Weak gluteal muscles have wide-reaching implications up and down the kinetic chain.
The gluteus maximus plays a significant role in stabilizing both the sacroiliac joint and the knee joint. It does so by means of superior fibers, which attach to the aponeurosis of the sacrotuberous ligament, and inferior fibers, which attach anteriorly to the iliotibial band, providing tension down to the knee.
Because the gluteus muscles are also called on to support and stabilize our core - they are called into action without our realizing it when we are sitting at a work desk, or driving for long periods.
Gluteus Maximus - Common Trigger Point Sites
Overuse from these simple every day activities can lead to trigger points in this muscle, and these trigger points may exist for long periods without manifesting in painful symptoms.
It is also hypothesized that gluteal trigger points could be a result of inhibition in the gluteals caused by spasm in the psoas, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
The formation of these trigger points provides much-needed tension for sacroiliac support.
Gluteus Maximus - Simeon Asher demonstrates the treatment of trigger points in this sensitive area.
Pain is typically felt in the lower back and can mimic bursitis of the hip, with pain experienced at the site of the coccygeal bone and of the gluteal crease. We also note that the glutes can tend to get overlooked by some therapists, understandably, as this is a sensitive area to treat.
When clients appear in our clinics with lower back pain, we almost always check for trigger points in gluteus maximus.
Once you deal with the sensitivity of treating this area (with careful and detailed explanation to the client) trigger points in the glutes are actually quite simple to identify and treat.
As with all large muscles, these trigger points can take a while to release.
Ask your therapist about trigger points!
Gluteus Maximus - Common Pain Map
Here's a stretch that we like to recommend for these muscles:
Lie on a bench on your side. Allow the top leg to fall forward and off the side of the bench.
Try not to let your leg fall too far forward and use the weight of your leg to do the stretching for you.
Muscles Being Stretched
Primary muscles: Tensor fasciae latae. Gluteus medius and mininus.
Secondary muscles: Sartorius. Gluteus maximus.
Injuries Where This Might Be Useful
Trochanteric bursitis. Iliotibial band syndrome.
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The Vital Glutes
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
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