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Gluteus Medius Trigger Points - What They Are And How To Release Them

The Gluteus Medius muscle is critical for a healthy lower back and hips. Without Gluteus Medius it would be impossible to walk, stand, and lift properly. Glute Medius trigger points can cause this powerful muscle to pull the pelvis downward - resulting in the loss of the natural lower back curve and a whole lot of pain.

Read on to learn what causes Gluteus Medius trigger points and how to release them!

Topics:

  1. Gluteus Medius function
  2. Gluteus Medius trigger point pain pattern
  3. Glute Medius trigger point pain symptoms
  4. Gluteus Medius trigger point release
gluteus medius trigger points and anatomy

Gluteus Medius Muscle [1]: The Gluteus Medius (red) along with Gluteus Maximus (white, cut) and Gluteus Minimus (white, located under Gluteus Medius)

 

Gluteus Medius Function:

The Glute Medius muscle functions as a hip abductor, meaning it extends the leg out directly to the side of the body as in the picture below. This function is not too common in the human experience - the Gluteus Medius gets most of its work from walking and running.

What Causes Gluteus Medius Trigger Points

Gluteus Medius Function - Hip Abduction

Gluteus Medius is also active while standing on one leg. When standing on your right leg, your right Glute Medius is engaged to prevent you from falling over to the left. This translates to the single-leg stability required during sprinting or distance jogging - Gluteus Medius works hard while on each leg to keep the body upright. If you feel sore in the upper buttocks (some describe it as the "pocket of the hip" - see image below) after running, your Gluteus Medius muscle was likely worked hard.

Gluteus Medius Trigger Points - Muscle

Gluteus Medius Muscle Location

Due to its crucial role in hip stability, Gluteus Medius is also very active in high-impact sports and during heavy lifting. Advanced athletes tend to be very strong in this region, especially if their sport requires lateral movement. On the contrary for the layman, it is easy for the average person to strain their dormant Gluteus Medius when doing any physical activity that he is unconditioned for. 

 

Gluteus Medius Trigger Points Referred Pain:

This is your friendly reminder that it is a mistake to assume the source of Gluteus Medius trigger points is coming from where it hurts [2]. As stated by Amber and Clair Davies - "It's a mistake to assume the problem is in the place that hurts!" [2]. The Gluteus Medius trigger points are no exception and should be taken seriously as a potential source of lower back issues.

The Gluteus Medius pain chart is gnarly. Gluteus Medius trigger points can refer pain to the lower back, tailbone, buttock, and everywhere else you see the pink madness below. More on referred pain and trigger point charts here. You can also read more on how to relieve buttock muscle pain.

Gluteus Medius Trigger Point Referred Pain Patterns

Gluteus Medius Trigger Point Referred Pain Patterns [1]

 

Gluteus Medius Trigger Point Pain Symptoms:

According to Travell & Simons: "Patients with active trigger points in the gluteus medius muscle are likely to have a chief report of pain during walking and with weight-bearing activities." [1]. The patient will typically report increased pain with carrying a load, walking, running, or climbing up stairs [1].

Patients also may struggle with standing too long, getting in and out of the car, standing up from sitting, and shifting weight laterally from one foot to the other. Pain in the low back and upper buttock region (around the waistline) are signals that Gluteus Medius trigger points should be investigated [1].

 

How To Release Gluteus Medius Trigger Points:

Gluteus Medius is a fairly wide, fan-shaped muscle with lots of room for trigger points to develop. Gluteus Medius trigger points can develop all along the wide part of the fan, around level with the waistband [2]. I typically massage the right, center, and left portions of the Glute Medius when I suspect it to contain tightness, and this has proved effective.

The best tool to release Gluteus Medius trigger points is the QL Claw device. With the QL Claw, you can massage trigger points in all 5 muscles that contribute to lower back pain - and Gluteus Medius is high on that list. The Ramp portion of the Claw offers a nice base of support on the tailbone while the Trigger portion releases Gluteus Medius trigger points like none other. Own your pain with QL Claw today!

Gluteus Medius Trigger Point Release Using the QL Claw Device

Gluteus Medius Trigger Point Release Using the QL Claw

Video: Gluteus Medius Trigger Point Release (Using QL Claw)

 

Check out the links below on Gluteus Medius release and our Gluteus Medius release tool to rid yourself of Gluteus Medius trigger points for good!

Gluteus Medius Release

QL Claw

 

Sources:

[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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