Hip Tendonitis Treatment North Vancouver

Hip Tendonitis Treatment Vancouver: often hip pain which is located on the outer portion of the hip is caused by hip bursitis or hip tendonitis. The Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of hip pain due to tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis & more! 

What is Hip Bursitis and Tendonitis? 

Hip Bursitis and or Tendonitis has also been named greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) which is a term used to describe pain that occurs on the outside of the hip in the region of the greater trochanter. Greater trochanteric pain syndrome typically involves: chronic outer hip, thigh and/or buttock pain, which is aggravated by activity and lying directly on the hip. GTPS may involve several different structures around the hip including:
  1.  The bursa around the outer aspect the hip
  2. The gluteus medius and minimus tendons
  3. The IT band


The pain involved in GTPS may be due to inflammation of one of the gluteal bursa or a tendinopathy of the gluteus medius or minimus muscles. Tendinopathy is a general term for tendon injury, which, initially involves inflammation and then progresses to breakdown, degeneration & weakening of the involved tendon. Currently gluteus medius or minimus tendinopathy is accepted as the most common pathology in GTPS. The greater trochanter is a bony prominence on the femur (thigh bone). The gluteus medius and minimus muscles attach to the greater trochanter and sit on the outside of the hip.

Picture of gluteus medius and minimus muscles

Bursa are fluid-filled sacs that provide cushioning between bony prominences and surrounding soft-tissues. There are 3 main bursa around the greater trochanter. These include:
  1. Gluteus minimus bursa
  2. Subgluteus medius bursa
  3. Subgluteus maximus bursa


What Causes Hip Bursitis/Tendonitis?

  • A direct blow to the outside of the hip.
  • A fall onto outside of the hip.
  • Abnormal hip biomechanics.
  • Overuse of the outer hip muscles/tendons. 
It has been proposed that abnormal hip biomechanics may predispose individuals to gluteal tendinopathy. It has been suggested that when the hip moves into adduction (inwards) there is increased compression and impingement of the gluteal tendons & bursa against the greater trochanter of the femur. Increased hip adduction may occur during upright weight bearing postures, like walking, running and stair climbing due to weakness in the hip abductor muscles . These muscles help to stabilize the pelvis and prevent excessive side-to-side movement (lateral pelvic tilt).

 Signs & Symptoms of Hip Bursitis/Tendonitis:

  • Pain on the outside of the hip, which may extend down the outside of the thigh.
  • Numbness in the upper thigh (less common).
  • Snapping sensation near the outside of the hip.
  • Weakness in the outer hip muscles/hip drop.

Aggravating Activities:

  • Laying directly on the hip.
  • Prolonged standing.
  • Crossing the legs.
  • Getting out of a chair.
  • Climbing hills or stairs.
  • Running and/or jumping.
  • Standing on one leg.

 Relieving Activities:

  • Rest from aggravating activities.
  • Avoiding positions that increase compression on the affected tissues.
  • Anti-inflammatories

Treatment of Hip Tendonitis/Bursitis:

At Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic our doctors will initially focus on reducing inflammation and reducing acute pain.  Treatment during this initial phase may include: education, advice, laser therapy and very specific light exercises. Once inflammation has settled it’s important to improve function of the lower back, hip and knee joints along with the muscles and fascia surrounding these areas.
The Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic doctors will use: manipulation, mobilization, stretching and myofascial release therapy to improve function of the lower back, hips and knees. A strengthening program to improve strength, power and endurance will also be prescribed in order to promote full healing and prepare the hip for return to activity and sport.

Education & Advice: Hip Tendonitis Treatment Vancouver

Here are some additional tips from the Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic doctors. 

  • Rest from aggravating activities.
  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Elimination of compressive loads. To eliminate compressive loads follow the steps below:
  • Avoid stretching the IT band.
  • Avoid standing with the hip dropped.
  • Avoid lying on the affected hip. Lay on your opposite hip with a pillow between the knees or on your back with a pillow under both knees.
  • Avoid sitting with the legs crossed.
  • Avoid foam rolling or rolling a tennis ball over the painful area.

