The Forgotten Muscle

A pain in the hip! The Gluteus Minimus

This little muscle boasts a powerful reputation as an Abductor (moving you leg sideways away from your body) and as a hip/pelvis stabilizer.

The muscle lies underneath the big glut max, and glut medius. The Minimus function differs from its 2 brothers, the max and med. More of a stabilizer for running, squatting, and sports with dynamic movements.

The pressure placed upon the muscle can easily lead to pain, tightness and a ‘just not right’ feeling when squatting or running. This pressure is commonly turned into an overuse injury or small tears in the muscle, so knots/adhesions are likely to form. From this, a ‘ball’ can be felt on the rear side of the hip bones. A typical ‘waddle gait’ is noticed when walking also. This is characterized from the person having more of a leg sideways movement when walking. Pain also usually will refer down the leg and the tightness will generally lead to the hip dysfunctioning and a second problem in the lower back can be felt.

Massage combined with active soft tissue release (when the muscle is held and movement is forced by yourself) is a great way to get extra blood flow and nerve recognition to the muscle allowing for a better healing and function processes.

To add to potential issues, especially for those seriously into their training, the nerve supply for the Glut Minimus is from the L4, L5 and S1 joints of the spine. Therefore, if you have or have had issues with your sacroiliac joint this has the possibility of impinging the nerve supply and altering the correct function of the gluteal minimus muscle.

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