What is Hip pain?

Hip pain, hip bursitis or gluteal tendinopathy is that pain you feel at the outside of your hip.  It’s frustrating, annoying and can often interfere with you enjoying life. Our patients often report pain when lying on the hip, when they walk the dog or sit for too long. Lateral Hip Pain (LHP) or Greater Trochanteric Pain syndrome (GTPS)  is the name we give to pain located at the outside of your hip. It is sometimes caused by an irritation to the Gluteal Tendon and aggravation of the bursa ( a fluid filled sac) which sits underneath the tendon. It is most common in females around the 40-60 age bracket, who are near or around that menopause period. 

Today we are going to talk specifically about pain caused by the Gluteal Tendon. We understand that in some cases the pain may be coming from degeneration of the Hip, such as Osteoarthritis or as a referred pain from your lower back. But they are the suject of another article. 

What Causes this Hip Pain or Gluteal Tendinopathy:

Compression, overload and altered biomechanics are all common reasons. When these Gluteal tendons ( usually the Gluteus Minimus Gluteus Medius tendons ) are exposed to excessive load or high levels of compression they tend to break down, resulting in micro tears and disorganisation of the tendon fibres resulting in pain. This is usually coupled with poor hip and muscle control.

Initially we thought the pain was coming from the bursa or fluid filled sac. We now know the pain comes from the irritated tendon with the bursa underneath it. Very rarely do we see the bursa being irritated and swollen without tendon damage.

What can be done for Lateral Hip Pain or Gluteal Tendinopathy?

First we need to reduce your aggravating activities. Lying on the effected side can cause pain – so sleeping on you back or the other side will help. Balanced standing posture, DON’T hang off your hip – seen in the video below. Ensure your chair at work is the correct height. Sitting with your hips below your knees can lead to more compression on the tendon and pain. Avoid crossing your legs and STOP foam rolling the area – this adds to the compression and pain. And your favourite Gluteal stretch – knee across the body – you can STOP doing this too – again it adds to the compressive load the tendon is under. Rather opt for a spikey ball, or lacrosse ball and some trigger point therapy to the Gluteal muscles. 

What treatment is available for Lateral Hip Pain or Gluteal Tendinopathy?

Unfortunately going for the QUICK FIX – that being a cortisone injection may result in more longer term pain – so Cortisone is out.

A graded and specific strengthening program is the best chance of long term relief.Hip Pain

Your therapist should identify what stage of injury you are in. The reactive early phases, isometric exercise may help to tone down your pain levels. 

We will then evaluate your movement patterns once you are moving better.  There is no point in strengthening your muscles ( the long term solution) if your movement patterns are causing your pain. It’s like building a house on an uneven surface. Sure you can build it, but it’s going to crack and cause trouble down the track.

Therefore if we strengthen the hip muscles and improve the way in which you move, we will hopefully reduce your likelihood of the pain returning. This will therefore give you the best chance of a long term solution and an ability to return to the activities you love and enjoy.

In some cases we see Shockwave Therapy helping to kick start the healing process. 

Any Questions?

Feel free to email us at info@equilibriumsas.com.au , or book online. We are also more than happy to chat via our Drift Chat box in the bottom right hand corner.

At Equilibrium Sports and Spinal clinic we really thrive on helping Glen Iris locals who suffer with hip pain, gluteal tendinopathy or bursitis. Our Osteopaths service Malvern, Glen Iris Ashburton, Hawthorn and Caulfield. Book online today, and let us help you turn your  hip pain and gluteal tendinopathy into a thing of the past.