A strained gluteal muscle is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the group of three muscles in the buttocks.
Posterior Hip and Thigh Muscles
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This problem with the gluteal muscles may be caused by:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Images may be needed if symptoms are severe. This can be done with an MRI scan.
How long it takes to heal depends on how badly the muscles are strained. Treatment will include:
Medicines may also be given to ease pain and swelling.
This problem may be prevented by:
American Council on Exercise
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine
Bourne MN, Timmins RG, 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, 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:
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Updated September 2019. Accessed July 29, 2020.
Sports-related groin pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/sports-related-groin-pain. Updated October 31, 2019. Accessed July 29, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 3/10/2021