Skip links

Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome


Many people encounter pain in the hip region, specifically on the outer side, without a comprehensive understanding of its underlying mechanisms. This pain can significantly hamper one’s ability to participate in activities and find restful reprieve. Keep reading this blog to find out more about this!

What is Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome?

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS), a condition causing pain on the outside of the hip, is more common than you might think. With this condition, pain normally presents on the outside of the hip and is normally quite tender to touch or lay on. It is particularly aggravated when standing on a single leg.

GTPS generally affects women more than men, and it’s normally women that are typically living a sedentary lifestyle and around the age of 40 years old. However, it can also affect the athletic population, mainly runners. But it’s not just limited to these groups; GTPS can affect any age.

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is actually an umbrella term to describe three separate conditions which are related to that outside of the hip pain.

  • Gluteal Tendinopathy: This is the most common condition under GTPS. It’s where specifically the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus tendons become aggravated and quite painful because they’re unable to deal with the load of the stresses that are being applied to them.
  • Hip Bursitis: The second most common condition is hip bursitis. The bursae around the greater trochanter become very inflamed and painful. Both of these conditions can actually present at the same time as well.
  • IT Band Syndrome: The third condition relates to the IT band. It’s where the increased tension in the IT band causes it to flick over the greater trochanter, so flick over the area, which causes a lot of inflammation and a lot of pain.

Causes and Symptoms of GTPS

GTPS can develop due to various factors, including repetitive activity causing friction between the femur and IT band, performing exercise at too high an intensity or volume, a sedentary lifestyle, high body fat percentage, scoliosis, or having one leg longer than the other.

The primary symptoms of GTPS include hip pain over the outer thigh that worsens with prolonged sitting, climbing stairs, high-intensity activity, lying on the affected hip, and walking. Other symptoms may include hip stiffness, swelling or warmth around the hip, and a clicking sound when moving the hip.

Managing GTPS

Conservative management is the best approach when treating this condition. This would typically include education, exercise selection, shockwave therapy, and some manual therapy.

An important step in your recovery is identifying which activities are causing or increasing your pain. Modifying those activities can help to reduce symptoms. The key to success is slow progressive loading of the soft tissues through exercises that strengthen the muscles involved. Over time, it’s crucial to gradually increase these exercises to help the tendons and muscles become stronger, less painful, and more able to cope with normal activity levels.

Pain medication can help you move more comfortably, aiding in your recovery. In some cases, if painkillers aren’t helping to control the pain, healthcare professionals may discuss the option of having a corticosteroid injection into the outer hip.

GTPS is a common cause of pain in the outer part of the hip. It most commonly affects women in their 40s to 60s. Conservative treatments like avoiding painful activities, strengthening your hips, and NSAIDs are typically successful in relieving GTPS symptoms. Surgery is usually only needed as a last resort.


The recovery from GTPS can often take 6 to 12 months of rehabilitation, depending on the cause. Flare-ups are to be expected at times during the recovery process. Should they manifest, it is advisable to consider reducing repetitions or taking a few days off for rest before resuming the routine.


The impact of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome on your quality of life can be profound, yet with the appropriate comprehension and effective management strategies, you can gain control over the symptoms and pursue a fulfilling, active lifestyle. If you are encountering GTPS symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. Always remember that you are not alone in this journey, and support is readily accessible.

For more information about  Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome

This article was written by our team of specialist therapists at Perfect Balance Clinic. If you would like more specific advice about how our team can help you with this condition or symptoms you may be having, please complete the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you shortly.

    Return to top of page