Accessibility Tools

What is a Gluteal Strain?

A gluteal strain is a condition characterized by a partial or complete tear of the gluteus muscles, also known as the buttocks. The gluteus muscles are a group of strong muscles present at the back of the pelvis. These muscles help with the movement and stabilization of the hip joint. 

Gluteal strains are classified into 3 grades:

Grade 1: A few muscle fibers are torn and cause pain.

Grade 2: A significant number of muscle fibers are torn.

Grade 3: All muscle fibers are torn.

Causes of Gluteal Strain

Causes of gluteal strain include:

  • Accelerating too quickly while running
  • Direct blow to the gluteal muscles
  • Dancing
  • Soccer
  • Hurdling
  • Jumping
  • Weightlifting
  • Kicking

Symptoms of Gluteal Strain

Symptoms of gluteal strain include:

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Weakness
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling

Diagnosis of Gluteal Strain

Your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and conduct a physical examination, including an assessment of your muscle strength and gait. Your doctor may also recommend the following diagnostic tests:

  • MRI Scan: This study uses a large magnetic field and radio waves to produce images that help in detecting any pathological changes to the muscles.
  • CT Scan: This scan uses multiple X-rays to produce detailed cross-section images of the pelvic region.
  • X-rays: This study uses electromagnetic beams to produce images of the bones and can detect fractures of the hip and pelvis.
  • Ultrasound: This study uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the buttock muscles.

Treatment for Gluteal Strain

The main objective when treating a gluteal strain is to restore the normal function of the gluteus muscle. Some common treatment methods include:

  • RICE Therapy
    • Rest: Your doctor will advise you to avoid high-impact exercises and activities.
    • Ice: Apply ice to relieve pain and inflammation.
    • Compression: Pressure should be applied using an elastic bandage to the affected site to reduce pain.
    • Elevation: You will be instructed to elevate your leg to relieve swelling.
  • Medications: Your doctor will recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Exercise: Physical therapy and stretching exercises will be recommended to restore range of motion and enhance your flexibility.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Use of a pillow between your legs when sleeping to avoid positions that overstretch the muscle.
  • Assistive Devices: A cane or crutches may be used temporarily to relieve pain.
  • Massage Therapy: A hands-on technique to reduce muscle tightness.
  • Sport-Specific Exercises: Targeted exercises to prevent re-injury of the gluteus muscle.
  • Ultrasound Therapy: This accelerates the healing of injured tissue.