HIP PAIN (lateral)
Lateral Hip Pain is a painful condition that affects the outside of the thigh.
Patient’s of ours often complain of a ‘burning’ sensation at the outer hip region into the buttock, it is often described as deep and it can radiate in some cases.
The condition is also known as Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome, Glute Med Tendinopathy, Hip Bursitis, Greater Trochanter Bursitis and Trochanteric Bursitis. They are all the same condition.
Activities that irritate this condition include crossing your legs, sleeping on your side, walking moderate amounts, going up and down stairs/hills, sitting in deep positions (ie. driving, sitting on the couch or toilet).
Lateral hip pain predominantly affects middle-aged females (35-65 years of age) and less commonly very active persons of both genders.
Women are affected more so than males due to two reasons.
- Women have wider hips. This can cause greater compressive forces on the glute med tendon (the tendon is squashed by the outside of the femur).
- The condition tends to affect middle aged females who are undergoing menopause. Oestrogen is a hormone that is protective of tendon health. During menopause there are hormonal changes occurring, one of them is Oestrogen levels diminishing. Thus, the diminished oestrogen levels can make menopausal women susceptible to tendon injuries/pain (not just the glute med, but shoulder, Achilles, patella/knee and hamstring tendons as well).
Active persons can be susceptible to the condition when they overload their hip/tendon by participating in excessive sport (usually change of direction sports).
The pain is generally caused by a weakness in the hip abductor muscle group (glute med and glute min tendons). A progressive physiotherapy rehab program that targets the affected tendon can have fantastic results in restoring movement and diminishing pain.
When pain is very severe and rehab exercises cannot be performed, a cortisone injection may be beneficial. It must be noted that this will only reduce short term pain symptoms, it will not strengthen up the weakened hip tendon. A cortisone injection as a first line treatment is rarely recommended.
Top Tips from Eimhear
Changing some or avoiding painful positions:
Commonly during sleep- Trial pillow in between your knees + feet
Avoid crossing legs
Avoid hitching over to one side when standing
- Strengthen Up the Hip and lower back muscles
You could try;
– Side Lying Leg Lift- small height to begin with
– Bridge with band up above your knees
- Please keep moving and keep active
With this condition, it’s important to not stop and rest especially if the muscles around your hip are weak
You may also want to consider footwear, workstation ergonomics, driving position, modified exercise program
As these are just suggestions, we would recommend an assessment to ensure your lumbar and other joints are not the contributing reason for your symptoms.
If you are experiencing hip pain symptoms, please seek the assistance of a healthcare professional such as your physiotherapist for advice.
See you soon!
Written by Eimhear O’Doherty Physiotherapist at 4 Life Physiotherapy Mandurah.