Gluteal Tendonopathy can be a painful and debilitating condition. If you’re suffering with hip pain, then you may have Gluteal Tendinopathy. So rather than suffer in silence check out what it is, what causes it and most importantly what you can do to help yourself if you’ve got Gluteal Tendinopathy.
What is Gluteal Tendinopathy?
There are three Gluteal muscles, which are called Gluteus Minimus; Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus. These Gluteal muscles are located at the buttock and side of the hip.
Gluteal Tendinopathy is a condition in which the gluteal muscles get inflamed (slightly swollen) near where they attach onto the bone. Specifically, it’s where the Gluteus Medius muscle gets irritated and inflamed.
This inflammation is often due to the friction between the bumpy bone at the side of your hip, where your leg starts and a tendon of another muscle. This causes microtrauma, which are little tears in the muscle and or tendon. These little tears activate the immune system to repair the injured site, leaving behind scar tissue. This can cause pain, discomfort, and tenderness over the area.
Gluteal Tendinopathy pain can come on suddenly or gradually. Patients with Gluteal Tendinopathy tend to notice an achiness on the side of the hip especially, whilst walking, pain whilst climbing stairs and pain laying on the affected side.
Gluteal Tendinopathy pain is mainly on the outside edge of the hip and can sometimes go down the leg and or up on top of the hip.
There are many causes of Gluteal Tendinopathy, including repetitive stress, postural changes, sedentary lifestyle, crossing legs, trauma of the muscle, bursa conditions, scoliosis, high intensity training and differences in leg length. These put extra strain on the gluteal muscles, its tendons and bony attachments.
Gluteal Tendinopathy Treatment
Treatment usually involves exercises, soft tissue work and stretching to both loosen and strengthen the gluteals, since they can be both tight and weak.
Soft tissue work can be done by a chiropractor or other manual practitioner. You can also work on the area yourself by rolling on a tennis ball up against the wall. Stand at an angle against the wall and pop the tennis ball either against your buttock or side of the hip, then put one leg in front of the other and use the front leg to push your weight up against the ball. Roll the tennis ball around to find some sore spots, once you found a sore spot, lean up against the tennis ball for about 20 seconds or until the pain subsides.
Pain relief can also involve ice, paracetamol and or NSAIDs. Other treatments include a corticosteroid injection and shockwave therapy through your GP.
Exercises for Gluteal Tendinopathy
There are some great exercises to help Gluteal Tendinopathy. Here are three that can be particularly useful:
Lay on your side with your legs bent, making sure your back is straight. Open your top leg so your knee lifts upwards, but keep the ankles touching. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax, do this 10-15 times each side. Make sure the muscle is activating by popping your hand on the side of your hip and then lifting the leg, you should feel the muscle tense up. If this is too easy, use straight legs and or a resistance band just above your kneecaps.
Activate your core and hinge your hips back slowly as if sitting back into a chair, bend the knees and with a resistance band around your knees or feet and open the legs a little over shoulder width apart. You should feel a slight stretch over the side of the hip, if you cannot, open your legs a little wider. Walk around with your legs still apart either back and forth or walk in a square. Do this for a couple of minutes.
Lay on your side with your legs bent, use your elbow to prop yourself up, making sure to keep your arm inline with your elbow and shoulder and keep your back straight, rest your opposite hand on your shoulder and open your top leg at the same time push yourself upwards so that your body comes off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds then relax. Do this 10 times each side.
If the above exercises cause any pain or discomfort, please contact your doctor or chiropractor.