Limping or experiencing pain in your hip? You could have problems with your Gluteus Medius!
The gluteus medius muscle is a very important muscle in the body as it helps us to stabilise whilst walking or during any single leg activity such as running and jumping. If this muscle is dysfunctional then it can lead to walking with a limp, known as a trendelenburg gait.
When we stand on our right leg, the gluteus medius should contract and prevent the left hip from dropping. When the gluteus medius is dysfunctional, your body may have started compensating for the lack of function and may be changing movement patterns that will put extra strain on other areas. The gluteus medius muscle also takes the leg out to the side and rotates the hip externally as well as helping to stabilise the head of the thigh bone (femur) in its socket. Gluteus medius muscle dysfunction can cause issues in the lower extremities; back, hip, knee and ankle and even with the upper extremities.
Quick, Test Yourself!
Standing on one leg in front of mirror, does your other side drop? This test is not conclusive but at least it may indicate that there is an instability issue.
So What Causes the Gluteus Medius Muscle to become Dysfunctional?
- Faulty movement patterns, such as pronating feet
- Knees that collapse inwards
- Lower back issues that can cause the muscle to switch off
- Poor posture that can cause rotation in the pelvis and therefore leads to the Gluteus medius muscle to switch off as it isn’t being used correctly.
Exercises to Strengthen your Gluteus Medius
- The Clam: Lying on your side with your legs on top of each other, bend your knees to 90 degrees and keep your feet together gently lifting up your top knee.
- Lying on your side with your legs on top of each other, lift your top leg
- Standing on one leg, lift your opposite leg as if you were going to climb up a step. Squeeze the muscles within the standing leg. Do this in front on a mirror and prevent the pelvis from dropping.
- Crab walk: walk sideways with a TheraBand around the hips to add resistance.
- A single leg squat is a great exercise to do. Standing on one leg, push into your heel and squat down. The pelvis shouldn’t drop and the knee or ankle shouldn’t collapse inwards. However, always ensure that you’re doing this correctly to prevent further injuries. This should not cause pain, so seek advise from a healthcare professional about the correct technique if you experience discomfort.
It may also be that this muscle is being over worked and it can become tight and painful. In this case, the muscle needs to be stretched and released. The gluteus medius muscle sits at the top of the buttocks on the outer aspect. Using a foam roller over the area can really help to relieve the pain and tension.
For a full assessment to find out whether your gluteus medius is causing you problems then get in touch. Our specialist physios are able to see you at home or work and we are often able to arrange the first appointment within 24 hours. Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.