Hip pain… who hasn’t had hip pain? The real question is what is it and how do you get rid of it? There are a plethora of hip injuries, but the most common that I see clinically is the infamous Gluteus Medius Tendinopathy. Let’s call it “Glute Med Tendinopathy” for short.
Tendon-what, you ask? Tendinopathy translates as “pathology of the tendon”. Once a tendon is injured, inflammation and fluid starts to accumulate around the strained tendon. This initial injury is called “tendonitis” or inflammation of the tendon. If you are lucky and your musculoskeletal system is in tiptop shape, the tendonitis will heal and you will continue with your activity pai- free in one to two weeks.
If the tendonitis does not heal properly, then you are left with a tendinopathy. Glute Med Tendinopathy consists of chronic nagging posterior hip pain worsened by activity. This is commonly linked to bursitis of the hip. A bursa is a fluid filled sack that helps the tendons glide smoothly over the joints. This is the type of injury that you don’t want to “wait it out.” The best time to take care of a tendinopathy is to address it right away.
Now that we know what it is, how do you get rid of it? Contrary to belief, a tendinopathy is easily treatable. Seeking early treatment and a proper diagnosis is the biggest hurdle with this injury. Deep tissue sports massage, active release technique, PRP injections, Prolo therapy injections, or, the beloved, foam roller will help heal this chronic injury by causing micro trauma to the injured tendon. The controlled (key word here) injury sustained from this type of treatment will cause swelling and inflammation to occur at the targeted damaged site. This is a key factor in the natural healing process of the body. Surprise! Inflammation is not all bad.
The second, and equally important, treatment for Glute Med Tendinopathy is to strengthen it. Strengthening the gluteus medius muscle correctly and all the other hip muscles, as well as the core, will give the injured tissue a break and allow it to heal without complications.
If you suspect that you are suffering from Gluteus Medius Tendinopathy and two weeks of “at home treatment” doesn’t seem to be working, it is time to seek treatment from a sports provider.
Dr. Crystal Neal
Spine and Sports institute