Lateral Hip Pain isn’t always what it seems

Linda Brown, a receptionist at Maleny Physiotherapy, on the TWS slider

Linda Brown, a receptionist at Maleny Physiotherapy, on the TWS slider

One of the most common reasons people see their physiotherapist is hip pain that extends down the leg. The pain increases when walking, climbing hills or stairs, and gets in the way of a decent night’s sleep.

What was once (mis)diagnosed as bursitis is more likely to be tendinopathy – that is, damage or compression of the tendon; not inflammation.

In place of stretching and massaging, modern treatment involves activation of deep hip muscles and targeted weight-bearing strengthening, which includes the use of the TWS slider.

It is the invention of Dr Alison Grimaldi from the University of Queensland whose PhD focussed on conditions of the hip including Gluteus Medius Tendinopathy.

Things NOT to do for hip pain:

  • rest completely – it decreases the ability of the tendon to take load
  • passive treatments – in the long term, the tendon needs to be able to take load
  • injection therapies – unless you have not responded to an exercise-based program
  • ignore pain – exercise within the boundaries of pain
  • stretch tendon – this adds compressive loads damaging tendons
  • massage tendon – if tendon is already irritated, massage can worsen the pain and
  • take short cuts with rehabilitation – tendons needs to build strength and capacity again.

If you are concerned about any pain, consult a professional.

Information from:

Professor Jill Cook professor in musculoskeletal health in the La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre.

Dr Alison Grimaldi – Principal Physiotherapist at Physiotec, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Queensland.