Do you suffer from intense pain on the side of your hip? Do you spend a lot of time sitting at work, walking up hills or climbing stairs? You may be suffering from Gluteus Medius Tendinopathy...
WHAT IS IT?
Gluteus Medius tendinopathy (or glut med tendinopathy), is an inflammatory condition affecting the tendon of gluteus medius muscle where it inserts into the greater trochanter of the femur (the bony bump felt on the side of your hip).
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Glut med tendinopathy is usually a result of over compression of the hip, caused by movements that involve excessive flexion or abduction of the leg. This leads to too much stress being placed on the muscle and tendons surrounding the joint, and hence resulting in inflammation and pain in that area. Glut med tendinopathy can be brought on by a change in activity or loading of the hip, therefore it is quite commonly seen in runners.
Women are found to be more likely than men in developing this condition, especially those who are peri or postmenopausal. Poor postural and movement habits also play a major role, especially through excessive standing or leaning on one leg, and sitting with the legs crossed.
"One of the most common causes of glut med tendinopathy is poor recruitment and control of deep hip muscles"
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Individuals who have glut med tendinopathy usually present with localised pain over the greater trochanter of the femur. This can often radiate down to the lateral knee, or also to the lumbar spine or groin. Patients often present with pain at night and pain walking up hills or stairs.
"Glut med tendinopathy causes lateral hip pain, sometimes radiating down to the knee"
HOW TO TREAT IT?
Previously, treatment mostly involved icing the area and stretching the Iliotibial Band (ITB), however this has now been found to be ineffective because it can actually add to the compression forces around the hip.
These days, the most effective form of treatment involves gentle strengthening exercises and most importantly, patient education about what is causing the issue, and how it is aggravated. When patients become aware of what movements and positions to avoid, they can give themselves the chance to recover. The exercise regime should involve activities teaching correct recruitment of hip abductors and deep hip muscles, such as Glut Bridges, Sit to Stand exercises and Pilates reformer work.