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GTPS: Common Causes for Pain on the Outside Hip

One of the most common causes of pain on the outside of the hip, especially over the bony aspect of the thigh, is known as greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS). For many years, the term trochanteric bursitis was used to describe these symptoms, but the bursa is not the only structure that can produce pain in that area.Tendons of the hip that insert into the greater trochanter can also cause irritation and pain on the outside of the hip, hence the name change.

Activities that cause pain with GTPS include:

•Lying on the involved side

•Prolonged sitting


•Prolonged walking



There are many risk factors that can lead to GTPS. These include:

•Weakness in the gluteals and lower extremities

•Recent increase in activity

•Tightness in the hips or knees

•Change in hip or knee mechanics during daily activities

•Poor footwear

•Being overweight


If you suspect that you have GTPS, follow up with your physician. They may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication and will recommend physical therapy. Your physical therapist will determine your activity tolerance with stairs and walking, assess your pain, review hip and knee mobility, and test your leg strength. Then, your therapist will create an individualized treatment plan based on their findings.


This can include:

•Strengthening exercises for the hip and lower extremities

•Stretching for hip and/or knee mobility

•Manual therapy for pain management

•Cold pack or iontophoresis for pain management

•Education and activity modification to limit stress on painful tissues


If you or someone you care about is experiencing the discomfort and limitations described in this article, please know that David Gilboe and Associates stand ready to support you on your journey to recovery. From comprehensive assessments to a combination of strengthening exercises, stretching, manual therapy, and pain management techniques, we are committed to helping you regain your mobility and comfort. Don't let hip pain hold you back—reach out to today and take the first step towards a successful recovery.

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