Lateral Hip Pain: A pain in the butt

Lateral Hip Pain: A pain in the butt

Lateral hip pain or more simply put, pain on the side of the hip/buttock is a very common presentation to us at Blackburn Osteopathy. This pain is often referred to as hip bursitis or tendonitis. Recent research has shown that the pain is not due to inflammation of the bursa or tendons in the area. The condition has been given the name “Greater Trocanteric Pain Syndrome” or GTPS for short.Image result for hip pain pictures images

If inflammation isn’t causing the pain than what is?

The pain is caused from damage to the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus tendons. These two muscles attach from the pelvis to the Greater Trocanter (the boney part on the outside of the upper thigh) and their main function is to keep us upright when we stand on one leg. As you can imagine, these muscles work very hard when we walk, run, jump, cycle or climb stairs.

Who is at risk of GTPS?

Some research suggests women are four times more likely to have GTPS. The prevalence increases again post menopause as the decrease in oestrogen and collagen production causes changes in tendons and muscles. Other risk factors include a sudden increase in activity, being overweight, knee osteoathritis and low back pain.

What is the treatment for GTPS?

Strengthening of the the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles and tendons are key to the recovery. Cortisone injections have been shown to reduce pain in the short term but relapse of the pain in the long term has been associated with cortisone injection.

What can Osteopathy do to help?

Your osteopath can prescribe a progressive exercise program to strengthen the muscles and tendons involved. In addition to this your osteopath will address any underlying issues that caused or are maintaining the hip pain. This might include treatment of the hip joint, low back, knee, ankle or foot.


If you have been suffering from hip pain, the osteopaths at Blackburn Osteopathy can help.

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