The gluteus medius is one of the main buttock muscles that are responsible for holding the pelvis stable and supporting your body on your legs when standing, walking, or running. It also helps control the sideways movement of your legs. If the gluteus medius is strained in some way, it can become tender and tight and less able to function normally.
Causes for Gluteus Medius Dysfunction
Stress or tension alone, if it continues with some intensity over a long period of time, can make your gluteus medius tighten up. Apart from the pain this causes, the muscles may become shortened and less flexible. In addition, referred pain from the spine or hip can cause dysfunction in the muscle. However, the most common cause of injury to the gluteus medius is overworking or stretching them beyond their normal range. Athletes, particularly runners, hurdlers, and long jumpers, frequently overuse their gluteus medius and soometimes cause them to tear from failing to adequately stretch or warm up before any activity, particularly in cold weather. A less common cause of gluteus medius trauma is a direct impact, such as a heavy fall onto the buttocks, which usually leads to bruising and irritation of the underlying bursa (a protective fluid-filled sac).
Symptoms and Diagnosis for Gluteus Medius Dysfunction
Apart from buttock and hip pain on one or both sides of your body, and possibly leg pain, you may feel stiff, be slightly unstable when standing, and find moving your hip awkward. Your doctor will carry out a physical examination to establish the cause of your problems.
Risks and Recovery for Gluteus Medius Dysfunction
Minor strains and bruises will usually heal on their own within a few weeks, but if action is not taken fairly promptly to rehabilitate overtight or stretched muscles, recovery may be slower. Muscles held in a state of tension for too long will fail to regain their former range of movement and response.