Quite often, patients present to our clinic with pain in the lateral hip. Although there are a number of different diagnoses for this area, “greater trochanter pain syndrome” has emerged in the literature as a term to describe a combination of signs and symptoms for this area.
Greater trochanter pain syndrome is a relatively new term that encompasses a collection of symptoms in the lateral hip. These symptoms (criteria) include but are not limited to pain in the lateral hip (as pictured below) that may increase or get worse with activity and pressure on the area. For the practitioners out there, pain is also present with single leg stance and supine resisted external rotation of the hip. Commonly, patients with this form of hip pain are female between the ages of 40 – 60.
A recent study examined the effectiveness of various therapies for greater trochanter pain syndrome. In particular it examined shock wave therapy, corticosteroid injection and therapeutic exercise. In the end it found that each of these approaches offered some measure of benefit albeit at different times during the recovery. Perhaps of interest to most of our readers with this condition would be the home exercise program. The home exercise program from this study for patients with this form of hip pain was as follows…
– Piriformis stretch (30-60 second hold, repeated 3 times).
– Standing iliotibial band stretch (30 second hold, repeated 3 times).
– Straight leg raise (10 inches off the floor, 3 sets of 10 repetitions).
– Wall squat with ball or pillow squeezed between the thighs (held for 10 seconds, repeated 20 times).
– Prone hip extensions (8 inches off the floor, held for 5 seconds, 3 sets of 10 repetitions).
The entire protocol was performed twice daily for a period of 12 weeks.
As we’ve mentioned in many blogs it’s important to have your condition examined by a qualified professional who can diagnose your condition and ensure that the appropriate exercises are being prescribed. The aforementioned exercises were the ones used in this study. Although the authors of the study found a beneficial effect, it does not necessarily mean these exercises are known as the best exercises for any hip condition.
Rompe JD, Segal NA, Cacchio A et al. Home training, local corticosteroid injection or radial shockwave therapy for greater trochanter pain syndrome. American Journal of Sports Medicine 2009; 37(10):1981-1990.