In the acupuncture clinic, the main source of pain in the posterior hip is lower gluteus maximus strain.
This condition occurs in athletes involved in running sports, especially those that require explosive movements like sprinting. The pain can range from sharp and stabbing to dull and aching, and it will be felt exactly where the name of the condition indicates—in the lower gluteal area. Because this is where a high hamstring pull is felt, we must differentiate between the two. A hamstring strain will generally be felt more acutely, and the adductor magnus muscle can be involved as well. A lower gluteus strain will typically have a more insidious onset. (1)
The number of acupuncture treatments required depends on the degree of severity of the strain, but in general we can expect good results over the course of 2-4 treatments. If there is an acceptable reduction in pain during this period, a few more treatments might be necessary for full recovery. (2)
Part of the acupuncture treatment will involve the deactivation of trigger points in the gluteus maximus muscle and any other muscles around the hip. Active trigger points can cause chronic pain, and they commonly refer pain to more distant areas as well as hurting in the area where they are located.
It is also good to address muscle imbalances between the hip adductor muscles and hip abductors, which acupuncture can help, together with myofascial release techniques such as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF).
(1) Matt Callison, L.Ac., Sports Medicine Acupuncture, San Diego, CA. Acusport Education, 2019, p 711
(2) Ibid., p 712