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Low back Pain and the Gluteals

Clinical studies have shown that a majority of low back pain can be traced to weak and inhibited gluteal muscles . There are three gluteal muscles that make up the side and back of the hip and pelvic region: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The following blog describes how a dysfunctional gluteus medius can specifically contribute to low back pain.

The glute med is a lateral hip muscle that is responsible for keeping the pelvis level when standing on one leg. For example if you are standing on your right leg and have trouble keeping your left hip from dropping your right glute med is not doing it’s job. What the body often does to compensate for this is lean to the right , creating a side bend in the lumbar spine . Although in itself not an invalid motion but repeated over and over again during the gait cycle can cause a lot of problems. Side bending to the right compresses the facet joints on the right, forces the intervertebral discs to the left potentially impacting nerves as they exit the spine, puts a stretch strain through the left  iliolumbar ligament and facet joints and encourages the left quadratus lumborum (low back muscle) to work overtime. Each of these scenarios could be a source of pain. And although massage and stretching may temporarily relieve the pain until the right glute med is strengthened, the back pain will return.

At Mongoose Bodyworks in NYC we use the Pilates Method seamlessly combined with contemporary bio-mechanical knowledge to undo muscles imbalances and keep you pain free. Contact us at or 212 431 8377 to make an appointment. See you at the studio !

594 Broadway ( between Houston and Prince)

New York City, New York 10012