How to Heal the Gluteus Maximus
The gluteus maximus is the largest of the gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles are located in your buttocks; the gluteus maximus creates the rounded curve. Gluteal strains are common injuries among athletes. A muscle strain occurs when the fibers of the muscle pull away from the surrounding bone. A gluteus maximus strain can sideline you for several days or longer depending on the severity of the injury. Give yourself ample time to heal before returning to your normal workout routine.
Apply ice packs to your backside every half hour. Ice reduces both pain and inflammation associated with muscle strains. Generally, icing is effective during the first two to three days after your injury, but continue to ice as long as you experience pain.
Rest to promote healing of the gluteus maximus. Even minor pain is your body's way of telling you to slow down. Avoid activities such as running, jumping and squatting, as these movements put pressure on your gluteal muscles. Try not to climb stairs if possible until you are feeling better. Resume full activity when you can walk without limping.
Perform gluteal exercises to help stretch the muscles in your buttocks during the healing process. Lie down flat on your back. Bend the knee -- the one on the side where you have injured your gluteus maximus -- and grasp it with your hands. Bring your knee as far up to your shoulder as you can. You should feel a mild to moderate stretch in your buttocks and hip, but no pain. Hold the position for five seconds before lowering your leg. Repeat up to 10 times, but stop if you begin to feel pain.
Do core-strengthening bridges. This exercise works the muscles in your buttocks, back and stomach, helping you regain and maintain strength in these areas. Lie down on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Tighten your gluteal and abdominal muscles and raise your hips off the ground. Your hips, shoulders and knees should be in alignment with one another. Hold the bridge for two seconds before returning to the original position. Perform 10 to 20 bridges daily.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can make you more comfortable when faced with a gluteal injury. Consult your doctor before taking any type of medication or supplement.
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.