Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome

Kaitlin Pullen-Cameron

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is an umbrella term for pain located at the side of the hip which can be tendon, muscle or bursa related and is commonly found in females aged 40-60, however GTPS is not limited to this population. It is usually caused by repetitive loading or abnormal hip biomechanics leading to the onset of pain on the outside of the hip, which may radiate down the leg towards the knee. There may be other underlying factors such as reduced strength of the gluteal muscles which can predispose the hip to GTPS.

Common conditions which fall under the umbrella of GTPS include gluteal tendinopathy and trochanteric bursitis. A tendinopathy is the result of a tendon being placed under repetitive load causing trauma to the tendon. This trauma and overuse of the tendon can lead to inflammation of the tendon, a tendinopathy and small tears if the repetitive load isn’t managed or reduced. Bursitis can also occur at the hip where the gluteal muscles attach to the femur. Bursa are small, fluid-filled sacks located around joints, muscles and tendons which reduce friction between these structures. If a repetitive or increased load is placed on the structures around the hip it can result in inflammation and irritation of the bursa resulting in bursitis.

Symptoms commonly reported for GTPS include pain at the side of the hip, inability to lie on the affected side, pain or tenderness to touch, difficulty with single leg tasks such as climbing stairs or running and increased pain with prolonged sitting. GTPS frequently worsens over time and can lead to further muscle or tendon injury.

Diagnosis for GTPS includes a history of the onset of injury usually resulting from high impact activity, an increase in training load or frequency and pain with single activities. Your physiotherapist will conduct an assessment usually involving movements, single leg tasks and palpation of hip structures to determine the source of pain and any predisposing factors which may be involved. Imaging may be useful in diagnosing the source of pain, however, patient’s history and clinical findings are generally sufficient.

Physiotherapy management of GTPS generally involves manual therapy to alleviate pain and improve movement as well as exercise prescription to strengthen the hip muscles and addressing any biomechanical factors which may be present. This is crucial to minimising the impact hip pain can have on daily tasks and exercise routines as well as preventing ongoing hip pain or injury.



Suffering with hip pain? Keeping you up at night? We can help! Make an appointment with Kaitlin to have your hip problem assessed and treated by calling (07) 3211 8775 or click here to book online.