The gluteus minimus is an important muscle in the buttock and there are many gluteus minimus trigger points to treat. This fan-shaped muscle arises from the pelvis and attaches to the femur or the main leg bone. When you stand on one leg the gluteus minimus will contract to balance you.
You can find myofascial triggers in the muscle by pressing into the soft tissue of the side of your hip or buttock area. It is best to lie on your side so the overlying gluteus medius muscle is relaxed.
The gluteus minimus plays a vital part of the stabilization of the pelvis. It is used constantly whilst you are standing, walking or doing anything in an upright position. It’s a relatively small and deep posture muscle and is therefore vulnerable to overuse and tension. And this is why it often harbours trigger points.
There are complex patterns of pain referral from gluteus minimus trigger points. One set of triggers occurs toward the front of the muscle and will refer pain to a thin band down the outside of the leg. This band of soreness may reach right down to the ankle.
Strangely, this band of pain down the leg is not felt over the outside of the knee. Myofascial points occurring further back in the muscle are often felt deep within the buttock and refer in a broad band down the back of the thigh to just below the knee.
These patterns mimic the ache of sciatica. Sciatica is caused by irritation or compression of the nerve exiting the spinal cord and also causes discomfort right down the leg.
Because the pain is in a similar place, it is common to confuse the two problems. The way to tell between the two causes is this: tingling, numbness, and weakness occur with sciatica, but do not occur with trigger points in the gluteus minimus muscle.
One important point – you can get sciatica and trigger points around gluteus minimus at the same time. In fact, tense muscles caused by the discomfort of sciatica can set off trigger points in this muscle.
To reach the gluteus minimus press into the area deeply. If you do have triggers in this muscle you will feel tenderness deep in your buttock. This may be localized to the area you pushing or may cause pain down your leg.
To effectively turn off trigger points, use the ischemic pressure technique. However, since gluteus minimus is a deep muscle, and hard to reach, you’re better of using a trigger point tool like a Theracane, rather than your hands.
Because the gluteus minimus is a fan-shaped muscle with a broad attachment at the top, you need to stretch both the back and the front.
You do this by lying on a bed, and allowing your top leg to stretch over to your front side (to stretch the back.) And then allow your top leg to stretch out behind you, over the edge of the bed (to stretch the front.)
If you want to find out more about treating trigger points, just click the link below. You’ll get a free information pack and join a free email course on trigger point releases and pain relief techniques.