Gluteus Medius Tendinopathy
The gluteus medius tendon connects the gluteus medius muscle to your pelvis. Its job is to help you move your thigh/leg away from your body and stabilize your hip while walking, running, and jumping.
What is Gluteus Medius Tendonitis?
Gluteus medius tendonitis (sometimes spelled tendinitis and pronounced 'tendinitus') is an injury where your gluteus medius tendon is irritated or inflamed. You will feel this irritation, swelling and inflammation when there is a strain, damage or micro-tearing to the tendon tissue. This injury can happen from overuse of the tendon or an accident of some kind.
The hip is a complicated joint and so if you are suffering from gluteus medius tendonitis it might be hard to tell. Pain can easily be transferred to other areas of the hip, thigh, lower back or buttock. Sometimes pain can even shoot down the side of your leg. If left untreated, gluteus medius tendonitis can turn into a chronic condition or degeneration of your tendon fibers.
Anyone can suffer from tendinitis, but it is most common in adults due to degeneration of tissue as we age. Over time the tendons in the hip will wear down resulting in something called degeneration. This is where the fibers in your tendons will become more weak - it's just a natural process that happens as we age.
Chronic inflammation of the gluteus medius tendon (tendinopathy) that results from many small tears over time from overuse, repetitive movements, or friction from a tight iliotibial band. In many cases, degeneration of the gluteus medius tendon is associated with greater trochanteric bursitis; the combined injury is called greater trochanteric pain syndrome. When chronic gluteus medius tendinitis occurs, the gluteus medius tendon is vulnerable to subsequent injury and degeneration that may result in a tear.
What are the Symptoms of Gluteus Medius Tendonitis?
If you have gluteus medius tendonitis you may experience pain over the outermost side of your hip, the upper side of your buttock and even in the lower back at the spine. You may also experience swelling, warmth or redness around your injury and the pain often gets worse by moving your hip. Weakness in your hip and surrounding muscles and loss of range of motion while moving your leg away from the body are also some common symptoms of this condition.
What Causes Gluteus Medius Tendonitis?
There are many causes to gluteus medius tendonitis, some of which include:
- The natural structure and alignment of your pelvis and hip can cause a tilt that changes the way your tendon will move and work (and other muscles, bursae, etc. that the tendon might rub up against).
- If you normally walk by crossing your foot across your midline toward the other leg, when running.
- Short leg syndrome - a condition where your legs are not of equal length that may affect the tilt of your hips and pelvis.
- A naturally wide pelvis and excessively knocked knees.
- A sudden increase in the intensity, frequency, or duration of exercise.
- Repetitive activities such as long distance running, walking, and training for triathlons, biathlons or marathons.
How Do I Diagnose Gluteus Medius Tendonitis?
Hip pain is a very common problem and there are many causes of hip pain. It can be hard to discover the condition that you are dealing with. Are you are having trouble sleeping on that side of your hip? Are you having pain standing, walking are after sitting for any length of time?
The best way to diagnose this condition is with a visit to your doctor for a physical examination of your hip. During a physical examination of your injured hip, your doctor will be looking for weakness and pain in the hip area. Your hips should be at the same level and they may also look at the results of something called the 'Trendelenburg's Test'. This test is done by standing on one leg and allowing the pelvis to drop on the opposite side while lifting your opposite (healthy) leg/hip. Your doctor will know that you have gluteus medius tendonitis (or weakness in your hip muscles) if you lift the opposite (healthy) leg/hip and you're unable to maintain your balance while you stand (you may also experience a shooting pain) (reference: 1, 2).
It's important to have a proper diagnosis from a doctor or some other medical professional to determine the cause of your symptoms. This way the right treatment can be used to treat the condition and relieve your pain.
What's the Difference Between Gluteus Medius Tendonitis, Tendinosis and Tenosynovitis?
Tendinosis refers to tendon degeneration when there is no inflammation. Tendinosis is often caused by chronic degeneration (wearing away) of tendon fibers over time and is a natural thing that happens to our tissue as we age. However, Tendinosis is also caused from repetitive use without adequate rest between usage (RSI injury). As an example, achilles tendinosis is quite common in runnners as their achilles is under repetitive stress. In a nutshell, Tendinitis relates to tendon inflammation whereas Tendinosis refers to tendon breakdown with no inflammation.
Where tendonitis means damage or micro-tearing to your tendon, tenosynovitis is damage or micro-tearing to the sheath covering your tendon. This sheath is a protective lining for your tendon and is made up of synovium. If this sheath is injured it can also become irritated resulting in similar symptoms as tendonitis (pain, swelling and inflammation).
It's possible for you to have tendonitis / tendinosis AND tenosynovitis at the same time creating a more complicated hip tendonitis injury.
How Do I Cure Gluteus Medius Tendonitis?
If you suspect you have tendonitis in your hip,
- Usually conservative treatment methods are all that's needed to treat hip tendinitis, surgery is only ever used if long-term conservative treatment methods don't work or if you've suffered from a ruptured tendon in your hip. Conservative treatment options for hip tendinitis typically includes rest, icing of the injury, strengthening exercises, avoiding activities that cause or worsen the pain that you're feeling and anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medication (reference: 1, 2). If treated properly gluteus medius tendonitis usually heals within in 2 to 6 weeks.
- Second, if your doctor has decided that your injury can be treated with conservative treatment options, then you'll find that many of our customers have had great success augmenting their PT at home with conservative treatment options such as a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and the Back/Hip T•Shellz Wrap® .
