Gluteal Tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain over the outside of your hip. Previously thought to be caused by inflammation from the tendons we now know that it is primarily caused by degeneration of your gluteal tendons most often due to repetitive overloading, or, when the load being applied to the tendon is too great for it withstand.
Gluteal tendinopathy can cause a pain that radiates down from your hip to the outside of your leg. This condition is often characterised by tenderness to touch over the bony part of the outside of your hip (where the tendons attach) and is most often aggravated by:
– Sitting with your legs crossed
– Prolonged standing
– Sleeping on your sore side
– Going up or down stairs
– Running or high impact activities
How do I make Gluteal Tendinopathy better?
Like most tendon injuries the treatment can be staged in two parts. The first thing you need to do is get the pain under control. After that, your need to strengthen the muscles and tendons to build their capacity to tolerate the activities you need to do in your life.
There are two key ways to settle your pain:
1) Reduce the load going through the tendons in your hip.
In practical terms this means avoiding aggravating activities as much as possible, even if it’s just for a few days. For instance, if walking more than 20 minutes aggravates your pain, you need to keep your walks under this time frame. If climbing stairs causes pain, take the elevator for a few days. This rest and lack of aggravation allows the tendon pain to settle.
Stop doing stretches or movements that involve crossing your legs. This is crucial to avoiding flare-ups of your pain. Practically speaking, this includes avoiding sitting with your legs crossed or doing movements such as pigeon pose in yoga. This also means avoiding common day-to-day positions that put tension or compression on your hip like standing with your hip jutting out to the side and sitting with your feet wide and knees together and, most importantly, avoiding sleeping on your sore hip. Instead, trial sleeping on your other side and place a pillow between your legs to stop your top leg dropping down and adding extra pressure.
Once you have your pain under control, the next step is to start a gradual and incremental strengthening program. This will help the tendon’s ability to withstand load and allow you to get back to your normal activities.
It is important to take it slow and not push the exercises to avoid aggravating your pain.
Exercises for this condition vary from patient to patient, and the best way to get the exercises that are right for you is to come in and see a physiotherapist, have an examination, and work on a program that suits your pain, your needs and your lifestyle.
Here at Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD, our friendly Physiotherapists have years of experience of treating this condition. We can help you with a tendon rehab program that works best for you!