Gluteal Strain

A strained gluteal muscle is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles in the buttocks. Gluteal strain is not a common sports injury. Treatment depends on the severity of the strain. Posterior Hip and Thigh MusclesCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Causes

    A gluteal strain can be caused by:

    • Stretching the gluteal muscles beyond the amount of tension that they can withstand
    • Suddenly putting stress on the gluteal muscles when they are not ready for the stress
    • Using the gluteal muscles too much on a certain day
    • A direct blow to the gluteal muscles

  • Definition

    A strained gluteal muscle is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles in the buttocks.

    Gluteal strain is not a common sports injury. Treatment depends on the severity of the strain.

    Posterior Hip and Thigh Muscles
    Posterior Thigh Muscles
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.


    Most gluteal strains can be diagnosed with a physical exam. Your doctor may want images of the area if severe damage is suspected. Images may be taken with
    MRI
    .

    Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:

    • Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers.
    • Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers.
    • Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers. This may also be called a rupture or avulsion.

  • Prevention

    To reduce the chance that you will strain a gluteal muscle:

    • Keep your gluteal muscles strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress.
    • Learn the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. This will decrease stress on all your muscles, including your gluteal muscles.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of getting gluteal strain include:

    • Participation in sports that require bursts of speed. This includes track sports like running, hurdles, or long jump. Other sports include basketball, soccer, football, or rugby.
    • Previous gluteal injury.
    • Fatigue.
    • Overexertion.
    • Tight gluteal muscles.

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Pain and tenderness in the buttocks
    • Stiffness in the gluteal muscles
    • Weakness of the gluteal muscles
    • Bruising on the buttocks

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Recovery time ranges depending on the grade of your injury. Treatment steps may include: