Gluteal Strain

(Pulled Gluteal Muscle)


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.
Posterior Hip and Thigh Muscles
Posterior Thigh Muscles
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A gluteal strain can be caused by:
  • Stretching the gluteal muscles beyond the amount of tension that they can withstand
  • Suddenly putting stress on the gluteal muscles when they are not ready for the stress
  • A direct blow to the gluteal muscles

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of getting gluteal strain include:
  • Participation in sports that require bursts of speed. This includes track sports like running, hurdles, or long jump. Other sports include basketball, soccer, football, or rugby.
  • Previous gluteal injury
  • Fatigue
  • Overexertion
  • Tight gluteal muscles


Symptoms may include:
  • Pain and tenderness in the buttocks
  • Stiffness in the gluteal muscles
  • Weakness of the gluteal muscles
  • Bruising on the buttocks


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 MRI scan . Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:
  • Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers
  • Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers
  • Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers; this may also be called a rupture or avulsion

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