Treating gluteal tendinopathy

Gluteal tendinopathy is a tendon disorder occurring in your hips and buttocks. It’s characterised by pain or discomfort in the hips and is especially common in older women.

In this post, we’ll discuss the symptoms and causes of gluteal tendinopathy. We also share ways to manage your symptoms at home and with support from a physiotherapist, including shockwave therapy in Twickenham

Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this article are helpful for managing gluteal tendinopathy, for specific advice and guidance, please contact your GP or physiotherapist for a professional assessment.

More about gluteal tendinopathy

Gluteal tendinopathy is pain that comes from the outer part of your upper leg (gluteal region). The disorder causes the tendon tissue to break down. Its often combined with irritation of the bursa (fluid-filled sacs) on the outside of your hip, which is called bursitis.  

Tendons are strong, flexible tissues that connect your muscles to your bones. When they deteriorate or become inflamed or injured, it can be extremely painful. 

Gluteal tendinopathy can be caused by overuse or underuse. For example, a long walk can put too much force on your tendons while a sedentary lifestyle can lead to gradual tendon deterioration. A balance is key. 

Gradual weight gain or a reduction in physical activity can also lead to this disorder. Finally, a fall or other type of accident that involves landing on the side of your hip can lead to symptoms of gluteal tendinopathy. 

Signs and symptoms

If you’re suffering from gluteal tendinopathy, one clear sign is moderate to severe buttock pain. You’ll notice the pain usiaully remains in the buttock area. 

Here are some other signs and symptoms you can expect:

  • Pain when lying on your side 
  • Discomfort when climbing stairs or walking uphill 
  • Stiffness after sitting cross-legged or for a long period of time 
  • Pain getting out of bed in the morning 
  • Pain when standing on one leg, such as when putting on a pair of trousers.

How to manage and treat gluteal tendinopathy

For half of people with gluteal tendinopathy, symptoms will eventually go away without treatment or intervention. However, if your condition persists, it’s time to see a physiotherapist as even just 8 weeks of physiotherapy exercises can significantly reduce painful symptoms. 

Shockwave therapy is another excellent way to boost the healing process. This highly effective non-surgical treatment uses high energy sound waves to encourage tissue regeneration. 

Our experienced practitioners can recommend appropriate rehabilitation exercises to help your tendons heal and perform regular shockwave therapy. We’ve found that most people need 3–6 sessions of shockwave therapy.

What can you do at home?

To gently manage symptoms of gluteal tendinopathy at home, we recommend sleeping with a pillow between your knees or applying a heat pack to the affected area. Make an effort not to cross your legs. We also recommend minimising stair climbing and walking in moderation i.e. taking note of the intensity and distance you can walk without pain and not overdoing it. 

To manage your symptoms and get you back to your usual activity levels, exercises such as static abduction and side-lying abduction can help you regenerate your tendon. 

Get in touch

Please feel free to give us a call on 020 8898 1231 if you’re interested in learning more about how shockwave therapy can help treat your gluteal tendinopathy. Our friendly team is happy to help and answer all of your questions.