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Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS)

Guide to Hip impingement

What is Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS)?

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is used to describe a collection of overlapping conditions that causes pain over the outside aspect of the thigh/buttocks region, these include conditions such as greater trochanteric bursitis, iliotibial band syndrome and strain or tendinopathy of the hip abductor muscles (Glutes).

So, the term Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is now preferred as it could be any one of these conditions that may be the cause of your pain.

What are the symptoms of Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS)?

GTPS presents itself as chronic, persistent pain over the outside of the thigh/buttock’s region. The symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the initial factors that are causing the condition. You may experience some of the following:

  • Pain that gets worse when laying on that side
  • Pain that gets worse with exercise such as walking for extended periods of time or running long distances
  • A change in your walking pattern
  • Tenderness to touch around the area
  • Pain that is aggravated by crossing your legs while seated

What causes Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS)?

Some of the causes of GTPS are as follows:

  • Traumatic injury such as a fall onto the side of the hip area
  • Inactive lifestyle such as being seated for prolonged periods of time causing weakness in the buttock’s muscles
  • Repetitive movements that involve the hip such as running or walking for prolonged distances
  • Poor sitting posture such as sitting crossed legged, a seat that is too low and weight-bearing on one leg
  • Can be caused as a secondary response to low back pain

It is most common in middle-aged to elderly adults and 2-4x more common in females than men.

How is Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) diagnosed?

The diagnosis of GTPS will be made by the practitioner using a combination of clinical tests which will include assessing your muscle strength and flexibility, hip joint range of motion, functional tests such as assessing your walking pattern and many more special tests that will help them narrow down the possible causes of your pain.

Your practitioner may refer you to get some diagnostic imaging done which are very effective at diagnosing the true pathology that may be causing your pain.

How is Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) treated?

The main treatment modality for GTPS is conservative care. The majority of patients respond well to these types of treatments which includes things such as:

  • Modification of your activities to reduce compressive forces on the muscles that are on the outside of the thigh
  • Hip stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Assessing your biomechanics and re-education you on poorly controlled movement patterns that are causing unnecessary strain on the muscles/tendons
  • Soft tissue release of tight muscles in the surrounding areas

Some tips that you may try already would be to do the following:

  • Be considerate of how you sit and stand
  • Prevent crossing your legs while seated
  • Try and not to sleep on the affects side to prevent any more compressive pressure
  • Stay away from any activity that tends to make the pain worse

If you find that conservative management is unsuccessful at treating your symptoms then your practitioner may consider an ultrasound-guided injection for you.


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