Glute & Hamstring Pain

Muscle pain can be caused by starting a new exercise, pregnancy or by simply going about your daily activities. Pain in the upper leg or buttocks often results from muscle pain in the hamstring or glute muscles. If you're suffering from glute or hamstring pain, identifying the cause of the pain is the first step toward relief.

Starting a running routine can cause mild pain in the glutes and hamstrings.

Exercise Induced Pain

Pain in the buttocks and upper thigh area can occur for several reasons. If you have recently begun an exercise routine that puts a lot of impact on your legs or makes heavy use of your leg muscles, you can develop pain. Some exercises that contribute to upper thigh and buttocks pain include running and leg presses. Mild to moderate muscle pain is common when beginning any exercise regimen and will often decrease as your body becomes used to the new routine.

Muscle Injury

Hamstring injuries can occur when the hamstring muscles in the back of your thigh are stretched beyond their limitations. This can result in a pull or tear. If you have started a new workout routine and have muscle pain that doesn't diminish with rest, consult with a physician to rule out an injury. According to, symptoms of a hamstring injury include a sudden severe pain in the back of your thigh, a tearing or popping sensation in the muscle, swelling, tenderness, bruising, weakness and inability to bear weight on your leg.

Pregnancy and Sciatic Nerve Pain

The pressure of a fetus and enlarged uterus during pregnancy can cause groin and buttock pain for some women. This shooting pain can occur in the glute area, but is often not the result of muscle strain. Instead, it is the result of pressure on the sciatic nerve in the back which causes radiating pain into the leg. Numbness or tingling in the buttocks and legs may also occur. For most women, this pain is intermittent and caused by walking or standing for long periods of time. If you experience sciatic-type pain that is severe or constant, contact your medical provider.

Relief from Glute and Hamstring Pain

If your glute and hamstring pain started after a new exercise routine, resting for a day between workouts can bring some relief. In addition, a warm bath can soothe sore and tired muscles. If you're suffering from a muscle injury, your doctor might recommend that you avoid putting weight on the leg by using crutches. A compression wrap, ice and an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling while the injured muscle heals. Physical therapy may be necessary to strengthen the muscle once it's healed. For sciatic pain during pregnancy, the American Pregnancy Association recommends avoiding heavy lifting and standing for extended periods. In addition, laying on your side that is opposite the pain and using warm or cold packs may bring some relief.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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