Gluteal tendinopathy and what you can do about it

What is gluteal tendinopathy?

Gluteal tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain at the outside of the hip, and can often cause pain to radiate down the outside of the thigh. It is normally common to be tender to touch along the greater trochanter (the bony ridge at the top of your femur). Gluteal tendinopathy is often referred to as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome or Trochanteric Bursitis.

What causes gluteal tendinopathy?

Gluteal tendinopathy is caused by the gluteal tendon not adapting to the load that is being placed on it. When tendons are placed under a large amount of load in a short period of time, their capacity to tolerate load reduces. This means that movements that wouldn’t normally cause pain such as running, or even sitting up from a chair, can cause pain. The condition is common among both active and inactive individuals, and affects women more so than men.
Pain experienced due to gluteal tendinopathy is often experienced when performing the following activities;

  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time
  • Sidelying on the affected side
  • Lazy standing (standing with your hip to the side)
  • Loading activities such as running and jumping
How do we treat gluteal tendinopathy?

There are a number of different treatment methods that may alleviate pain from gluteal tendinopathy which include;

  • Rest or activity modification
  • Ice
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Massage and manipulation
  • Dry needling

Although these treatment methods can be effective in reducing pain in the short-term, it is important to perform a structured home exercise program to prevent the pain from returning. Exercises to strengthen the gluteal muscles on the side of your hip are vital, and it is often necessary to assess the strength and function of different muscles and joints in your body as they may be contributing to the increase in load through the gluteal tendon. An exercise program to strengthen the gluteal muscles and tendon would normally involve resistance exercises such as using a theraband or lifting weights.

If you have been experiencing pain on the outside of your hip and it is affecting your ability to do what you love, make sure you book in with one of our physios to get you started on an in-depth rehab program to get you back on track.

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