One of the things I love about my job is that you never know what issues a client will bring through the door. This week has been a bit of a surprise - it turns out that glute strains are a bit like London Buses, none for ages then 2 turn up at once.
pic by wikicommons
in a previous blog post I've talked about muscle strains which are basically small tears in the muscle ranging from mild (grade 10 to severe (grade 3).
There are 3 muscles in the gluteal group which form the buttocks:
James has a flat back posture, which can often be associated with weak glutes. But in James' case, regular cross-fit workouts mean that his glutes are quite strong. In fact, the tear in James' Glute Max was caused by the fact that his muscles were over tight and then made to stretch beyond the narrow range to which they'd become accustomed.
Jake has a kyphotic-lordotic posture, with hypertonic Glute Max (the muscles in his glutes are over-tight). This hypertonicity is caused by playing football every day and never stretching (what do you expect, he's 20!). A big movement (like a harder kick than normal, or a bigger stride than normal) caused quite a bad tear in Jake's Glute Max.
For both clients, treatment involved breaking down the scar tissue that had begun to form across the muscle fibres and trying to begin the process of realigning of the tissue.
The key for both James and Jake is to reduce the hypertonicity (literally "hyper toned-ness") of the Glutes. So as well as exercising them through their sport, they need to stretch.
Regular stretching out the glutes after exercise, whilst the muscles are still warm, will help to prevent the muscles shortening artificially. This means that when big leg movements are made, the muscles are able to cope and won't rip.
As ever, if you think I can help, give me a call.