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Glutes seizing up when running
CREATED: 02/15/10 by jen_ REPLIES: 8
jen_'s ravatar jen_    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 162
Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/15/10 8:44 AM

Has this happened to anyone before? Within the first few steps, no matter how far I run or for how long, it feels like my glutes tense up and stay like that the entire run. Occasionally I'll have to stop early because the tension/pain is too much. I've seen a Dr and he said it was a Piriformis issue that would "take care of itself". Using a tennis ball directly in my glutes (Trigger Point) hurt back in Oct/Nov when it first started, so I focus more on my quads, ITB, and hammies with the foam roller.

Has anyone else had that happen or sometime similar? I'm about ready to get a second opinion as well as try ART.


mcbkrun's ravatar mcbkrun    JOINED: 6/17/09    POSTS: 32
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/15/10 9:46 AM

It could be piriformis, hamstring, nerves coming down from your spine, IT band, misaligned hips, blah blah... that's what every doctor I went to see told me. What got rid of it for me was going to see a chiropractor who uses ultrasound, muscle stimulator, and spine adjustments. I tried Art and it didn't work for me but I've heard it works for others. I also stretch before and after and use ice bags. It didn't go away by itself until I dealt with it.

flora    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 35
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/15/10 1:31 PM

My hamstrings were really tight and started seizing up for a few runs, until my back went out. Turns out I had herniated a disc.

What you're describing could easily be a lower back problem rather than a glute problem. Not sure what kind of doctor you saw, but it never hurts to get a second opinion. With persistent injuries, you have to be your own best advocate.

good luck.

garydean's ravatar garydean    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 47
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/15/10 4:50 PM

I'd suggest trying the free sports injury consultation with Capital Sports Injury Center -- original post copied below.

I don't have the severity of your issue, but similar. I just had my consult today and seemed very good. I am going to follow up and see how it goes.

Semper Tri,

AndyJB444 JOINED: 2/28/09 POSTS: 137

FREE Injury Screening Opportunity
POSTED: 1/25/10 2:37 PM

Capital Sports Injury Center is offering a free 15 minute injury screening for all DC Tri Club members.

Please contact Capital Sports Injury Center at 301-622-9000 or by email at to schedule your appointment at either our Cleveland Park or Georgetown offices.

Also feel free to visit their website at for additional information about their practice.

AndyJB444's ravatar AndyJB444    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 401
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/15/10 9:56 PM

Thanks, Gary!

SSPT still offers the free injury screening to all DC Tri members, and many members who have gone have given thumbs up from the session.

Hoping for a quick recovery!

SSPT    JOINED: 5/28/09    POSTS: 87
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/16/10 9:39 AM

The symptoms you're describing could be coming from many different structures ranging from disc/facet joint issues in the lumbar spine to soft tissue (muscle, ligament, tendon) irritation to sacro-iliac joint dysfunction.

The best way to differentiate which structure is the root cause and get you back to pain-free running is to get to a thorough physical therapy evaluation.

As you know, we (Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy) offer free 30-minute injury screenings and would be able to get you scheduled within 24 hours of when you call. Our number is 202-463-7611.

jen_'s ravatar jen_    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 162
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/16/10 11:58 AM

Thanks for all the information.

I'll admit that my experience at SSPT wasn't the greatest after the 30 min free assessment. I chose to go there because of the location, time of my appointments, and ease of getting there, but I expected more in the treatment and sometimes left hurting worse than I did when I went in.

I am looking to get a second opinion by someone (an ortho, hopefully) who does more than ask me to raise and lower the leg/hip that bothers me and make his diagnosis, which is what the first one did. My hope, depending on the diagnosis, is to continue running with PT and minor adjustments of my training program.


SSPT    JOINED: 5/28/09    POSTS: 87
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/16/10 12:49 PM

Hi Jen

I am sorry that the treatment you received did not fully address your problem. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you to learn more about your injury and concerns, and discuss what else can be done to assist you. I may be reached at 202-463-7611 and look forward to hearing from you.

President, SSPT

jen_'s ravatar jen_    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 162
RE: Glutes seizing up when running
POSTED: 2/16/10 2:05 PM

Sarah. Thanks for the reply. As well, I can be reached at jen.jacobs14 at

I will be in touch.


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