A really common condition in women over 50 and runners.
Pain is felt on the side of the hip over the bony protuberance (the greater trochanter), and it can often refer into the buttocks and down the side of the leg.
It is known as Glute Med Tendinopathy, or Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GT), or Bursitis and lateral hip pain.
Impacting 24% of females over the age of 50 but it can also affect men as well!
WHY DO WE GET THE PAIN?
The pain comes from the deep tendons in the buttocks that attach into the side of the hip.
When the tendons become overloaded such as after increasing your walking, putting on weight, sitting or lying a lot on that side or after a long run, this can cause it to become painful. The tendon structure is often affected by this due to it’s inability to regenerate when under this stress. This causes us pain and interfering with our daily activities and exercise regimes.
The glute medius and minimus are 2 small muscles towards the side of the hip that act to stabilise the femur or thigh bone during activities that require us to be on 1 leg (like walking, going up and downstairs, running).
WHAT CAUSES THIS PAIN
There are a variety of reasons that can cause the tendon to react to a period of increased load, the literature reports this can be from:
- Reduced strength in the gluteal muscles
- Increased tissue degeneration as we age
- Poor biomechanics of our legs as we walk and run
HOW PHYSIO CAN HELP
Physiotherapy will assist not only in reducing your acute pain, it will help improve your tendon’s ability to cope with your activities but also in strengthening your tendon for the future!
Initially, you can expect treatment to involve massage, soft tissue releases, and joint mobilisations. We normally provide you with a lot of education about how you can help (ie, not lie on your side, sit with your hips higher than your knees and don’t cross your legs) which is an important part of getting your tendons happier.
The thing about tendons is because we know they are very sensitive to load we can actually use this to help fix it! You will also be prescribed an individualised strength program for your tendon to help regenerate and strengthen your tendon fibres and recover from your pain.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (such as Voltaren, Nurofen) can help to reduce the inflammation, make sure you always check with your GP before taking them.
Reducing not eliminating the amount of time spent doing the activities that cause pain to your hip, such as:
- Prolonged sitting in deep chairs
- Repetitive crossing your legs
- Long-distance running/walking
Avoid stretching your glute muscles and hip- as this causes more compression on your grumpy tendon.
If you are suffering from lateral hip pain and would like a personal diagnose and rehabilitation program, suffer no longer and book in to see one of our Physios, book online here