Inactive Glute/Weak Hip

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by tennis_tater, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. tennis_tater

    tennis_tater Semi-Pro

    Oct 22, 2010
    I've had some recurring upper quad/hip and lower leg/calf issues for over a year now. Depending on who I have seen over the past couple of months, the problem has gone from being a statin related issue (calve pain and strained muscles allegedly caused by the evil statins), an overpronation issue (resulting in a hyper strained calf/gastroc muscle - wearing orthodics now), a hypothyroid related issue (lower hormone cause hip pain/weak hip muscle), to herniated discs issue (three lower level herniations and/or buldges may be impinging nerve that affect lower leg - recently ruled out by EMG), and now to an inactive glute muscle that has caused/resulted in weak/tight hips (no clue what would have caused the glute to become inactive).

    I've been doing some fascia streching training to help loosen the hip/glute muscle every other week for about a month and then also doing clam shells, fire hydrants, monster walks etc. for a few weeks, but the hip just doesn't seem to want to strengthen. Actually, the hip seems to be fine. I just go play tennis after sitting for weeks and after two sets, the glute muscle gets really sore and then seems to lock up after and the leg then feels weak. I just recently started physical therapy where I am undergoing some e-stim and dry needling treatment. At this point, I'm willing to give anything a try to get back on the Court.

    Just curious if anyone else has inexperienced an "inactive glute muscle" and what it took, and how long it took, for your glute muscle to start "firing again."
  2. snvplayer

    snvplayer Hall of Fame

    Aug 6, 2006
    Were these suggestions from physicians?

    If it was due to thyroid or statin, I think the problem will be more systemic rather than just affecting your hip / glute muscle. Have you had any labs drawn for your thyroid hormone and liver function (LFT)?

    Tennis isn't the greatest sports for the hip. You might need to incorporate other hip and core exercises. I personally find core exercises much more helpful in alleviate my own hip problems. Chiropractor worked great for me, if you want to consider it.
  3. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I had calf cramps and thought that they were due to statins. I had a regular routine blood test to see if the statins were causing any common side effects, I believe it was a liver test of some kind. It was high so the Dr had me stop the statins temporarily to see if they were the cause. I took the opportunity to clean up my diet some more. The low density cholesterol number dropped and I went off statins. No more weird calf cramps. (I had gotten on statins originally because I failed just one blood test that must have had an error because the numbers did not add up as they should have regarding high triglycerides and total cholesterol. )

    On the other issue, I did similar exercises to your clamshells, etc to correct weak gluteus medius. They were needed despite my years of tennis. Also,.. to stretch the piriformis. I believe that poor posture issues, especially in the hip area, have contributed to some of my leg injuries, meniscus tears, patellar-femoral pain, plantar faciitis, and mild Achilles pain. For some posts on this issue search gluteus medius Chas Tennis. Internet - trendlenberg test
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  4. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    You could have any of the above problems.

    But there is one syndrome, though relatively uncommon in the general population, occurs more frequently in tennis players:



    Here is what Suzanna Mcgee (who often posts here as sixftlion) has to say about it on her tennis fitness training site:

    "Sciatica pain can be close to paralyzing—a numb, tingling or burning sensation going down in the back of your leg, calf and sole of your foot. The pain comes and goes unpredictably and playing tennis becomes impossible. However, you actually could have a tight and overused piriformis muscle, which is very common among tennis players. Luckily, it is also easy to correct.

    Piriformis is the largest of the six muscles in the hip that are responsible for external rotation of the leg. If you have your leg planted, the piriformis turns the body in the opposite direction, a movement that tennis players do repeatedly thousands of times. An overused and tight piriformis muscle causes a lot of misery and pain in your sacrum, glutes and hips. It will twist your sacrum a little bit, causing a short-leg syndrome that adds to the problem. It can also compress the sciatic nerve and as a result, you feel the “sciatica” pain.

    Quick directional changes in tennis impose a high risk on your piriformis’ well-being, especially if you are not well conditioned. Therefore, it is important to work on strengthening your glutes and hips, accompanied by regular stretching. Prolonged inactivity or sitting puts the piriformis muscles in trouble. If you sit at work or school most of your day and then start sprinting around the tennis courts, you may be creating future problems. An overused, shortened and sometimes even inflamed piriformis muscle contains painful trigger points. To remain pain-free, you need to stretch the piriformis to its original length and eliminate the trigger points with myofascial release."

    Here is another site which explains the actual problem in more detail: Piriformis Syndrome

    Check with your doctor and physical therapist.

    Below are some of the exercises designed to strengthen the muscles so that the piriformis muscle will no longer press on the sciatic nerve:

  5. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

    Feb 18, 2004
    The title suggests you're talking about an anterior pelvic tilt?

    Either way, some sort of therapy might be a good option to stretch the hip. Hope you get it sorted.

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