Symptoms: Gluteus Medius/Minimus Syndrome is often described as a deep, dull ache or pain in the buttocks that commonly radiates outward to other areas of the body. The level of pain felt isn’t usually related to the state of rest or activity. Instead, the pain is felt most when one is startled or makes a sudden movement.
Overview: When the gluteus medius and minimus muscles in the buttocks are overworked, they often react by becoming tight. Our bodies try to compensate by going into a constant state of contraction in order to perform what we’re asking them to do.
For the short haul, our bodies recover and life goes on. Eventually, if we overwork our bodies, it catches up to us and our overworked body parts become exhausted and can’t perform as well, or become limited in what they can do. When the body part affected is the buttocks, it’s known as gluteus medius muscle syndrome or gluteus minimus muscle syndrome. Because the two muscles are so similar, they are often referred to collectively as gluteus medius/minimus muscle syndrome.
Causes of tight gluteus medius or gluteus minimus muscles include: muscle imbalances, poor posture, poor spinal or foot mechanics, or almost anything that overworks the muscles. When the muscles become overworked they develop minor strains. The body reacts with an inflammatory response which you feel as pain.
Excess work in these muscles is the leading cause of the syndrome, so runners are especially susceptible, as in anyone who is engaged in an activity that overuses their gluteus muscles. Since overwork of these muscles is one of the causes of the syndrome, it’s important for people with gluteus medius/minimus syndrome to stay away from activities that aggravate the muscles. Counter- intuitively, inactivity isn’t necessarily the answer either. To care for gluteus medius/minimus syndrome, it would be helpful to first consult with Dr. Suzan at Star Chiropractic and Nutrition to determine which course of treatment would best serve you.