Conditions Treated

Glute Muscle Imbalance: EP’s Chiropractic Team

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The gluteal muscles/glutes comprise the buttocks. They are a powerful muscle group that consists of three muscles. The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The glute muscles help power physical performance and daily movements like walking, standing, and sitting and help to prevent injuries to the core, back, abdominal muscles, and other supporting muscles and tissues. Individuals can develop a glute imbalance where one side becomes more dominant and activates more or is higher than the other. An imbalance that is not addressed can lead to further muscle imbalance, posture problems, and pain issues. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can develop a personalized treatment plan to relieve symptoms and restore alignment, balance, and health.

Glute Muscle Imbalance

Strong, healthy glutes promote lumbopelvic stability and rhythm, meaning they keep the low back and pelvis in correct alignment to prevent strains and injuries. Glute imbalance occurs when one side of the glutes is larger, stronger, or more dominant. Glute imbalances are common and part of normal human anatomy, as the body is not perfectly symmetrical. Shifting and utilizing the more dominant side when taking on weight or picking up objects is normal, so the one side gets bigger. Just as an individual prefers one hand, arm, and leg over another, one glute side can work harder and become stronger.

Causes

There are several causes of glute muscle imbalance, including:

  • Anatomical variations- Everyone has uniquely shaped muscles, attachment points, and nerve pathways. These variations can make one side of the glutes more dominant or stronger.
  • Unhealthy posture.
  • Back pain symptoms can cause individuals to take on unhealthy postures and positioning, like leaning on one side.
  • Pre-existing injuries.
  • Inadequate rehabilitation from a previous injury.
  • Nerve injuries.
  • Ankle sprains can lead to reduced glute activation.
  • Improper training
  • Leg length discrepancies
  • Atrophy
  • Spine condition
  • Job occupation
  • Sports factors may prioritize one side of the body over the other.

Shifting the Body

When pain presents in one body area, signals are sent to caution the other muscles to contract/tighten as a protective mechanism to prevent further injury. These changes alter movement patterns, leading to muscular imbalances in the glutes and other areas. Individuals who do not rehabilitate from an injury properly can be left with an imbalance.

Chiropractic Relief and Restoration

This condition needs to be addressed to prevent further injuries and issues with posture. Treatment varies depending on the individual and the extent of the problem. A treatment plan to prevent and improve some forms of glute imbalance may include the following.

  • Spinal decompression will stretch out the body and muscles to a workable position.
  • Therapeutic massage will relax the muscles and increase blood flow.
  • Chiropractic adjustments to realign the spine and body.
  • Targeted stretches and exercises will be provided to maintain alignment.
  • Unilateral training or training one side of the body at a time can help build and strengthen the weaker side.
  • Core strengthening can work out the differences on both sides of the body.

Chiropractic Approach for Pain Relief


References

Bini, Rodrigo Rico, and Alice Flores Bini. “Comparison of linea alba length and core-muscles engagement during core and lower back orientated exercises.” Journal of Bodywork and movement therapies vol. 28 (2021): 131-137. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.07.006

Buckthorpe, Matthew, et al. “ASSESSING AND TREATING GLUTEUS MAXIMUS WEAKNESS – A CLINICAL COMMENTARY.” International Journal of sports physical therapy vol. 14,4 (2019): 655-669.

Elzanie A, Borger J. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Maximus Muscle. [Updated 2023 Apr 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538193/

Liu R, Wen X, Tong Z, Wang K, Wang C. Changes of gluteus medius muscle in the adult patients with unilateral developmental hip dysplasia. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012;13(1):101. doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-101

Lin CI, Khajooei M, Engel T, et al. The effect of chronic ankle instability on muscle activations in lower extremities. Li Y, ed. PLoS ONE. 2021;16(2):e0247581. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0247581

Pool-Goudzwaard, A. L. et al. “Insufficient lumbopelvic stability: a clinical, anatomical and biomechanical approach to ‘a-specific’ low back pain.” Manual therapy vol. 3,1 (1998): 12-20. doi:10.1054/math.1998.0311

Vazirian, Milad, et al. “Lumbopelvic rhythm during trunk motion in the sagittal plane: A review of the kinematic measurement methods and characterization approaches.” Physical therapy and Rehabilitation vol. 3 (2016): 5. doi:10.7243/2055-2386-3-5

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Glute Muscle Imbalance: EP's Chiropractic Team" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
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