Gluteal tendinopathies are becoming one of the most common reasons for lateral (outside) hip pain in individuals. Your hip/buttock is made up of three main muscles; gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and glutes minimis. These muscles attach onto your sacrum and across onto the hip bone (greater trochanter), where they attach at the hip bone is a tendinous junction, this is where majority of tendinopathies occur. A gluteus tendinopathy is the inflammation of one or more of these tendons.
Gradual worsening pain over the hip bone and surrounding area
Pain on sleeping/lying on affected side
Pain on walking
Pain on walking up/down stairs or hills
Crossing of legs
Weight shifting onto affected leg in static standing
Discomfort getting up/down from chair or getting in/out of car
Develops more in the female population, especially over the age of 50.
Develops more commonly in runners and in people who are less active.
Excessive loading or overuse of the muscles.
Common Management Techniques
Specific loading exercises prescribed by your Physiotherapist – research has shown that loading the muscles/tendons at the correct dosage results in better and faster outcomes.
Education/Advice – specific solutions to avoid aggravating movements.
Taping Techniques – to offload tendon/muscles
Massage – reduce tension and spasm in associated muscles to promote better movement.
Dry Needling/Acupuncture – is a safe way to release tight muscles and decrease pain levels.
Heat/Ice – can be effective treatment modality that can be used to ease discomfort at home or at work.
What about Cortisone Injections?
Research has found that cortisone injections into the tendon can be effective for short term pain relief, however it has shown no benefit long term. Cortisone injections affect individuals in different ways, some get no relief while others see the benefit.
Fortunately, the majority of people who experience Gluteal Tendinopathy recover with time, and a combination of physiotherapy and home exercise treatment.