Gluteal Tendinopathy, Trochanteric Bursitis, Greater Trochanteric Pain syndrome – Are They All The Same Thing?
Pain over the outer side of the hip is commonly related to the way that the muscles, tendons and bones in this area interact. There is a part of the thigh bone (femur) that is more prominent at the side of the hip. This is called the greater trochanter. Most of the muscles that help you balance when you are standing on one leg either join onto or pass over this bony area. The deep gluteal muscles join onto the bone via fibrous tendons. Small flat ‘cushions’ called bursae reduce friction between the bone, the tendons and the overlying fibrous Iliotibial band that runs from the pelvis to the knee (a lot of anatomy to take in? – this is important to remember for the next part so hang in there…).
As all of these structures are so closely packed together, one or more of them may be irritated by the same activities or positions. Pain in the area may be described with different names depending on where you live and who has diagnosed you. The condition may be diagnosed as:
- gluteal tendinopathy
- gluteus medius or minimus tendinitis
- trochanteric bursitis
- Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) (which just refers to any irritated tissues over this bone)
Regardless of which term your health professional has used, the underlying causes for the pain are usually the same, so let’s move on to discussing this in more detail.