Gluteal tendinopathy (often referred to as lateral hip pain or Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome) is a common musculoskeletal condition mainly affecting females between the ages of 40 and 60, though there is a moderate incidence among the younger athletic community such as high-level runners.
This condition often presents as pain in the outer aspect of the hip/upper thigh however pain can radiate to the outer knee which often leads to an incorrect diagnosis of referred low back pain/nerve-related pathology. Other conditions which present in a similar fashion include Femoroacetabular impingement which is also more common in younger athletes, osteoarthritis of the hip which is more common in women than men and generally those aged 60 years and over, and finally trochanteric bursitis which tends to occur more in the adult female population.
Symptoms of gluteal tendinopathy are often described as a deep ache in the effected region coupled with tenderness around the soft tissues of the outer hip. Common aggravating factors are associated with increased pressure around the outer hip often involving adduction of the hip (bringing the leg across the mid-line of the body) e.g. sitting with your legs crossed, laying with your leg across your body or ‘hanging’ off your hip when standing. Many patients report pain when laying on the effected side due to increased pressure onto the outer hip. Pain can also be exacerbated by higher levels of activity such as long walks or walking on an incline e.g. hiking.
A few simple changes to your daily life can greatly reduce the irritation of the gluteal tendon thus reducing the pain you experience. These include sleeping with a pillow between your knees, sitting with both feet flat on the floor and standing with even pressure through both feet i.e. not ‘hanging’ off your hip.
Exercise has been shown to be very effective in the management of gluteal tendinopathies as long as the daily aggravating factors listed above are being well-managed.
Keep an eye on our social media accounts for demonstrations of self-management tips and beginner exercises to start taking control of this condition!
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