Physio: Wake up your glutes

Back or leg pain could be a result of weak gluteal muscles.

  • Mar. 19, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Do you experience back pain, pain under your kneecap or pain along the side or front of your hip while walking, hiking or running?

If so, you may be compensating for a weak muscle group by overworking another area.

Many people with chronic re-occurring injuries such as hip flexor strains, hip bursitis, iliotibial band friction syndrome, patella femoral pain syndrome or increased tone in their back extensors often also present with significant weakness in their gluteal muscles. A muscle imbalance can occur when certain muscles surrounding the hip joint are weak, tight or over activated.

The hip is a ball and socket joint, similar in structure to the shoulder joint. The ball in the hip is known as the femoral head and the socket is known as the acetabulum. Ball and socket joints allow us to move in many different directions. Since these joints give us more mobility, they rely on stability from passive structures, including the capsule and ligaments, and active structures including the muscles.

The deep gluteal muscles, including the gluteus minimus and the gluteus medius, are responsible for a great deal of stability and control around the hip joint by compressing the femoral head into the acetabulum.

Without this compression to stabilize the hip joint, other muscles have to work harder to control the pelvis which can result in an overuse syndrome. This is especially true when performing activities requiring you to be standing on one leg for part of the activity, such as walking, hiking, running, dancing and skating.

Treatment involves a gradual progression of exercises to activate the deep gluteal muscles without the quadriceps, hip flexors and back extensors becoming over activated. This conservative treatment through muscle re-education is important to encourage the weaker muscles to activate so the overactive muscle is not overworked. It is a gradual series of learning to change how your body moves by recruiting the right muscles at the right time.

If you are experiencing hip pain, a physiotherapist can perform a detailed assessment to determine which muscles may be tight, overactive or inhibited and advise you on a hip stability strengthening and stretching program based on your condition, your goals, your activities and your current ability to activate certain muscle groups. To be successful with this program, it is important that the exercises taught in the clinic are practiced regularly at home and progressed every few weeks.

 

Just Posted

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves annual Christmas dinner

Between 700 to 800 meals were served Saturday to the community

Your weekend story highlights

Every Saturday, the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

The Paperboys visit Kelowna

Check out the Rotary Centre for the Arts Jan. 27

Let it snow in Kelowna

Snow is in the forecast for this week

Photos: Adventuring in Stuart Park

Have you seen Friday’s edition of the Capital News? Check out the photos featured

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Porter blanks Blades in Rockets’ road trip finale

Rookie netminder stops 40 shots in Kelowna’s last game before Christmas break

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Meningococcal clinics open this Sunday

Interior Health is stepping up efforts to get young people vaccinated against Meningococcal.

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Most Read