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Lateral or outside hip pain - Causes and treatment

Updated: Jan 18

Pain over the outside of your hip or in the gluteal area was traditionally blamed on trochanteric bursitis - a condition where the bursa (a fluid filled sac) that lies between the hip bone and gluteal tendons become inflamed and painful. But thanks to advances in imaging technology and research we now know that lateral hip pain is actually often caused by a combination of gluteal tendinopathy and bursitis and researchers have therefore proposed that a better name for pain in this area may be Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. With this in mind Alison has made a series of videos to explain what causes lateral hip pain, how it's diagnosed, what exercises should be avoided and what types of exercise are the most useful.

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In this video Alison explains what structures may be causing the pain that you feel over the outside of your hip:

There are of course other conditions that can cause very similar symptoms and in this video Alison discusses the most typical signs and symptoms that may suggest that your pain is indeed linked to Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. In Episode 8 she also discusses what other conditions may also refer pain over the side of the hip and how to diagnose or identify them.

Sitting can often be very uncomfortable when you have a gluteal tendinopathy or hip bursitis and here Alison shares some tips on how to adjust your sitting position:

One of the most annoying aspect of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome is that it often won't allow you to sleep on either side and few people are truly comfortable with lying on their backs all night long. In this video Alison demonstrates how you can use pillows to improve your sleep:

You may find this ergnonomic side sleeping knee pillow useful.

An alarming number of clinicians are still telling people to stretch their glutes when they have lateral hip pain. In this video Alison explains why stretching may be a very bad idea when you have either a gluteal tendinopathy or a hip bursitis:

In Episode 6, Alison explains how and why the menopause may predispose you to developing outside hip pain and how you can adapt your training to mitigate this.

In Episode 7 she discusses what exercises you should be doing if you have lateral hip pain and also what other factors should be taken into account when someone designs your rehab programme for you.

In Episode 8 Alison explains what other conditions or structures can cause symptoms that can feel very similar to Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome and how we can distinguish between them.

While this video is not specifically about lateral hip pain, the method that Ali shares for using pain as your guide during rehab, works really well for this condition.

You may also find the following articles useful:

Need more help with your injury? You’re welcome to consult one of the team at SIP online via video call for an assessment of your injury and a tailored treatment plan.

About Alison:

Alison Gould is a chartered physiotherapist and holds an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine. You can follow her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


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