The 40-plus-year-old hip doesn’t always respond well to the abuse we have been dishing out to it over the years. One of the problem areas is often pain in the lateral hip. When my patients refer to hip pain, they almost always point to the outside or lateral part of their hip. I can definitively say that the majority of you weekend warriors with pain in this area don’t need a hip replacement and this is not arthritis, despite the pain. Hip joint degeneration is referred to the groin, and even if you are experiencing groin pain, it isn’t necessarily your hip joint. Moreover, doctors like to use the diagnosis, “bursitis,” when referring to pain in the lateral hip, but this is generally not the diagnosis either. Lateral hip pain, which accounts for most hip pain, is almost always “gluteal tendinopathy” involving the tendons of the glute medius and minimus. This injury is gen- erally due to a combination of overuse and movement dysfunction that has built up over the years of running, hiking, biking or just plain walking. The optimal way to rehab this stubborn injury is through postural awareness/mod- ifications, corrective exercises, and a good injury prevention routine once it clears up.
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