recommended this brace to many clients and friends with chronic low back pain and everyone has commented how much it helps relieve their pain and helps with mobility. As with other back braces, it may not help much with sciatica pain, but it can provide additional support and warmth to low back muscles which may bring some relief. But if you have muscle, tendon or ligament injuries, new or old, I highly recommend that you try this brace!


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 an abdomen band that will hold the wrap in place. The brace is pliable neoprene which provides warmth and making 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.


Trigger Point Self  Treatment For Gluteus Medius Hip, Buttock, Leg and Low Back Pain

Do you know that muscle 'knots' and other dysfunction in the gluteus medius muscle can cause pain throughout the hips, buttocks, legs and low back?

If you are interested in treating back 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. If you suffer from 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 Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.
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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