Lateral hip pain can be a debilitating condition, making it difficult to do even the simplest activities. While many people suffer from lateral hip pain, not many people know what causes it or how to treat it. In this post, we’ll explore what lateral hip pain is, what causes it, and how you can go about treating it. We’ll also look at some of the best exercises for lateral hip pain relief. So if you’re struggling with this condition, read on for some helpful information.


Lateral Hip Pain

What is it? 

Lateral Hip Pain, often referred to as greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, Gluteal Tendinopathy, and hip bursitis are all terms to describe a condition in which pain can be felt on the outside of the hip. Pain can often refer down the side of the leg and into the buttock and lower back. Current research using ultrasound and MRI imaging tells us that the source of pain is actually due to overloading, irritation, or degeneration of the deeper smaller hip muscle tendons that attach to the outer aspect of our hips; Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus.

People will often have difficulty standing or walking for prolonged periods, and pain with sleeping on their side.

What Causes Hip Pain?

Weakness of the deep gluteal muscles can result in poor hip/pelvis control during weight bearing tasks (walking, running, steps and stairs) This will cause the pelvis to drop down to one side during these tasks as pictured, putting excess strain and compression through the tendons of gluteus medius and minimus. Over time, this compression on the tendons causes wear and tear and a cycle of structural changes within the tendon, meaning the tendon is unable to repair itself at a faster rate than we are damaging it. The result of this is called Tendinopathy. Tendinopathy results in pain, causing further deep gluteal dysfunction and weakness, further loss in pelvic control and more pain….and the cycle continues.

What is the Treatment for hip pain? – How to break the cycle

The main objective for physiotherapy is to improve control and strength of the deep glut stabilising muscles by prescribing a graduated strengthening program. By doing this we slowly provide the tendons with tolerable amounts of ‘good’ load to stimulate positive repairing changes in the tendon. 

What you can do..

Your physiotherapist will also give you plenty of advice on how to stop irritating the tendons by avoiding some very common every day positions and activities.

Lateral hip pain can be a frustrating condition that limits your ability to do simple activities. However, there are things you can do to ease the pain. Understanding what causes lateral hip pain and which exercises can help alleviate it can go a long way in improving your quality of life. If you’re struggling with this condition, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. 

Your physiotherapist can develop a treatment plan to reduce your pain and get you back doing the things you love. Don’t wait – make an appointment with a physiotherapist today.


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