Spire Injury Clinic

Deactivated/Weakened Gluteus Medius

Deactivated/Weakened Gluteus Medius

Fig 1 Lateral Sling

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Fig 2 Trendelenburg Gait

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Deactivated/Weakened Gluteus Medius

The Gluteus Medius (G Med) is key in one leg stability. The muscle itself can perform multiple movements including internal and external rotation of the coxal joint but is a key muscle during the gait cycle and dynamic pelvic stability. For this reason runners seem to suffer the worst symptoms from a dysfunctional G Med. The G Med works in a muscular sling called the Lateral Sling. This is comprised of ipsilateral Leg Adductors and G Med and contralateral Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Fig 1. In hip abduction the G med should initiate the movement followed by the ipsilateral Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) then the ipsilateral QL. If the G Med does not function correctly during the gait cycle a Trendelenburg gait may be adopted by the body. Fig 2

So a dysfunction in the G Med can cause over recruitment of any of its' associated muscles. Poor G Med function allows the knee to drift medially which in turn causes the ankle to over pronate. This can lead to conditions such as Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS Runners Knee), Lateral knee pain,  Achilles Tendinopathy, Plantar Fasciitis, Piriformis Syndrome. An over recruitment of the QL because of a poor G Med function accounts for a vast amount of back pain I see in my clinic.

Below is a week by week guide on how to stretch and exercise to restore normal G Med function in conjunction with your sports massage.

Week 1

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each side

Week 2

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each side

 Week 3 

Stretches pre exercise

Exercises - Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each side

Week 4

Stretches - If Active Piriformis proves to difficult go back to the MET stretch

Exercise

Week 5

Stretches - If Active Piriformis proves to difficult go back to the MET stretch

Exercise