CHARLOTTE – The third gluteus muscle is the gluteus minimus, the smallest in the gluteus muscle groups. This glute muscle is located of course in the buttocks/hip area and is a fan-shaped muscle deep within your hip structure. The minimus muscle helps push your thigh away from your body and assists the gluteus medius with its jobs (look at my previous column). Part of the muscle flexes the hip and helps rotate the thigh inward. It also helps stabilize your hip.
How does your massage therapist know it’s your gluteus minimus that is the issue? One way is to look at your symptoms. First, where do you feel the pain exactly? Does it start at the end of the spine and end at your ankle? Sometimes we may think that’s sciatica, however, if you have pain but no numbness or weakness, then it very well can be your gluteus minimus muscle. Your therapist can also test the area to see if you feel pain or discomfort while rotating your thigh inwards or flexing your hip.
Besides the sciatica-like pain track, you might also have pain in your buttocks, pain on the outside of your hip and/or thigh, pain in the back of your calf, and pain in the back of your thigh.
Visually we might notice that your gait is off and that you are compensating on one side of your body because the minimus is upsetting the other.
Talk with your therapist to see what your options are.
-Lisa Lane (#13098) is a licensed massage therapist and owns Massage Sanctuary in downtown Mint Hill. Contact her at (704) 773-6863 (leave voicemail or text).