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Gluteus Medius Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Medically Reviewed by Cellaxys

By Published: March 20, 2024No Comments
gluteus medius pain
Dr Pouya Mohajer


Medically Reviewed

Published on: March 20, 2024 | Updated on: March 3, 2024

Do you spend most of your time sitting in one place? If so, you’re more likely to strain your gluteus medius muscle, located on the upper buttock below the iliac crest. Prolonged sitting sessions can weaken this muscle, leading to loss of proper function, limited range of motion, and intense pain.

While a sedentary lifestyle can strain this muscle, repetitive traumas from overusing workout gears, constant movements requiring hip abduction, and running can also be the culprits. In athletes, gluteus medius muscle tear is a common issue.

Gluteus medius pain can be easily treated with the RICE method at home. However, severe cases might require extensive measures like surgery that are quite painful. As an alternative to surgery, many people opt for regenerative medicine treatments. 

The Anatomy of Gluteus Medius Muscle

Anatomy of Gluteus Medius Muscle

The gluteus medius is a functional hip muscle between the gluteus minimus and the maximus. The medius lies on the gluteus minimus’ top and covers its muscle entirely. 

The gluteus maximus covers the posterior third part of the gluteus medius. A solid deep fascia layer covers the remaining anterior two-thirds region. So overall, the gluteus medius is located on the upper buttock, diagonally traveling to the hip’s side. 

The gluteus medius muscle performs the following functions:

  • It facilitates the movement of abduction at the hip joint. 
  • It supports physical activities like walking, running, and single-leg-weight-bearing by preventing the pelvic side from dropping. 
  • Its anterior region assists in the medial rotation of the hip to keep the pelvis well-balanced during gait. 

The Causes of Gluteus Medius Pain

Gluteus medius pain is a nuisance for athletes, runners, and those involved in high-impact activities like basketball, football, or heavy lifting. Performing these activities repeatedly may compromise the gluteus medius muscle’s flexibility, resulting in its rupture or tear. 

Some common causes of gluteus medius pain are:

  • Sudden trauma, hip injuries, and degenerative changes
  • Too tight hip abductors that inhibit the gluteus medius
  • Sitting in one place for prolonged periods
  • The habit of sitting cross-legged
  • Inflammation in the gluteus medius tendon
  • Degeneration of the gluteus medius ligament or tendon
  • Inability to stretch the hip flexors
  • Prolonged standing while putting most of the body weight on one side
  • Hamstring tendinopathy, buttock pain due to inflammation in the gluteus medius muscle

The Symptoms of Gluteus Medius Pain

Gluteus medius pain starts in the hip’s lateral side and may radiate to other parts. You can aggravate this pain by lying on your lateral side or walking, climbing, running, or sitting for extended periods. 

The primary symptoms of gluteus medius pain include the following:

  • Limping
  • Hip bursa inflammation
  • Tenderness in the lateral region or any other area that’s affected
  • Inability to lift weight or put pressure on the affected limb
  • Severe pain when sleeping at night
  • Sciatica
  • Decreased range of motion in the hip joint
  • Gluteus medius muscle dysfunction (rare)

Gluteus medius pain is mainly associated with other hip issues like lower back pain, bursitis, and sciatica. It’s important to consult a doctor when you experience one or all of the above symptoms. 

The Diagnosis of Gluteus Medius Pain

Since gluteus medius pain has similar symptoms as other hip-related disorders, the doctor provides different examinations to determine the exact cause of pain. The diagnosis also helps them find the severity and location of the pain.

Physical Examination

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical test to assess your:

  • Walking pattern or gait
  • Muscle strength
  • Affected muscle’s palpation

If your gluteus medius is torn or ruptured, the doctor will identify it with a positive Trendelenburg sign. In some cases, a single-leg squat test may also be needed.  

X-ray, Ultrasound, or MRI

An X-ray report will help the doctor view any pathological changes in your gluteus medius muscle. Meanwhile, an ultrasound will assist them in evaluating the tendons’ integrity. 

