How To Manage Lateral Hip Pain

What is Lateral Hip Pain?

There are many conditions that can cause pain to the side of the hip. One of the most common conditions is known as Trochanteric Bursitis or Bursitis of the hip.

Recent research has shown that this bursitis is almost always a secondary finding, with the main cause being tendinopathy within the gluteal muscles (specifically the medius and/or minimus tendons) at their insertion into the outside of the leg.

Why Does it Occur?

Insertional tendinopathies occur when the tendons are repeatedly overloaded and this can cause injury within the tendon structure.

The tendons at your hip can become overloaded for several reasons:

  • Tightness and over activity in the muscles at the hip
  • Poor posture and movement patterns (hanging on one hip, sitting with legs crossed, poor knee control when walking, running or squatting)
  • Lying on your side on a hard surface.


Symptoms are usually related to activities and positions that cause the tendons to be compressed. Pain is most often experienced over the greater trochanter (bone at the side of the hip) and can commonly be brought on by the following:

  • Sleeping on the sore side
  • Walking up hill or upstairs
  • Sitting for long periods (especially with legs crossed)
  • Activities that involve standing on one leg.

We recommend that if you have any of these symptoms that you come in to see one of our physiotherapists for assistance.

How can Physiotherapy Help?

A skilled clinician will confirm your diagnosis based on your symptoms, history and by carrying out a thorough physical examination.

The management of lateral hip pain is based on a clear understanding of the mechanisms of injury and the contributing factors. Treatment will be tailored to you specifically and can consist of; hands on techniques to provide symptomatic relief, education, tendon decompression strategies, postural correction and therapeutic exercises to improve how the muscles around your hips function.

Do you experience lateral hip pain? To book a consultation, select ‘Make A Booking’ in the top right hand corner of the screen and follow the prompts. Alternatively, you are always welcome to call our friendly team to discuss how we can help you on East Melbourne: (03) 9486 0512 and Armadale: (03) 9822 4999.

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