Gluteal tendinopathy (also sometimes called greater trochanteric pain syndrome or bursitis) is a common occurrence - especially as we age. This condition affects up to 1/4 women over the age of 50 and can significantly affect your ability to exercise and even walk depending on how intense the pain is.
Typically, pain from gluteal tendinopathy manifests as discomfort on the outside of your hip and sometimes down the side of your leg down to your knee. It will often bother you while you’re walking, standing on one leg, sleeping on your side, or while running. While gluteal tendinopathy generally starts as a low, dull ache, it can quickly become a sharper, long-lasting pain that can prevent you from doing much of anything.
Physical therapy can dramatically help relieve pain and improve your activity level with gluteal tendinopathy.
In the LEAP trial from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, physical therapy outperformed a control group and corticosteroid treatment for patients suffering from gluteal tendinopathy.
So what is Gluteal tendinopathy?
You can think of gluteal tendinopathy as an aggravation of the tendon on the side of your hip, which is connected to your gluteus medius muscle. This muscle/tendon unit is essential for hip stabilization while walking and performing single-leg tasks, which is why it can be painful to walk when it’s aggravated. To “fix” the issue, the tendon needs to heal and become stronger to prevent future exacerbations.
How do you fix Gluteal tendinopathy?
When you set up your evaluation with Chapman Physical Therapy, we will make sure to perform a thorough evaluation looking at:
- How you walk
- Hip and core strength, as well as any imbalances that may be contributing to your pain
- Hip joint mobility
- Muscle flexibility
By making sure your evaluation is thorough, we can identify the different structures and issues that may be contributing to your pain and make sure our plan of care addresses every one of them. Once the evaluation is complete, we'll talk with you about what we found and how we plan to get you on the road to recovery, making sure to empower you during this process to feel like you're able to play an active role in this process your rehabilitation.
Treatments for gluteal tendinopathy can include a variety of different interventions but will likely consist of some combination of the following:
- Education on the condition and how you can decrease aggravation by avoiding certain positions (e.g., avoiding crossing your legs or trying to sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs.)
- Joint mobilizations for your hip and lumbar spine
- Progressive strengthening program for your hip, core, and lower body musculature
- Balance and coordination exercises to improve hip stability
- Soft tissue mobilization and massage
- Muscle energy techniques
- Electrical stimulation
If you’re experiencing pain in the side of your hip, contact Chapman Physical Therapy to ensure you receive the best physical therapy in Baltimore, Maryland.
Through a targeted, incremental and progressive loading (strengthening) program, your physical therapist can help you achieve your goals, relieve your pain and get you back to being you without any unnecessary and invasive interventions.