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Gluteal Tendinopathy - Buttock/Hip pain

Gluteal tendinopathy can give pain in the buttock muscles, or around the hip and outer, upper leg.

The gluteal muscles, of which there are three, form the main bulk of the buttocks, although there are other muscles beneath them. They allow you to get up from sitting or lying down, extending the leg backwards and rotating the hip, lifting the leg outwards and stabilizing the pelvis.

The site of the pain is the outside of the hip and can refer down the outer thigh to the knee. There can be buttock and groin pain.

It is common in women over 50, with over 23% having this condition. This may be due to reduced collagen during the menopause which weakens the tendons. It is often caused by increased compression on the tendon and increased load which, weakened tendons, are unable to withstand.  Common triggers are:

Rigid foot, which changes the gait pattern

Increase in exercise, walking distances or speed

Starting hill walking

Weight gain

Fall onto one side, or increased lying on one side

Recovery from illness or injury

Some medications or unmanaged diabetes

The gluteal muscles may need to be strengthened carefully and monitored. Cold packs may help.

This pain can be confused with that of sacro-iliac pain, disc prolapse, hip osteoathritis and bursitis. An Osteopath can help to diagnose the problem, help you to manage the symptoms, give you treatment and exercises, and reduce your pain.