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(Pulled Gluteal Muscle)
by Laurie LaRusso, MS, ELS
A strained gluteal muscle is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles are a group of 3 muscles in the buttocks.
A gluteal strain can be caused by:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase your chance of getting gluteal strain include:
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Most gluteal strains can be diagnosed with a physical exam. Images may be needed if severe damage is suspected. Images may be taken with an MRI scan.
Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Recovery time ranges depending on the grade of your injury. Treatment steps may include:
Your muscles will need time to heal. RICE is often the main part of treatment:
Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be advised to reduce pain and inflammation.
To reduce the chance that you will strain a gluteal muscle:
American Council on Exercise
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Bourne MN, Timmins RG, Opar DA, et al. An evidence-based framework for strengthening exercises to prevent hamstring injury. Sports Med.2018;48(2):251-267.
Derry S, Moore RA, Gaskell H, McIntyre M, Wiffen PJ. Topical NSAIDs for acute musculoskeletal pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.2015;(6):CD007402.
Lehecka BJ, Edwards M, Haverkamp R, et al. Building a better gluteal bridge: Electromyographic analysis of hip muscle activity during modified single-leg bridges. Internat J Sports Phys Ther. 2017;12(4):543-549.
Muscle strains in the thigh. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated March 2014. Accessed February 23, 2018.
Sports-related groin pain. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated March 2, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2018.
10/26/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed...: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
Last reviewed February 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT, GCS
Last Updated: 3/18/2013
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