Therapy Notes – Gluteus Minimus

The gluteus minimus is a fan-shaped muscle deep in the lateral hip. The trigger points in this muscle are often perpetuated by sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

A displaced sacroiliac often perpetuates the gluteus minimus trigger points. Pelvic balance can be key to lasting results.

Each therapist has their own method of pelvic balancing. I prefer craniostructural work with SOT blocking but also use METs, strain-counterstrain, and some NMT techniques.

The larger anterior section is particularly difficult to resolve and release without balancing the pelvis and mobilizing the sacroiliac joints. If it is not releasing easily, go back to pelvic balancing so that these trigger points do not re-activate once the client goes back to holding an immobilized position.

This trigger point in the thin posterior belly is almost always tender, even when it is not symptomatic. It is important to balance the hip so that this section is not overused in extending the femur during running. It is overworked when tight adductors force the leg to externally rotate as the knee swings posteriorly.

Here is the section from Neuromuscular Assessment:


This post has a classic neuromuscular protocol for gluteals. It calls for a good bit of T-bar work, which can be done with thumbs. I’ve taught this a number of times on the skin and through clothing. Directly on the skin is always considered to be much more effective by the recipient.

This NMT protocol for deep rotators can release underlying tight musculature that perpetuates an imbalanced pelvis.

Self-Care can be very important to rehabilitate the stubborn thick anterior belly of the gluteus minimus, The tennis ball exercise is particularly useful for breaking up patterns.

Self-care is also important to rehabilitate the thin posterior belly, especially when the client has an activity that chronically re-activates this trigger point, like running or long drives.

This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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