Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

How to Heal the Gluteus Maximus

author image Erin Saether
Erin Saether is passionate about health and wellness. Saether received a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from University of Minnesota and worked as a physical therapist prior to returning to school to study biomedical engineering. She received a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin and has published her research in peer-reviewed journals.
How to Heal the Gluteus Maximus
Young female running up a set of steps outside Photo Credit: lzf/iStock/Getty Images

Gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body, helps power you up hills and stairs and supports your hip and pelvis while squatting and lunging. Treatment for a gluteus maximus injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. There are several things to do at home to ease the discomfort and promote healing, especially for mild injuries. Controlling inflammation and an appropriate exercise routine are key steps to a complete recovery and return to daily activities and athletics.

Video of the Day

Grading a Gluteus Maximus Injury

Young adult male bending over with a sore hip
Young adult male bending over with a sore hip Photo Credit: YanLev/iStock/Getty Images

A strain or tear of the gluteus maximus can occur during athletic activities, most likely while playing dynamic sports that require running, jumping and quick accelerations. The strain can be graded as minimal, moderate or severe. These grades correspond roughly to the approximate severity of symptoms and time frame for healing. A minimal strain will heal faster than a moderate or severe strain and it can typically be managed with a home treatment program. If you have moderate to severe pain, or if you're having difficulty moving your hip, you may have a more serious injury and should consult your doctor. Severe gluteus muscle tears may require surgery.

Comfort Measures and Home Remedies

Young woman takes two tablets to help reduce inflammation
Young woman takes two tablets to help reduce inflammation Photo Credit: psphotograph/iStock/Getty Images

Immediately after a muscle injury, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends applying the principles of R.I.C.E. -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This will help with pain and inflammation. You may also consider over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), after consulting your doctor. You will want to be cautious during this initial phase of healing, which lasts 1 to 3 days. Once the pain and inflammation have subsided, you can start gentle hip range-of-motion exercises and progress to more challenging exercises as tolerated.

Exercise and Rehabilitation

Young man practicing yoga
Young man practicing yoga Photo Credit: Erik Isakson/Blend Images/Getty Images

Rehabilitation for a gluteus maximus strain includes stretching, aerobic activities and strengthening. Gentle stretching is necessary to prevent stiffness of the muscle and surrounding tissue. Aerobic exercise helps by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the injured muscle and promotes healing. Performing aerobic activities also warms up the muscle and allows for easier stretching. Strengthening exercises should be incorporated to fully restore muscle function. According to a review in the November 2005 issue of "New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy," a full squat and running on an incline require the greatest gluteus maximus function. When doing exercises, start gradually and increase the intensity until you are able to do these 2 activities normally.

When to See Your Doctor

Young woman meets with her doctor
Young woman meets with her doctor Photo Credit: javi_indy/iStock/Getty Images

If your injury appears to be moderate to severe, seek advice from your doctor before beginning any treatment at home. Any time your pain worsens while exercising, stop the activity and consult with your doctor. Also, contact your doctor if the pain does not seem to be improving or is getting worse over time. This may indicate that your pain is not actually caused by a gluteal maximus injury. The gluteal region is a common area of referred pain, meaning the pain you feel may be coming from a different location, such as your lower back. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your pain and advise on the most appropriate course of treatment.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media