- Or, if surgical intervention is required, talk with your doctor about using these same products for post-surgery recovery as you'll find them to be effective for reducing post-surgery inflammation, enhancing range of motion and reducing scar tissue growth.
No one is immune to tendinitis, you can reduce your risk of re-injury with consistent conservative treatments
If you have pain and inflammation in your hip, buttock and/or your tail bone, it's very important to heal your injury quickly and completely. You must avoid the build up of scar tissue. If you don't, your hip tendinitis injury may last for a very long time. This is why it's so important to continuously use conservative treatment tools to heal any recurring tendon damage before it can build into something big. For any hip tendinitis sufferer, having the right tools makes all the difference.
In mild and moderate cases of tendinitis / strained tendons, your PT will most likely encourage you to augment your sessions with conservative home exercises/treatments. Severe injury to the tendon (ruptured tendons) will require surgery to re-attach the tendon to your bone or bring the edges of the tear together. If you suspect that you've ruptured your tendon be sure to speak with your doctor for suggested treatment.
Gluteus Medius Tendonitis Home Conservative Treatment Options
Step 1 - Reduce Pain and Swelling with Cold Compression
The first step for conservative treatment of your hip tendinitis is to reduce the swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal hip tendinitis injuries. This is why for years, doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
Cold Compression Slows nerve and tissue function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissues begin to break-down. Without cold compression, tissue break-down continues as they don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal tendon injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your hip pain right after it's hurt, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a Cold Compress or Ice Pack right away will help stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling in your hip to stop tissue damage at the microscopic level, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury of your hip.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your hip is painful or you're having a flare-up of an old tendon injury.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation in your hip.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your hip area.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with a T•Shellz Wrap®
After the inflammation in your hip has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening soft tissue in the injured area is recommended.
Increased Blood Circulation = Increased Healing Capability
T•Shellz Wraps® contain a unique Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe energy over its entire surface. This energy is absorbed by soft tissue in the treatment area, opening blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood flow. Increased blood circulation is what your body needs to accelerate the healing of soft tissue and this is why we recommend the T•Shellz Wrap®.
The T•Shellz Wrap® is an FDA Registered Medical Device and is suitable for use in therapeutic clinics and FROM HOME. It is completely safe for people and patients to use for themselves.
The technology found in a T•Shellz Wrap® has been used for decades in the worlds of professional and amateur sports - a contributing factor as to why athletes seem to recover from injuries so quickly.
Have you ever wondered by an athlete can return to activity after 3 or 4 weeks following a soft tissue injury - while your average person takes much longer to return back to normal? The secret isn't really that much of a secret - it involves consistent treatments (meaning multiple times a day) using a treatment like the T•Shellz Wrap® to stimulate blood flow to the injured tissues. Most athletes have the luxury of using in-house facilities many times per day.
How many us can afford the time and money to visit a clinic multiple times a day? Very few indeed. This is how you can gain some of the advantages that athletes enjoy in their injury recovery - by using a device like the T•Shellz Wrap® two or three times a day on a consistent basis.
Consistent Treatments = Consistent And Long Term Improvement
What Else Makes the T•Shellz Wrap® So Special?
We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective home treatments to increase localized blood flow to soft tissue in and around the treatment area.
We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do... reduce pain (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) temporarily increase length & flexibility of soft tissue (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) and aid your body in recovering from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries via enhanced blood flow.
The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.
The T•Shellz Wrap® has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long enough that you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.
Treatments are max 30 minutes in duration and the device can be worn over clothing. This allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.
Conservative Treatment Tools Our Clients Have Used to Help
Limit Damage & Boost The Body's Soft Tissue Repair Process at Home
(What We Recommend to Assist in Recovery from Your Tendon Injury at Home:)
- A Cold Compress or Ice Pack to reduce inflammation wherever there is pain and/or swelling (as soon as possible).
- A TShellz Wrap to increase blood-flow to the treatment area (Circulatory Boost).
- MendMeShop Arnica Pain Cream for temporary relief of pain due to sore muscles and joints.
- An Exercise & Stretching Plan to prevent muscle atrophy and shortened tendons in the leg. A proper plan will increase elasticity and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the ankle, calf, knee, and upper leg.
Conservative treatment tools just like these have been used successfully by thousands of tendonitis sufferers - just like you.
T•Shellz Wrap® = Enhanced Blood Flow in the Treatment Area
These tools are what you need for rapid healing. These are the tools that top professional athletes use to treat their injuries every single day. And just like these athletes, you can treat yourself at home.
If you are suffering from any form of tendinopathy or you're recovering from soft tissue surgery, you can heal quickly if you treat your injury correctly. That means using the right therapies every single day.
With regular use of the TShellz Wrap:
- Your pain will be reduced*.
- Due to increased blood flow, soft tissue in the treatment area will be expected to recover at an accelerated rate with reduced potential for re-injury*.
- Tissue in the treated area should experience a larger range of motion and increased extensibility of collagen tissue* due to the heat effect on soft tissue. This should translate into a reduced rate of re-injury occurrence as soft tissue is known to lengthen and become more flexible when exposed to warm temperature. (*Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition.
(amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
We believe the use of T•Shellz Wraps® for boosting blood flow to soft tissue in the area of application is one of the most under-utilized home treatment options available on the market today. We have client after client that have tried many options out there and have been amazed at how effective and fast the TShellz Wrap treatment can relieve pain and increase blood flow in the treatment area.
To find out more about hip treatments, please visit our hip treatments page here
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!