Does your hip ache if you lie on it at night?

Are you sore walking up or down hills or stairs?

Does your hip “grab” when getting in or out of your car?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, there is a good chance you have a problem called Gluteal Tendinopathy. Read on to find out more . . .
What is Gluteal Tendinopathy?

Gluteal Tendinopathy is a condition affecting one (sometimes two) of the gluteal tendons—the strong bands of tissue that connect your hip muscles to the point of your hip (the bit that sticks out when you lie on a hard surface on your side). In some patients the tendon is healthy but has become sore from a change in activity.  In other cases there may be a small tear in the tendon.  The patient describes pain on the outside of the hip, in the buttock and often down the outside of the leg.  Gluteal tendinopathy commonly affects women in their 40’s and 50’s.  Men do develop this problem but often a bit later in life.  Often there is no  specific incident but the patient will describe their hip becoming worse with activity and also at night.  One of the biggest frustrations for patients is their pain restricts their fitness routine, which has implications for both their physical and mental well-being.

How do I Know If I have Gluteal Tendinopathy?

Gluteal tendinopathy is a common condition and has been well researched by doctors and physiotherapists around
the world.   There are four physical tests for gluteal tendinopathy and if you test positive for two or more of these our confidence about your diagnosis is high. It is important to rule out the lower back as a source of hip or buttock pain and we do this through a “screen” which is a series of movements and tests for the lower back.  Your doctor may order an ultrasound of your hip but remember, there are lots of false positive and false negative results with ultrasound, so you should never rely on your ultrasound alone to make a diagnosis.

 

Is Gluteal Tendinopathy Treatable?

Most patients with gluteal tendinopathy get better with the help and guidance of a good physio. Treatment should follow three stages: 1. Decrease pain and Inflammation, 2. Restore strength, and 3. Return to Normal activities. There are key things to do in each stage and you need to be patient and work through each stage. A common mistake that patients make is they complete stage 1, so they no longer have pain at night and can do their everyday activities, but then skip stage 2 and don’t complete their strengthening program. If you DON’T restore strength in your hip before returning to normal activities the pain often comes back!

 

What Should I do Next?

If you are struggling with hip or buttock pain and you think you have gluteal tendinopathy, call us on 6056 6616 and make an appointment. We will take a thorough history and complete a targeted physical examination to find the exact cause of your hip pain and develop a plan to help you get better.

To Your Better Health,

The Team at Personal Best Physiotherapy