We have talked a lot at Laurens Fitness about the importance of having a strong bum. The glute muscle is one of the major movers of the body, and it is very important in order to keep your body injury free, to move more efficiently and to increase your performance in your chosen sport. Seeing as it is one of the strongest muscles in the body, and is built for strength and power, it is actually quite hard to injure. The most common gluteus injury that you will suffer from, is a gluteal strain.
It occurs when you tear one of the glute muscles. As you may or may not know, the bum is made up of three important muscles. Gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. All of these muscles start at the pelvisand they insert onto the top of the thigh bone. Their main function is hip extension, and stabilising the hip. They also assist with many other movement at the joint and are very active during running and jumping.
You can suffer from a gluteus injury if you place too much tension and pressure through the muscle. This can occur through high repetitions are by exerting too much force. In this case you will get a small tear in the muscle, which is known as a gluteus strain. They can have varying grades, from a grade 1 to a grade 3.
Grade 1: Small tears are in the muscle, there is some pain present but full function of the muscle is available.
Grade 2: More fibres are torn, siginificant pain and some loss in function.
Grade 3: Many or all muscle fibers torn and there is a major loss in muscle function.
Predisposing Factors To A Glute Strain
Any of these factors may mean that you are predisposed and more likely to suffer from a gluteal injury.
- Poor flexibility
- Muscle weakness in the glutes and hamstrings
- Tight muscles in the glutes and hip flexors
- Bad biomechanics or training techniques
- Low level of fitness and conditioning
- Inappropriate warmup
- Low level of core stability
- Bad rehabilitation from a previous injury
- Muscle imbalances
How To Treat A Gluteal Strain
This condition has a high healing rate with the appropriate treatment. Firstly it is important that the injury gets enough rest time. Any activity that is going to be performed needs to be pain and symptom free. Any activity which uses the glutes in a large way should also be avoided during the initial stages of the injury. Running and jumping are a definite no. This will allow your muscle to start to heal slowly, and prevent any further damage to the muscle tissue. As soon as these acitivities can be done pain free, and with progressions, then they can be resumed. If you try to ignore the symptoms that you are feeling, then you will likely do more damage and take more time to heal. This will not only mean the injury gets worse, but you also may be stopping the proper healing process, and you may end up having a chronic glute injury as a result. You are more prone to re injury, and less likely to recover at a fast rate.
You need to ensure that you follow the RICE principles for the first 72 hours of the injury. Stop any activities that aggravate the glute area, take anti inflammatory medication and use crutches if the injury is severe enough.
When you return to exercise and activity it needs to be done progressively. Flexibility and light strengthening work will come first, there are a lot of bum exercises that you can do to help you get back to full strength. You should then start to jog again slowly, and gradually build up your speed over time. Explosive movements such as jumping will come last, and you must ensure that you are pain free in all strengthening movements before you launch into something explosive.