Hip Pain – Is it the Glutes?
Why Adding Glute Strength Exercises May Not Be Enough To Help Your Hip Pain.
So you’ve been diagnosed with hip bursitis? Tendonitis? Or a hip labral tear? Or maybe you haven’t actually been diagnosed at all but every time you mention your sore hip, someone tells you that you must have weak glutes. And so you head to the gym or the internet and do a search for glute exercises – it quickly comes back with 2.3million plus options.
Sorted. You have your glute exercises and soon you will be pain-free. Except you’re not. And so you join the thousands of other people suffering hip pain despite daily glute exercises. If weak glutes are a key factor in hip pain – and they often are – why don’t glute strengthening exercises work?
I don’t normally like comparing our bodies to cars because the human body is so much more complex than a machine. But sometimes, cars make the best analogies. Imagine you have a car that isn’t running and you notice it is out of petrol. Much like strengthening the hip that is sore because of weak glutes, it makes sense to fix the problem by filling the car with petrol. But if that petrol tank has a hole in it, filling it with more fuel won’t help because the fuel will continue to leak.
If your weak glute muscles and hip pain are caused by an underlying injury, no amount of strengthening is going to help. You have to address the source of the problem first. So if you have ongoing hip issues be sure to get an accurate assessment and diagnosis first with someone experienced in hip pain and injury. You will save yourself a lot of time and effort and in many cases, you may be surprised how quickly a physio can help relieve your symptoms.
Cath Julius is a Physiotherapist with expertise in Hip and Lumbar diagnosis & treatment.
After graduating in 1998 from Melbourne University Cath spent many years working within some of the largest Sports Medicine Practices in Australia. Working closely with top Sports Medicine Physicians, Orthopaedic Surgeons and other health professionals gave her an amazing grounding in all aspects of injury assessment and management.
Cath is the owner and Consultant Physiotherapist at Freedom Health Physio & Pilates in Papanui, Christchurch.