Lateral (or pain on the side) hip pain is an extremely common complaint, and often referred to as pain over the Greater trochanter or trochanteric pain. Pain typically presents in weight-bearing activities, especially ascending stairs, running or high impact activities as well as side lying (on either side). Symptoms can include focal tenderness, weak hip abduction, pain radiating into lower buttock or lateral thigh and even numbness in the upper thigh. Pain is often aggravated with hanging off the hip in standing, sitting cross legged or initiating movement/walking after prolonged sitting/lying.
This condition has long been termed “Trochanteric Bursitis” and has been commonly treated with cortisone injections into the painful area. Recent research is changing our thinking on this being bursitis. Bursitis means inflammation of the bursa, studies have shown in chronic suffers that there are often no inflammatory cells present in the region. Degenerative tears in the Gluteus Medius tendon are very common and recent studies report, that tears are present in 80-100% of sufferers of trochanteric pain. Meanwhile only 8-15% of these patients had trochanteric or Gluteus Medius bursitis.
This has created a bit of a paradigm shift in our treatment of such injuries. Where cortisone injections were the best treatment, treating the injury as a tendon injury not a bursitis, has shown remarkable success rates, with less recurrence. Cortisone can still be useful to help settle symptoms, but strengthening, standing posture training and education can help you abolish your pain for good.
If you think you suffer some of these symptoms, call us today and get on the road to recovery!