The gluteus maximus muscle covers the buttocks and is one of the strongest muscles in the human body. It is connected to the tailbone and extends and laterally rotates the hip joint. It is the most superficial of the gluteus muscles and is used when climbing stairs or running, standing up from a sitting position, and staying in an erect position. The gluteus maximus works with the hamstrings to help with standing from a bent forward position. It also acts as stability for an upright posture, supports the lateral knee, and provides lateral rotation of the femur when the arch of the foot is raised.
The most common problem that occurs with the gluteus maximus is a condition called gluteus maximus syndrome. This condition causes pain when rising to a standing position or lowering to sit. It is caused by a muscle spasm, usually only affects one side of the body, and disappears when sitting. Other conditions that can cause pain in the gluteus maximus are bursitis and tendinitis. The pain is caused by inflammation of the tendons or friction between the bones, tendons, and gluteus maximus muscle. Treatment for these conditions can include physical therapy or anti-inflammatory pills or injections. Physical therapy treatment will include exercises to relieve pain and increase range of motion.
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