(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 ▲
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 March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT, GCS
Last Updated: 3/18/2013
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.