For an in-depth look at trigger points we recommend Save Yourself From Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain by Paul Ingraham. If you buy this book today you can get a copy of Paul’s other book, Save Yourself From Low Back Pain, for free!
The Gluteus Minimus helps to support the hips while walking. It is located deep in the hip under the layers of the other Gluteal muscles. The Gluteus Minimus is one of the most difficult muscles to treat when it comes to trigger points.
Even though the Gluteus Minimus is rather small in comparison to the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus, it can still cause a brutal amount of pain that radiates surprisingly far from the source. The pain can travel from underneath the butt cheek all the way down the side of the leg and into the calf muscle.
Because the Gluteus Minimus is often overlooked by doctors, chiropractors, and massage therapists, it is often the culprit behind unrelenting pain that can have you and your doctors hard-pressed to find the cause.
Trigger points in the Gluteus Minimus are often aggravated by and confused with trigger points in the Quadratus Lumborum, Gluteus Medius, Piriformis, Tensor Fasciae Latae, Vastus Lateralis, Peroneus Longus, and the Hamstring muscles.
Pain caused by Trigger Points in the Gluteus Minimus can be very intense, like many other Trigger Points, and it can cause numbness in the referred pain areas as well, often being confused for sciatica.
Gluteus Minimus Trigger Points can cause pain while walking or standing, and they can make it difficult to get out of a chair without extreme pain. They may also cause a limp on one side and make it hard to cross the legs or roll over or get out of bed.
There are generally two places that trigger points form in the Gluteus Minimus. You can see the Gluteus Minimus and the expected trigger points labeled in this picture, the trigger points are marked in blue:
In the images below this text you can see the approximate location of the trigger points from the outside of the body. Note that in the pictures below you can’t see the Gluteus Minimus very well because it is mostly hidden behind the Gluteus Maximus in these images.
The red dots are where the trigger points are usually located, and the blue areas are the common areas of referred pain that are associated with them.
Gluteus Minimus Trigger Point #1:
Gluteus Minimus Trigger Point #2:
Treating Trigger Points in the Gluteus Minimus
Luckily, trigger points are fairly easy to deal with once you understand them and know where to find them. There are many ways to treat your trigger points once you can locate them.
The hardest part about the Gluteus Minimus Trigger Points is getting through the deep layers of tissue that cover the muscle itself. To do this, first go back and look at picture above that shows the Gluteus Minimus muscle. Now think of where that would be in your body. Understand what action it performs. You can feel the Gluteus Minimus working when you shift your weight from side to side.
It’s nearly impossible to hurt yourself when you’re treating yourself, because if it hurts your instant reaction is to stop before causing damage. Aim for a level of pain of about an 8 out of 10 with 10 being intolerable.
The Tennis Ball Trick
Get a regular tennis ball and place the ball between the wall and your hip/buttocks so that it can get to your Gluteus Minimus. Slowly apply pressure and move around until you feel ‘the spot’. You’ll know when you feel it by the ‘it hurts but feels good’ sensation. It hurts, but you know it’s gotta go.
Apply pressure seeking about an 8 out of 10, and hold that pressure on the trigger point for about 30 seconds. Do this for any remaining trigger points that you find.
You may need to do this for several days to get your trigger points to fully break up, but keep at it and soon they will go away and you will be able to rest on the ball for 30 seconds with no pain. It will actually feel good once you’ve got rid of all of your trigger points!
Don’t go using a cue ball or a golf ball or a marble and wonder why it doesn’t work or that it hurts. Use a tennis ball or a Kong brand dog toy, they are the best kind for this purpose.
You could also have someone assist you with their elbow for this particular muscle.
You can also try using a TheraCane which is specifically designed for self treating trigger points. You can get a TheraCane here.
We also recommend the Complete Self Treatment Kit for Trigger Points.