Gluteal tendinopathy and associated bursitis are caused by repetitive loading of the gluteal muscles – usually with excessive walking or running.
It is commonly seen in middle-aged females, who have previously been sedentary and have taken up more exercise. The tendon experiences a sudden change in load that it is not used to, and it becomes irritated as a result. The surrounding bursa may also become inflamed (this is your ‘bursitis’).
The Clinical Pilates studio is an excellent place to start your rehab, as your Physio is there to supervise if your technique is correct. If you are doing your glute exercises with poor technique, then you are at risk of flaring your pain.
- Pain at the side/back of hip. This is usually aggravated with activities such as: Lying on painful side, walking for long distances and stairs, glute stretches, sitting cross-legged, activities involving standing on one leg (e.g putting your leg in a pair of pants).
- Tender to touch at side of hip.
- Started unaccustomed exercise (especially walking hills/stairs or running) after a period of no/minimal exercise.
- Muscle release of tight muscles around the hips – dry needling or deep tissue massage.
- Your physiotherapist will give you advice in how to unload the tendon to ensure it has adequate healing time – this includes avoiding long distance walks/large flights of stairs/hills, avoid sleeping on painful hip (instead sleep on opposite side with pillow between the knees), no glute stretching (this will irritate the muscle further), avoid sitting in low chair or cross legged, and limit how much time you are standing on one leg (put pants on sitting down).
- A short-course of anti-inflammatories (oral or topical).
- A gradual gluteal strengthening program – given for at home and/or the Pilates studio.