Having a pain in the outside of your hip? Have you found walking, sitting cross-legged or even sleeping on your side painful? Chances are you could have gluteal tendinopathy. This blog discusses what gluteal tendinopathy is and how effective physiotherapy treatment can be for it.
When tendons are placed under more tension than they can deal with, they have a failed healing response. This causes changes to the structure of the tendon and is known as a tendinopathy. When this occurs in the tendons of the gluteal muscles it is referred to as gluteal tendinopathy. This condition is now days more commonly known as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome.
The gluteal muscles are three large muscles located at the back of the pelvis. They provide most of the muscle bulk of buttock region. These muscles work together to keep your pelvis level when standing. They are also responsible for many movements of the hip. They play an important role in standing, walking and running.
The two deepest gluteal muscles, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, attach from the center of the pelvis (the sacrum) and insert into the bony outer region of the upper thigh, called the greater trochanter via the gluteal tendons.
Tendons, like muscles, skin and bones are living tissues. Their strength and elasticity is influenced by a variety of factors. These include hormones, age, how often and how much they are used. Rapid changes in activity levels or simply performing the same tasks too often can place a tendon under more stress than it can tolerate thus causing it to break down.
Recent research shows that tendon health is also negatively affected by compressive forces. These occur from blunt trauma, such as falling onto your hip, habits such as crossing the legs, or sleeping on your side on a hard mattress.
When gluteal tendons are affected by tendinopathy, a typical pattern of sharp pain at the outside of the hip with specific movements is present. The pain is usually worse with walking, going up and down stairs and running. A main complaint we hear is when you are trying to sleep on either side and are woken during the night due to this pain. The pain can become quite severe, and eventually can impact day-to-day activities.
A thorough assessment is required for an accurate diagnosis. Once gluteal tendinopathy is confirmed, your physiotherapist will be able to identify which factors have contributed to your condition and help to address these. Research shows that a rehabilitation rogram that focuses on specific loading exercises of the gluteals can stimulate the tendon to heal. This allows the collagen fibres to remodel into a more organized pattern again. Your physiotherapist can investigate any postural habits or activities that are contributing and address these as required. Research has shown a program that runs for eight weeks is effective in reducing your pain and improving your day to day well being. Performing a structured exercise program that is tailored to you, you can start to see positive effects within four weeks.
Our experienced team at Cairnhill Physiotherapy will identify which factors are aggravating your gluteal tendinopathy and work with you to build an individualised rehabilitation program. We base our treatment guidelines off the best available knowledge, but we always make sure it is the best fit, for you, based on how you present. If you have gluteal tendinopathy, contact us today and start your rehabilitation knowing you are in safe hands.