Everyday activities and many occupations can place extra pressure on the hip joint, causing severe gluteus minimus pain. The gluteus minimus is a vital part of our ability to walk, run, and jump as it attaches our hip bone to our upper leg.
We even rely on the strength and good health of this muscle to help us stand up. Prolonged periods of standing, sitting, and lifting heavy objects are just a few gluteus minimus pain causes. We will look at the common symptoms, causes, and options for gluteus minimus pain treatment.
The gluteus minimus is a triangle-shaped muscle on the outside of the hip connecting the pelvic high-arching bone known as the ilium, into the front of the thigh bone at the greater trochanter, the bone protruding on the side of the hip. It is found under the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus muscles. The gluteus minimus stabilizes the pelvis and allows hip abduction and thigh rotation.
Gluteus Minimus Pain Causes
We can damage or injure the gluteus minimus muscle by carrying out regular everyday tasks. Common and unusual actions that can affect this muscle include:
- Prolonged periods of sitting with your legs crossed
- Walking while carrying heavy objects
- Sitting with a thick wallet in your back pocket
- Standing with weight placed on one side of the body
- Limping without the use of a supportive device
- Balancing a young child or heavy object on one hip
Gluteus Minimus Pain Symptoms
One of the first signs of trouble may be an ache or pain in the hip region. It may be mild or severe, depending on the cause and severity of the damage.
Gluteus minimus pain often is excruciating and can be agonizing when in motion, such as with walking or standing from a sitting position. The pain may radiate from the area behind the calf down to the ankle. The affected hip region will also have pain when there is compression from lying down on that side. The buttocks, back, and the outer regions of the hip and thigh can also be painful.
Sufferers may also experience a numbness sensation in the hip, thigh, and buttocks that radiate down to the ankle. There may also be difficulty when attempting to cross the legs.
Gluteus Minimus Pain Risk Factors
Minor and serious cases of gluteus minimus pain may be a factor both for and of various medical conditions. These can include but are not limited to hip dislocation, sciatica, intervertebral stenosis, trochanteric bursitis, piriformis syndrome, sacroiliac joint displacement, ankylosing spondylitis, and cauda equina syndrome.
Gluteus Minimus Pain Treatment
After any injury or damage to the body, it is important to rest the affected region as well as the entire body for a few days. Your body will then begin the natural healing process.
There are things you can do to help with the proper healing of the gluteus minimus while alleviating symptoms. Follow a rehabilitation plan with flexibility, isometric, and dynamic resistance exercises along with any required medication.
Treatment should begin with managing the pain while eliminating any inflammation and swelling of the gluteus minimus. While excruciating pain may require the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, a cold compress applied to the affected area may also help. Repeat the compress treatment two or three times each day for 15- to 20-minute treatments.
2. Heat Therapy
Heat on any injury gives the entire body a sense of ease and peace. Use a heating pad, a wrapped hot water bottle, or a warm compress directly on the hip area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Doing this may also alleviate pain and discomfort. Heat therapy is not to be used in conjunction with a cold compress or ice pack.
3. Supports and Wraps
During healing, the hip joint may need to be stabilized with a support or wrap designed for the region. Choose one that has a snug fit but not too tight. Using a support or wrap may prevent the inflammation from spreading and alleviate any swelling.
Flexibility dynamic and static stretch exercises along with strengthening isometric and dynamic resistance exercises may target loss of mobility, lingering mild pain, and muscle weakness.
3 Effective Gluteus Minimus Exercises
We have listed three gluteus minimus pain exercises to help you get relief.
1. Outer Hip Stretches
Lay on your back on the floor with one leg out straight and the other bent at the knee. Place the foot of the bent leg on the inside of the right knee and twist the hips as you have the inside of the bent leg touch the floor. Pull the knee down for a hold of 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
2. Gluteal Muscle Stretch
Lay on your stomach on the floor with one leg bent under the abdomen and the other leg straight on the floor. Bend forward at the waist and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
3. Sitting Gluteus Muscle Stretch
Sit on the floor with the bottom of one foot against the inner part of the opposite thigh and the other leg straight on the floor. Keep your spine straight as you bend forward as far as you can without strain or discomfort. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Gluteus minimus pain can be so severe that it can disrupt your daily activities and possibly diminish your ability to enjoy the simple pleasures in life such as walking. The gluteus minimus muscle of the hip helps us rotate and bend at the waist and gives us the ability to walk, jump, and stand up.
Overusing and placing extra pressure on the hip can cause excruciating pain. The pain may also be felt in the back, thighs, and lower legs. Treatment of gluteus minimus pain may require medical attention for serious cases. Stretching exercises, compresses, and wraps can be a part of the healing process at home.
“Gluteus Minimus Strain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Recovery,” ePain Assist, May 19, 2017; https://www.epainassist.com/sports-injuries/hip-injuries/gluteus-minimus-strain, last accessed August 1, 2017.
“Gluteus Minimus Muscle: Buttocks, Hip, Thigh, Knee, Calf, Ankle Pain,” The Wellness Digest; http://thewellnessdigest.com/gluteus-minimus-muscle-buttocks-hip-thigh-knee-calf-ankle-pain/, last accessed August 1, 2017.
Miller, S., “Stretches For A Strained Gluteus Minimus,” Livestrong, June 22, 2015; http://www.livestrong.com/article/343048-stretches-for-a-strained-gluteus-minimus/, last accessed August 1, 2017.