Gluteal Tendinopathy

Gluteal Tendinopathy

Article by J.Miller, Z.Russell

Gluteal Tendinopathy

What is Gluteal Tendinopathy?

Gluteal tendinopathy, commonly known as hip tendinitis, affects the gluteal muscles causing pain and dysfunction. This condition arises from injuries or degeneration of the gluteal tendons connecting these muscles to the femur bone. Experts link it to Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome and trochanteric bursitis. If you experience persistent pain or movement difficulty in the hip and buttock area, seek medical advice immediately.

What Causes Gluteal Tendinopathy?

Weak hip and buttock muscles often lead to a hip tendinopathy. This weakness can result in muscle pain and further reduce strength, creating instability in the hip-pelvis area. This instability puts more stress on the gluteal tendons. Poor control during walking or running due to hip instability can also strain the trochanteric bursa, leading to bursitis. Overuse, trauma, and ageing can also deteriorate the tendons. Therefore, get a medical check-up for an accurate diagnosis and effective tendinopathy treatment plan.

Who Does Gluteal Tendinopathy Affect?

While postmenopausal women commonly experience hip tendinopathy, with a prevalence rate of 20-25%, young and active people aren’t immune. In fact, 10-15% of the general population can suffer from it, especially those who engage in running, dancing, and skiing.

Recognising the Symptoms

gluteal tendinopathy

People with tendinopathy often report lateral hip pain, stiffness, and reduced strength. Activities like running, hopping, or climbing stairs can worsen the pain. Some might find increased pain and stiffness at night or when waking up. Lying on the affected side might also cause discomfort.

Gluteal Tendinopathy Diagnosis

Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough clinical examination to diagnose gluteal tendinopathy. They’ll evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and response to various tests. Imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI can provide a deeper understanding of the condition. Remember, while these tests are helpful, a clinical assessment remains crucial.

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing gluteal tendinopathy:

  • Increased training or activity levels can overburden your gluteal muscles and tendons.
  • Weak gluteal and deep hip muscles increase strain on the tendons.
  • An altered walking pattern can abnormally load the tendons.
  • Lower back pain can lead to movement patterns straining the gluteal muscles and tendons.
  • Health conditions like diabetes or thyroid issues can impede healing, increasing tendinopathy risks.

Treatment Approaches

Your recovery from gluteal tendinopathy often involves conservative management. Your physiotherapist will guide you through various strategies:

  • Rest and avoid positions like leg crossing or leaning on one hip.
  • Apply ice packs for 20 minutes, up to twice an hour, initially.
  • Seek a thorough assessment of your hip joint and muscle function.
  • Engage in gluteal tendinopathy exercises and a Hip Core Stabilisation Program.
  • Use real-time ultrasound to improve your hip muscle control.
  • Discuss your return to activity with your physiotherapist.

Exercise as Treatment

Exercise therapy is pivotal in managing hip tendinopathy. Your physiotherapist will tailor an exercise program to suit your needs, focussing on strengthening, flexibility, and pain reduction. They’ll monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments, ensuring you’re on the right track.

Returning to Sport Safely

After recovering from gluteal tendinopathy, reintroduce yourself to exercise or sport gradually, under your physiotherapist’s guidance. They’ll consider pain levels, strength testing, and functional activities when devising a rehabilitation plan. Always consult your physiotherapist for advice and support throughout your recovery.


For specific advice, please seek the guidance of your hip physiotherapist. Book your appointment today.

Related Articles

You've just added this product to the cart: