• Clare Lewey

Gluteal tendinopathy is a real pain in the backside

Gluteal tendinopathy is a disruption of the tendon tissue which attaches the buttock muscles to the side of the hip. It is thought to be caused by repeated stresses and tiny injuries to the tendon which can often occur with overuse or overload. The disruption may cause irritation and inflammation and create pain during certain movements.


What are the causes of gluteal tendinopathy?


Gluteal tendinopathy can affect anyone but it is generally more common in women, in

particular post-menopausal women. The most common cause of this injury is poor load

control where the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus muscles do not have the capacity to cope with the amount of load being placed upon them on a daily basis because the muscles have become weak due to lack of physical fitness or because of altered bio-mechanical habit. It can also be caused by a sudden increase in load such as walking up lots of steps or up inclines.


Typical symptoms of gluteal tendinopathy


  • The most common symptom is pain on the outside of the hip sometimes extending down the outside of the thigh and into the knee. This is often experienced during movements like climbing stairs or even just walking when loading the leg on the affected side; it can also be very painful when lying on the affected side, crossing legs and standing up from sitting.

  • People suffering with the condition will experience a reduced hip range of movement particularly into internal rotation.

  • The buttock muscles themselves can become weak and fatigued, and may get progressively weaker if untreated.


The best treatment for gluteal tendinopathy


Physiotherapy treatment such as massage, joint mobilisation and prescribed exercises can help release any of the tight structures around the hip, lower back and pelvis that may be causing additional load to be placed on the gluteal muscles. A course of physiotherapy treatment in association with stretching and progressive strengthening exercises to help the tendons tolerate load with less pain, can result in a return to normal pain-free activity.


Gluteal tendinopathy usually presents as severe pain in the side of the hip. When this severe pain is persistent, particularly when symptoms continue for more than 3 months, a course of shockwave therapy treatment along with a progressed strengthening exercise programme is a highly effective treatment for the condition.

Witney Physiotherapy Centre

Suite 1, Bridge Street Mills

Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 1FX

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