Laser Therapy: Hip Tendonitis Treatment Vancouver

At Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic our chiropractic doctors use class IV laser therapy to reduce inflammation of the bursa & tendons, increase blood flow and decrease pain. It is a treatment modality that is useful in the early stages of healing, with no risk of aggravation. Once inflammation has been dealt with, treatment and rehabilitation will focus on reducing tension in the affected muscles, optimizing joint mobility, and improving strength. Treatment during this phase may include:

Manipulation & Mobilization: Hip Tendonitis Treatment Vancouver

It has been reported that up to 35% of patients suffering from lateral hip pain also have past or concurrent lower back pain. The relationship between these 2 conditions may relate to gluteal dysfunction associated with back or sacroiliac joint pain, or increased stress through the back as a result of poor stability of the pelvis. The nerves that branch from the lower lumbar spine also supply the gluteal muscles involved in greater trochanteric pain syndrome. The picture below shows some of the nerves that branch from the lower lumbar spine and pelvis. At the L4, L5 and SI levels of the spine nerves branch from the spinal cord and join to form the superior gluteal nerve . This nerve supplies the gluteus medius and minimus muscles, which are shown in the  picture. When the lower back is inflamed this can cause the nerves of the spine to become irritated and dysfunctional. The irritated nerves may then send signals into the gluteal muscles causing them become tight and or sore. Similarly, if the gluteal muscles and tendons become weak, tight or inflamed there will be increased stress placed on the structures in the lower back (joints, ligaments & muscles).

Picture of gluteal tendons involved in hip tendonitis treatment North Vancouver

At Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic doctors see a lot of patients who have low back pain and hip dysfunction and patients who have hip pain with association lumbar spine dysfunction. Lumbar spine and pelvis manipulation not only improves the function of the joints and tissues in the spine but can also help to decrease nerve signals, which may be driving hypersensitivity and tension into the gluteal muscles. Reduced mobility of the lumbar spine, hip joint, knees and ankles can also lead to altered lower limb biomechanics and contribute to injuries around the hip. Mobilization is a manual therapy utilized by chiropractors to assist individuals in improving movement restriction, pain with movement and functional restrictions.

Myofascial Release: Hip Tendonitis Treatment Vancouver

At Mountain Health & Performance North Vancouver chiropractor clinic our doctors use myofascial release therapies such as ART and FR to treat hip tendonitis and bursitis. Acute injury or repetitive strain can lead to soft tissue adhesions and fibrosis that in turn causes chronic dysfunction and painful tissue injuries. During myofascial release techniques like ART and FR, the chiropractor will apply tension with his or her hands to the affected tissue. The tissue is then moved through ranges of motion that feel stiff, tight or reduced. With multiple treatments myofascial release helps to realign these adhesions, which improves tissue health, mobility and function. This can help reduce excessive loads on the tendons or bursa involved in gluteal tendinopathy and bursitis.


Rehabilitation & Exercises: Hip Tendonitis Treatment Vancouver

The goal of rehabilitation is to decrease further injury to the structures around the greater trochanter region of the hip (muscles, tendon, bursa). It is also to decrease inflammation if it is present and to regain range of motion and strength. This may vary from person to person, but commonly rehabilitation will focus on; strengthening the gluteus medius muscle and tendon, strengthening the lower back and trunk muscles and improving mobility of the hip joint and surrounding muscles.
A gluteus medius tendinopathy treatment needs to include strengthening of the muscle and tendon. Isometrically loading the gluteus medius muscle in a pain-free range of motion with hip abduction exercises is a great way to stimulate healing for the tendon in the early stages of rehabilitation. Concentric and eccentric gluteal exercises may be prescribed later on in order to heal the tendon and help with dynamic pelvic stability. These types of exercise has been proven useful for healing in other types of tendon injuries including Achilles tendonitis and patellar (knee tendonitis). Once acute inflammation has been resolved a comprehensive strength based program is necessary for healing from all types of tnedon injuries.


Mountain Health & Performance is back open for non-urgent care as of May 19th 2020! We will be following COVID-19 guidelines in our clinic to ensure the safety of our therapists and patients. Please call 604-984-0014 to book or click on the "book an appointment" button to book online.