20/08/2021 / Health and Fitness

Seven Signs of a Gluteus Medius (pelvic muscle) Tear

Gluteus medius is a major muscle group of the hip, significant for lower body movement, supporting the pelvis during ambulation. Learn about its functions, the causes of its tear, and signs and symptoms of the tear.

Seven Signs of a Gluteus Medius (pelvic muscle) Tear
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Content


  • The condition of getting a very severe strain in the gluteus medius muscle is known as gluteus medius tear.  In this case, there is a complete or partial rupture of the muscle tissue. Gluteus medius is a major muscle group of the hip that is very important for lower body movement, which supports the pelvis during ambulation. The function of this muscle is that it acts as a hip abductor, which controls the side-to-side movement of the hip and thus provides stability to the joint. If by chance or due to an accident that might have occurred, a gluteus medius tear is caused, which creates a lot of pain and deliberation. 

  • Every muscle in the body is essential and plays a massive role in the body's movement and allows the body to do things that involve activity. One such important muscle is the gluteus muscles which consist of three parts: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The Gluteus maximus is the most significant muscle and generally located at the surface of the hip. Beneath the primary gluteus maximus buttock muscle, the gluteus medius muscle is located. And the last muscle in the gluteus muscle group is called the gluteus minimus muscle, which is present just below the gluteus medius muscle. It is generally associated with the other two gluteus muscles and helps control every movement of the hip. The gluteus medius muscle is generally found beneath the hip bursa. The pain called bursitis is generally caused due to the wear and tear of the gluteus medius. The bursa is often referred to as the IT band and is located beneath the iliotibial band. 

6 Major Functions of the Gluteus Medius Muscle

The superior gluteal nerve carries out the supply of the gluteus medius muscle. It originates in the pelvis and arises from the posterior divisions of L4, L5, and S1. The gluteus medius plays quite a few functions in the various movements of the body. Some are:

1. All the activities and movements in the abduction of the joint in the hip are controlled mainly by the gluteus medius muscle.

2. The anterior muscle of the gluteus medius abduction helps in all the probable rotational movement caused in the hip, mostly flexion and medial.

3. The posterior muscle of the gluteus medius abduction helps in all the probable rotational movement caused in the hip, primarily external and lateral.

4. The gluteus medius abduction also helps in the positioning of the hip during flexion rotational movements.

5. The gluteus medius muscle is one of the primary muscles that maintain the frontal plane and helps in stabilizing the pelvis. It is a sling facing lateral, and its primary role is to provide stability to the frontal plane.

6. The gluteus medius muscle also plays a crucial role in performing strenuous activities like walking, running, and other sports. It is the muscle that does not allow the dropping of the pelvis from the opposite side during the activities. 

Facts About Gluteus Medius (Pelvic Muscle)

4 Primary Causes of Gluteus Medius Tear

1. Gluteus medius tear generally occurs mainly in runners or athletes. Athletes who are primarily associated with vigorous intense sports such as football, basketball, etc., and people with poor, flexible gluteus muscle are the ones who predominantly suffer from a gluteus muscle tear. It occurs due to a sudden burst of any rigorous activity. When there is a traumatic injury or an overuse injury due to a particular incident, there are primarily high chances of the gluteus medius tear. 

2. The tear of the gluteus medius is also commonly caused due to chronic peritrochanteric pain (pain on the side of the hip). Such tears are primarily vague and often bring about inert symptoms. Due to the tears being vague, they are often undiagnosed and can be found during the diagnosis of other diseases. Sometimes, it may be found when a patient is going through fracture fixation or maybe the hip's arthroplasty (joint restoration). 

3. Although the etiology of the gluteus medius tear mostly remains very blurry and is most of the time not clear, they are mostly considered to be attributable and are said to be a method of a degenerative procedure of the inflammation of the connective tissue (trochanteric enthesitis), followed by chronic lateral pain in the hip.  The gluteus medius tear is also very common among middle-aged people and has been a source of causing chronic lateral pain in the hip. 

4. These tears mostly postulate and occur only after a chronic degeneration occurs in the tendon unit muscle. These patients are people who have generally been suffering from peritrochanteric pain for a long time. They are mostly asymptomatic, and it rarely occurs in such patients.

7 Major Signs and Symptoms of Gluteus Medius Tear

The gluteus medius tear can occur due to different ways of disbalance caused in different body parts. For each one of them, there is a different type of sign that associates gluteus medius tears. Some prominent signs of gluteus medius tear are:

1. When there is acute pain on the side parts of your hip or in the buttock region, sometimes, we might find it very common to have weird stretches or sudden pain in our hip region. We tend to neglect such a slight pain. However, the pain keeps on lasting longer, but we still do not take care of it. It is essential to know that although the pain in the hip region can be due to many reasons like falling, we must always get it checked, for it might be because we are experiencing a gluteus medius tear due to our injury.

2. Unnecessarily prolonged swelling or a feeling of inflammation can be another sign of gluteus medius tear. Gluteus medius tears can be caused even when a person was somehow involved in an accident. When a person falls or gets hurt and gets his buttock swollen, he often neglects it thinking it is very common. Although it is pretty common, if the swelling stays for an extended period, it might be because there is a tear in his gluteus medius. 

3. Sometimes, some injuries affect us in such a way that we have difficulty sitting too. When we attempt to sit, the hip hurts so badly that we are bound to stand up. This might happen when someone has fallen with a bad jerk on his hip. For example, say you are a basketball player. You go to put the ball in the basket, and someone pulls you from behind; you lose balance, and you fall. You do not feel any pain then and there, but you wake up and find it very difficult and painful to sleep the following day. The reason might be a tear in the gluteus medius caused due to your fall.

4. If you suddenly start limping whenever you are attempting to walk, that might also mean that you are suffering from a gluteus medius tear. This might happen very noticeably and at any point in time due to an injury caused during an activity. For example, say you are a football player. You are trying to kick the ball, and a player from the opposing team tries to kick the ball, but your leg comes in the middle, and he unintentionally kicks you in the knee, and you fall. You do not feel pain, so you get up and start playing again. You go to sleep at night, and the following day, when you get up and try going to the washroom, you start limping. This can be because of the gluteus medius tear caused by your injury.

5. A reduction in the range of your hip motion can also be a sign that you are suffering from a gluteus medius tear. You have no pain in your hip region and experience no sign of injury. But due to some very old accident where you got severely hurt in your hip region, you did not get it checked. This could be where the gluteus medius tear worked up and is causing more pain now than before.

6. You might feel a painful discomfort when you try rotating your hip one morning out of nowhere. This can be because you have had a tear in the gluteus medius, and that is why you are going through this problem.

7. Insomnia due to excessive pain is also a significant sign of a gluteus medius tear. Sometimes, it is tough to sleep due to severe pain in the joints, limbs, or hip region. This can be because there was a tear in the gluteus medius, and that is acting up, and the pain gets enhanced during nighttime.

Word of Wisdom

Although the gluteus medius tear is a severe tissue injury, the gluteus medius being soft tissue can be easily cured at home. If you do not wish to take too many medicines or go to the doctor for a tear like this, you can follow the RICE method at home. All you need to do is Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate, and you are good to go.


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