Gluteus medius - how easy to tear?

7 messages
27/01/2014 at 17:57
I'm just under 3 weeks out from a marathon, and I haven't run for 2 weeks due to what looks like a gluteus medius strain (first picked up during a game of golf last summer). Now undergoing physio, ultrasound and electrotherapy, and have tried to maintain fitness with cycling and swimming. My question is: if I continue to play it safe by not running until race day, what are the chances of tearing the gluteus medius during the marathon? I don't mind pain but I don't want to tear something. I still get some pain/discomfort from daily activities; after the last long run I had of 16 miles, 2 weeks ago, I was limping for a couple of days. That's where the pain's come down from. Or - would it make more sense to try to reintroduce running to it, say in blocks of 10 minutes? Would that lessen the chance of a tear, or is it better just to save it for marathon day? Any thoughts or advice appreciated. Not looking for a time on this race, just a completion.
Edited: 27/01/2014 at 17:58
27/01/2014 at 19:12

very, very, very slim chance of a tear, stay away from machines, easy on the stretching BUT get your thoracic spine moving.

Your glut stiffens up to try to protect your lower back, because your thoracic spine is sooooo tight - the glut is the symptom, not the cause.

29/01/2014 at 16:29
Thanks six physio. Do you think from my brief description it should be fine to run the race on it in 2.5 weeks from now? And is it best to confine myself to pool and bike before then?
29/01/2014 at 17:32

I agree with Six Physio here - very slight chance of a tear and the glut is the symptom and not the cause.

In terms of if you think it's best to wait til the race, and just pool and bike from now, the truth is only you can answer that question. No health professional 'really' knows your body better than you, because you have lived in it your whole life. What do your instincts tell you?

I think what's most important for you though is to ask:

1) Why did I get this strain in the first place when playing golf?

2) What in my body is stopping it from fully recovering since last summer? 

Very often it is that there is some misalignment in your posture, and kinetic chain, so that you are not using your pelvis, hips, knees, ankles and feet the way they were designed to. Basically, they are out of position so that when you run or walk certain tissues are becoming overworked, chronically strained and 'give out'.

In your case it looks like something gave out when you played golf, it wasn’t playing golf per se, but the fact that you were playing golf with a biomechanical and postural imbalance. And because you haven’t addressed this root imbalance, the tissue is not having a chance to heal properly.

You can wear straps, get a massage, or alter your running technique, switch to cycling and swimming, or change shoes and more often than not this will give you temporary relief. Unfortunately it hasn't addressed the ROOT cause, the postural misalignment, and so the pain either returns in the same place eventually or at a different location as the strap, shoe or altered running pattern has transferred the excessive forces and dysfunction to a different location in the body.

Good luck, take care and feel free to ask me any questions.

Ameet Bhakta

Postural Alignment Specialist



29/01/2014 at 17:34

I tried to race a Hm having rested that injury for two weeks.

It let go totally at 5 miles and I ended up in an ambulance.

Something else. There was no pain. Just a series of massive muscle spasms that stopped me even walking. That's a muscle tear. 

Edited: 29/01/2014 at 17:36
29/01/2014 at 21:02
strunner wrote (see)
Thanks six physio. Do you think from my brief description it should be fine to run the race on it in 2.5 weeks from now? And is it best to confine myself to pool and bike before then?

Cor - that's tricky in 2 weeksish - it all depends on what you do from now till then.

Go for your life in the pool and on a bike BUT if you do not improve your thoracic motion and posture (when running, swimming and biking) it's all very much over....

Running isn't the issue, the lack of control is. Get more control and 16m+ is no barrier.

30/01/2014 at 17:27
Geez interesting perspectives thanks for these! I'm going to try a short run tomorrow and see how that feels. Unfortunately pool and gym closed for whole weekend because of holidays.

RicF - what was your story? What was the background?

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