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Gluteus Maximus Pain | What It Is, Pain Pattern, Symptoms, & Relief

Gluteus Maximus pain can be a catastrophic pain in the butt. Quite literally, the Gluteus Maximus muscle can elicit a deep, aching buttock pain that can leave you confused and frustrated. Here is how Gluteus Maximus pain works and how to fix it.

gluteus maximus pain muscle

Gluteus Maximus Muscle [1]


What Is Gluteus Maximus Pain?

Gluteus Maximus pain refers to the pain patterns and symptoms caused by trigger points, tension, and knots in the Gluteus Maximus muscle. When the Gluteus Maximus is a source of pain, the pattern and symptoms are predictable. If you resonate with the symptoms below there is a great chance your Gluteus Maximus muscle is a contributing factor to your pain.

Causes: Gluteus Maximus pain is typically induced by a single high-impact event [2]. Examples of this include catching yourself falling, jumping while unconditioned, or another sudden hard contraction of the Gluteus Maximus. In addition, Gluteus Maximus pain can arise from what I call "fatigue triggering" where the Maximus is put through stress over a long period of time, and it locks up when it can't take the stress anymore.


Gluteus Maximus Pain Pattern

gluteus maximus pain pattern

Gluteus Maximus Referred Pain Pattern [1]

The pain pattern caused by the Gluteus Maximus muscle is predictable. Trigger points and tension in the muscle do not send their pain very far, so the source of your Gluteus Maximus pain is likely very close to where it is felt [2].

The Gluteus Maximus muscle is large, and trigger points tend to develop in a few key areas of the muscle mass. Work the area around your pain for the best and quickest results.


Gluteus Maximus Pain Symptoms

In addition to the pain pattern above, here are some other phenomena you may experience with Gluteus Maximus pain:

  • Extreme stiffness in the buttock [2]
  • Difficulty standing up from sitting [2]
  • Difficulty bending over to touch your toes [2]
  • Discomfort while sitting [2]
  • Pain while walking, especially up a hill [1]
  • Pain in the low back, tailbone, or glute patterns above

gluteus maximus pain sitting

A (potential) Victim Of Gluteus Maximus Pain


Gluteus Maximus Pain Relief

Fortunately, Gluteus Maximus pain relief may be closer than you think. A great 3-step process I use for releasing my Gluteus Maximus pain is 1) massage, 2) stretch, 3) strengthen.

Gluteus Maximus Pain Relief Step 1: Deep Tissue Massage

The goal of step 1 is to rid the Gluteus Maximus muscle of all knots, trigger points, and constant tension currently contributing to pain. This can be done by the hands of a physio or massage therapist, or at home with a deep tissue massage tool like QL Claw

Gluteus Maximus Pain Relief Step 2: Stretch

After thorough release of the Gluteus Maximus muscle and its pain-inducing tension, it is very important to stretch to sustain length and mobility in the glutes. This video shows 3 of my favorite Gluteus Maximus stretches - Subscribe To Us On YouTube For More!

Gluteus Maximus Pain Relief Step 3: Strengthen

The final and arguably most important step in Gluteus Maximus pain relief long-term is strengthening. The more strength and conditioning you can build into the glutes the more resilient and pain-proof you will be. Not to mention, strengthening the glutes has some awesome aesthetic and physical performance benefits as well :). Here is one of the all-time best glute strengthening exercises - the Kas Glute Bridge:




[1] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

[2] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

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