Lateral Hip Pain – Don’t Stretch It!
Did you know 1 in 4 women over the age of 50 suffer from gluteal tendinopathy at some point in their life?
And women are 4 times more likely to suffer than men?
What is Gluteal Tendinopathy?
The most common cause of lateral (outer) hip pain is change within the gluteal tendons (tendinopathy) due to persistent overload. This commonly results in secondary inflammation of a fluid filled sac known as a ‘bursa’, due to compression or friction of the Illiotibial band (ITB). It is now understood that gluteal tendinopathy is the primary driver of pain, rather than inflammation of the bursa.
Gluteal tendinopathy can be caused by:
- A recent increase in exercise (walking, running, step machines) especially in females 40-60 years
- Prolonged sitting, or sitting with legs crossed
- Compression forces due to side-lying
- Standing with more weight on one leg, such as carrying a child on your hip
- Decreased muscle strength of the gluteal muscles resulting in a positive ‘Trendelenburg’ sign.
A positive Trendelenburg sign results when a drop of hip height on the opposite side to the weight bearing leg is observed.
Why are women more susceptible than men?
Women are more likely to suffer from gluteal tendinopathy due to decreased gluteal muscle tone (especially post menopause), and wider hips also influence the amount of compression.
Treatment – Should we stretch our glutes?
Compression is thought to be a key factor in tendinopathy and placing your glutes on stretch will increase compression on the gluteal tendons, therefore, stretching is not recommended. Treatment should involve correcting postural abnormalities (you may not even know that you’re aggravating your pain) and increasing pelvic stability through tailored strengthening exercises by your physio or clinical pilates instructor.
Remember.. DON’T stretch it and if you’re unsure… Come and see us at either our Sydney CBD physiotherapy clinics or our new Chatswood Physiotherapy clinic.