If your doctor opts for a musculoskeletal ultrasound, it will help them identify many issues in your muscle. These could be tendon tears, limited range of motion, and inflammation. Depending on your pain, the doctor may also use MRI for the diagnosis. 

Treatment of Gluteus Medius Pain

The primary treatment for gluteus medius pain is RICE therapy and other conventional methods. However, if the pain persists, you may need orthobiologic methods, including stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. These procedures are based on regenerative medicine. 

RICE Therapy

RICE therapy is ideal for treating muscle-related pains. It includes:

  • Rest. If any activity causes pain in your gluteus medius, stop doing it and rest.
  • Ice. Once rested, you should ice the affected area several times a day. Alternatively, you can also hot compress.
  • Compression. Wearing a compression garment or wrapping the affected area provides support to the injured gluteus medius muscle.
  • Elevation. Elevate the leg at an angle that provides you instant relief from the pain. You can also put a soft cushion between your legs to avoid muscle overstretching. 

Prolozone Therapy

Gluteus medius needs proper blood supply, oxygen, and nutrients to heal from the injury faster. Prolozone therapy includes injecting the required oxygen and nutrients into the affected area to promote healing and pain relief. This treatment permanently fixes the gluteus medius pain in most patients. 

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief. If something is causing inflammation in your gluteus medius muscle, this option will relieve them significantly.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy, including deep tissue massage and stretching, effectively promotes mobility and strengthens hip muscles. Your doctor may also suggest assistive devices, like crutches and a cane, to move with less pain.

Orthobiologic Methods

At CELLAXYS, our board-certified surgeons perform both cell-based therapies and PRP therapy. The treatment uses only the patient’s own cells, so it has a shorter recovery period and minimal risks.

Cell-Based Therapies (Stem Cell Therapy)

In this procedure, the doctor extracts the patient’s healthy cells, processes them, and reinjects them into the affected gluteus medius. When the cells are harvested from the adipose (fat) tissues, the process is called Minimally Manipulated Adipose Tissue (MMAT) Transplant. 

Meanwhile, if the doctors extracts highly concentrated cells from the bone marrow, it is called Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMAC). Both procedures take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, and you may go home right after.


In PRP, the doctor takes the patient’s blood sample to separate platelets from it. These platelets are sent to a centrifuge to make them concentrated and are reinjected into the affected area for healing. 

Platelets release 10 growth factors, attract healing cells from the blood, and produce a scaffolding called fibrin to promote new tissue development in the gluteus medius muscle. PRP takes about 45 minutes to complete, and like cell-based therapies, you can go home in a few hours.

Patients who opted for PRP or cell-based therapies for their gluteus medius pain have reported positive results and a painless, quick recovery. Contact our board-certified surgeons today to find a personalized treatment for your condition.




CELLAXYS does not offer Stem Cell Therapy as a cure for any medical condition. No statements or treatments presented by Cellaxys have been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This site contains no medical advice. All statements and opinions are provided for educational and informational purposes only.


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Dr. Pejman Bady began his career over 20 years ago in Family/Emergency Medicine, working in fast-paced emergency departments in Nevada and Kansas. He has served the people of Las Vegas as a physician for over two decades. Throughout this time, he has been met with much acclaim and is now the head of Emergency Medical Services in Nye County, Nevada. More about the doctor on this page.

gluteus medius pain

Dr Pouya Mohajer


Pouya Mohajer, M.D. is the Director of Spine and Interventional Medicine for CELLAXYS: Age, Regenerative, and Interventional Medicine Centers. He has over 20 years of experience in pain management, perioperative medicine, and anesthesiology. Dr. Mohajer founded and is the Medical Director of Southern Nevada Pain Specialists and PRIMMED Clinics. He has dedicated his career to surgical innovation and scientific advancement. More about the doctor on this page.

Dr. Pejman Bady

Dr. Pejman Bady began his career over 20 years ago in Family/Emergency Medicine, working in fast-paced emergency departments in Nevada and Kansas. He has served the people of Las Vegas as a physician for over two decades. Throughout this time, he has been met with much acclaim and is now the head of Emergency Medical Services in Nye County, Nevada. More details about the doctor on this page.


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