Do you suffer from chronic pain in your hip that hinders performance and limits your ability to participate in your favorite activities? It may start as a minor discomfort, but you can gradually develop hip pain that becomes more severe as time goes on. The pain is often located on the outside of your hip and can be accompanied by stiffness, making it difficult to perform certain movements.
The pain often makes it challenging to maintain the same level of intensity and frequency of workouts and may even cause you to avoid certain exercises or activities altogether.
If the above sounds like you, you may suffer from hip tendonitis.
What exactly is hip tendonitis?
Hip tendonitis, also known as trochanteric bursitis, is a common condition that affects many people and can cause significant pain and discomfort. Hip tendonitis is a broad term that refers to inflammation of the tendons in the hip area. It occurs when the tendons that connect the hip muscles to the bone become inflamed and irritated, usually due to overuse or repetitive movements. This can lead to pain and stiffness in the hip area, making it difficult to move and perform everyday activities.
What causes hip tendonitis?
Hip tendonitis is usually caused by overuse or repetitive motions. Think about all the times you’ve gone for a run, biked uphill, or even just walked up and down many stairs. All of that can put a lot of stress on the tendons in your hip, causing them to become inflamed and irritated.
But it’s not just athletes who are at risk; even everyday activities like gardening or painting a room can cause hip tendonitis. And, if you’ve had a previous injury to your hip, it can make you more prone to developing tendonitis. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and other systemic diseases can also make you more susceptible to hip tendonitis.
What are the specific symptoms you should look out for?
There are several symptoms of hip tendonitis to look out for. These symptoms are caused by the inflammation of the tendons that connect the hip muscles to the bone. The pain and stiffness may be more pronounced during or after physical activity and improve with rest.
One common symptom of hip tendonitis is pain in the hip region, especially on the outside of the hip. The pain can be a sharp or dull ache and may be more pronounced during or after physical activity.
You may also experience stiffness, mild swelling, and tenderness around the hip, affecting your range of motion and making it difficult to move the hip or perform certain movements.
Other symptoms might include pain that radiates down the thigh and into the knee and weakness in the hip muscle, making it difficult to stand on one leg or perform specific movements.
Finally, you have difficulty sleeping on the affected side due to pain and discomfort.
What's the difference between hip tendonitis and hip bursitis?
Hip tendonitis and bursitis are both conditions that can cause pain and inflammation in the hip area, but they are different conditions that affect different structures in the hip. While hip tendonitis refers to the inflammation of the tendons that connect the hip muscles to the bone, bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, which are fluid-filled sacs that cushion and lubricate the joints. Here are some ways that hip tendonitis and bursitis are different:
Location of Pain: Hip tendonitis typically causes pain on the outer side of the hip, while bursitis can cause pain in different areas, such as the front or back of the hip.
Cause: Tendinitis is often caused by overuse or repetitive motions, while bursitis is often caused by direct injury or repetitive movements that put pressure on the bursa.
Treatment: The treatment of hip tendonitis and bursitis may vary, as different treatments are more effective for each condition.
How is hip tendonitis diagnosed?
If you suspect you may have hip tendonitis, it’s crucial to seek a proper diagnosis from a doctor or physical therapist. When diagnosing hip tendonitis, several methods can be used, including:
Physical Examination: A doctor or physical therapist will perform a physical examination of the affected hip to assess for signs of pain, tenderness, stiffness, and muscle weakness. They may also ask about your medical history and any recent injuries or activities that may have contributed to the development of hip tendonitis.
Imaging Tests: Imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI can help rule out other potential causes of hip pain and provide information about the condition of the tendons and surrounding structures.
Blood Test: A blood test may be done to rule out other conditions causing hip pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Aspiration: In some cases, a doctor may perform a procedure called aspiration, in which a needle is inserted into the affected area to remove a fluid sample for analysis. This can help to confirm the diagnosis of hip tendonitis and can also help to rule out other potential causes of hip pain.
It’s important to note that each person is unique, so the best method to diagnose your hip issues will vary depending on your individual case.
How do you treat hip tendonitis?
Treating hip tendonitis focuses on reducing inflammation and pain. Treatment options may vary based on the type and severity of the injury and can include rest and ice, physical therapy, medications, corticosteroid injection, and orthotic devices. Many doctors and physical therapists will first opt for non-surgical treatments; however, surgery may be necessary in rare cases.
Some Common Treatments include:
Rest and Ice: Resting the affected hip and applying ice to the area can help reduce inflammation and pain. It’s important to avoid activities that cause pain and to take a break from any activities that may have contributed to the development of hip tendonitis. Ice can be applied for 15-20 minutes several times a day.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is an important treatment for hip tendonitis and can help to strengthen the muscles around the hip. Additionally, a physical therapist can teach you exercises to help improve strength and flexibility in the hip area and provide guidance on performing daily activities without aggravating the condition.
Medications: Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen can reduce inflammation and pain. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medications if needed.
Corticosteroid Injection: In some cases, a corticosteroid or cortisone injection may be necessary to reduce inflammation and pain. This treatment involves injecting a corticosteroid medication directly into the hip joint.
Orthotic Devices: Orthotic devices such as shoe inserts or braces can help to redistribute weight and pressure on the hip, which can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Surgery: Surgery is rarely necessary for hip tendonitis, but it may be an option in severe cases. Surgery is usually performed to remove any damaged tissue or repair any structural problems contributing to the condition.
Can you prevent hip tendonitis?
The good news is you can prevent hip tendonitis, which may be as simple as warming up properly before exercising and gradually increasing the intensity of your workout. To avoid the development of hip tendonitis, it’s essential to take steps to protect the tendons in the hip area.
Here are some easy steps to take to prevent hip tendonitis:
Warming up properly before exercising
Gradually increasing the intensity of your workout
Wearing proper shoes
Taking regular breaks if you’re engaging in activities that involve repetitive motions
Strengthening and stretching the muscles around the hip
If you suspect you are developing hip tendonitis, you should see a doctor or physical therapist for a proper diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan for your recovery. With the right care, most people can fully recover and return to their normal activities.