Gluteus medius and minimus activity during stepping tasks: Comparisons between people with hip osteoarthritis and matched control participants Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:Altered gluteus minimus (GMin) activity has been identified in people with hip osteoarthritis (OA) during gait with some evidence of altered gluteus medius (GMed) activity in patients with advanced OA. It is not known whether these muscles also exhibit altered activity during other functional tasks. RESEARCH QUESTION:Does gluteal muscle activity during stepping tasks differ between people with hip OA and healthy older adults? METHODS:Participants included 20 people with unilateral hip OA and 20 age-and sex-matched controls. Muscle activity in the three segments within GMed and two segments of GMin were examined using intramuscular electromyography during step-up, step-down and side-step tasks. RESULTS:Participants in the OA group demonstrated reduced muscle activity early in the step-up task and a later time to peak activity in most muscle segments. Greater activity was identified in anterior GMin in people with hip OA during the side-step task. A delay in time to peak activity was identified in most muscle segments in people with OA during the side-step task. SIGNIFICANCE:For participants with OA, reduced activity in most muscle segments and increased time spent in double limb stance during the step-up task could reflect the decreased strength and pain associated with single limb stance on the affected limb. This study provides further evidence of altered function of the deep gluteal muscles in people with hip OA and highlights the importance of addressing these muscles in rehabilitation.

publication date

  • 2020