Lateral Hip Pain Causes and Treatment

Lateral hip pain is the medical term used to describe the pain felt on the outer side of the hip. Also referred to as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, this condition causes pain to run down to the outer side of your thigh, and sometimes below your knee.

The pain can present suddenly due to an overuse of the medius and the gluteus minimus –  the main internal rotators in your lateral hip. Degeneration of the small hip muscle tendons occur when your gluteal muscles have poor strength, causing the front of your hip to overcompensate to steady and support the hip joint.

This condition can occur in untrained individuals who engage in high intensity activities too soon, and even in seasoned athletes who jump back into their usual training after a few days of inactivity. Lateral hip pain may also arise as a result of direct trauma to the outside of the hip.

Other causes of lateral hip pain include poor sitting position, standing for long periods while leaning on one hip, sleeping with your knees bent to a 90-degree angle while resting your weight on one side, and wearing improper footwear when running or walking.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, then you will benefit most from physiotherapy that will help strengthen your thigh and hip muscles.

Recovering from Lateral Hip Pain

Physiotherapy for Lateral Hip Pain

There are gentle exercises that you can do to help improve hip strength, but if your hip pain persists for 1 week or more, you may need to have it checked by your trusted physiotherapist.

The main goal of physiotherapy is to relieve pain and improve your strength and mobility so you can resume your normal activities. During your initial visit, a physiotherapist will ask about your specific symptoms, how long you have had the pain, the history of the problem, and any past medical condition that may have contributed to the development of the hip pain.

This initial evaluation is crucial, as it will allow your physiotherapist to make a correct diagnosis. Based on the information gathered during the evaluation, a focused examination that consists of different sections will be conducted. The examination may include range of motion measurements, which will help your physiotherapist evaluate how your hip joints are moving. The way you walk will also be evaluated to see whether there are changes in your hip during the stance phase and swing phase of walking.

hip-pain-physiotherapistImplementing a Treatment Plan

After the initial evaluation and focused examination, your physiotherapist will be able to create a treatment plan that is suited for your unique functional needs. He or she may prescribe exercises that will help strengthen your hips, and improve your mobility. You can do some of the simple exercises at home, but it is advisable that you do them under your physiotherapist’s supervision for the first few weeks to ensure that you are exercising correctly.

Your treatment plan start with basic strength exercises, stretching and manual therapy that helps relieve short and long-term pain.  Once you have achieved increased mobility and built up basic strength you may be given a comprehensive home exercise program that will allow you to maintain these improvements after your Physio session.

The types of exercises you will need to do will depend on the result of the evaluation. If your physiotherapist found weakness around your hip muscles, then you may have to focus on hip strengthening exercises such as:

  1. Single/double leg bridges
  2. Clam shells
  3. Banded squats
  4. Single leg RDL (Romanian Deadlift)

The hip plays an important role in your body movement, as it is a weight-bearing joint that makes it possible for you to perform different functional activities. As such, pain in your hip should be addressed properly to help you make a rapid return to doing normal activities.

Ready to See A Physiotherapist?

Trained Physio & Fitness has a special interest in diagnosing and recovering from Lateral Hip Pain for customers in the Perth area.  Book an appointment online today or call us for more information about how we can help you feel your best.

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