Effects of altering cycling technique on gluteus medius syndrome

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Feb;22(2):108-13. doi: 10.1016/s0161-4754(99)70116-8.


Objective: We discuss how altering the cycling technique of a cyclist receiving periodic chiropractic care helped in the management of gluteus medius syndrome.

Clinical features: A 24-year-old male amateur cyclist had numbness and tingling localized to a small region on the superior portion of the right buttock. The area involved demonstrated paresthesia to light touch sensory evaluation. The cyclist had received chiropractic adjustments 2 days before the onset of the symptoms. One week earlier, the patient began riding a new bicycle with different gearing than his previous one. Manual-resisted muscle testing created soreness in the lumbosacral area and buttocks. Trigger points were identified in the right gluteus medius. Standing lumbar spine flexion was 70 degrees, limited by tight hamstrings.

Intervention and outcome: Because the patient was already receiving periodic chiropractic care, no passive therapy was used. Patient education regarding the difference in gear selection in bicycles of a higher quality was provided. He was instructed to train in lower gears than he had previously used and to maintain a cadence of 70 to 90 revolutions of the pedals per minute. After 2 days, the paresthesia on the right buttock resolved. The trigger points were only mildly tender with minimal residual soreness of the involved muscles.

Conclusion: Management of gluteus medius syndrome by altering the cadence and gear development for a bicyclist is discussed. Either frank or cumulative injury to the gluteus medius muscle is the typical etiologic factor for this syndrome. Repetitive strain of the patient's gluteus medius muscle as a result of poor cycling technique appeared to be the cause here. Knowledge of bicycle fitting, training techniques, and bicycle mechanics appeared necessary to resolve the problem.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Buttocks / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Spinal / methods*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / etiology*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Paresthesia / diagnosis
  • Paresthesia / etiology*
  • Paresthesia / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Range of Motion, Articular