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Gluteus Medius Pain

In this article about Gluteus Medius pain I'm going to describe what Gluteus Medius is, why it can hurt, what its pain pattern looks like, and how to fix it. If you have pain in the lower back, upper glute, or tailbone, you are going to want to read this.

Gluteus Medius Pain - The Muscle

The Gluteus Medius muscle lies in the upper buttock region. Gluteus Medius is active during physical sports, running, walking, and virtually every activity that you do on your feet.

gluteus medius pain muscle

Gluteus Medius Muscle

Gluteus Medius Pain Triggers

As with most muscle pain phenomena, Gluteus Medius pain is typically triggered by a high-impact event where the load placed on the muscle is greater than it is conditioned to handle. This can look like any of the following:

  • Breaking into a full sprint for the first time in years
  • Lifting a heavy couch that you know damn well you can't handle
  • Playing an intense sport (basketball, football, etc.) without warmup

After Gluteus Medius pain is triggered by one of the events above, it is very likely that you may find discomfort in basic activities. Simple things like standing and walking for longer periods of time may induce pain.

Gluteus Medius Pain Pattern Chart

Gluteus Medius pain tends to develop in predictable areas of the body, as discovered by the greats Travell and Simons [1]. The following image describes the pain that can manifest by Gluteus Medius trigger points and tightness in the body, shown in bright red. Gluteus Medius pain is one of the most disgusting pain patterns due to the sheer surface area it covers.

gluteus medius pain pattern

Gluteus Medius Pain Pattern [1]

Gluteus Medius Pain Relief

Now for the good part - the relief. If you have lower back pain, glute pain, or even tailbone pain, you will want to do this next step. I personally suffered from Gluteus Medius pain for years before I realized what it was, and let me tell you it was not a good time. Cracking the code to Gluteus Medius pain relief may be the key to overall lower back and glute pain relief.

The first step to Gluteus Medius pain relief is deep tissue massage. The deep, underlying trigger of Gluteus Medius pain is constant muscle tension brought on by trigger points and tightness. We want to smash the Gluteus Medius tissue to break up all of the knots, trigger points, and tension that are causing pain.

Effective deep tissue massage can be done a few ways. The best method is to have your physical or massage therapist dig in there with their hands, but that can be expensive and inconvenient. Another method is in using a ball laying around the house. However, the best way to relieve Gluteus Medius pain is i using a purposefully designed deep tissue massage tool like QL Claw. QL Claw was designed to release all 5 muscles that can contribute to lower back pain when tight, and Gluteus Medius pain is high on that list. Check out QL Claw below: 


Gluteus Medius Release

Gluteus Medius Release Using QL Claw

After thorough Gluteus Medius release and pain relief, is can be beneficial to strengthening the muscle through Gluteus Medius exercises. Read the linked articles to learn more! 



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

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