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The Best Exercises to Treat Trochanteric Bursitis & Gluteal Tendinopathy

What is trochanteric bursitis and gluteal tendinopathy?

Trochanteric bursitis and gluteal tendinopathy are conditions characterized by pain in the outer hip and buttock area. Both conditions stem from overuse and repetitive friction occurring between the greater trochanter and the iliotibial band. This repetitive friction leads to microtrauma at the greater trochanter, resulting in localized inflammation and bursitis, tendon degeneration, and increased tension on the iliotibial band.

How is it treated?

Reduce training intensity and physical activity that exacerbate symptoms, such as prolonged standing or activities that involve repetitive hip movements. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help alleviate pain. A rehabilitation program emphasizing strength, flexibility, and balance around the hip is crucial to recovery. 

How long is the recovery?

Recovery time depends on the severity. Symptoms often improve within a few weeks of starting treatment. However, full recovery, particularly for chronic or severe cases, can take several months. Try to be patient.

Resuming sports or activities should be gradual and based on pain tolerance. Avoid symptom-triggering activities until well-managed. Begin with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity.

Trochanteric Bursitis & Gluteal Tendinopathy

Rehabilitation Exercises

Consistent rehabilitation can accelerate recovery and prevent recurrence. Do the following rehabilitation program 3 times per week for 4-6 weeks.

Standing IT Band Stretch 

  • Objective: improve flexibility along the outer thigh and hip

  • Stand on the affected leg and cross your other leg in front of it. Gently allow the hip of the affected leg to drop outwards away from your body. Lean your upper body slightly towards the opposite side to increase the stretch. You should feel a stretch along the hip and side of the affected leg.

  • Hold this for 30 seconds, repeat on the other side.

Glute 90/90 Stretch 

  • Objective: improve flexibility of the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles

  • Sit on the floor and bend both knees to create 90 degree angles with each leg. Gently lean forward from the hips, moving towards your front thigh. You should feel a stretch in the back of the hips.

  • Perform this 3 times, 30 seconds each. 

Body Weight Squat 

  • Objective: strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend your knees, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Consider starting at a half squat and slowly progress to a full squat as you recover. Use weights to increase difficulty.

  • Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

Straight Leg Raise 

  • Objective: strengthen the quadriceps, hip flexors, and abdominal muscles

  • Lie down and bend both your knees with your feet flat. Straighten out the affected leg and lift it upwards to an angle of about 45 degrees from the ground. Hold the leg at the top of the movement briefly and then gently lower the leg back down.

  • Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

Glute Hip Bridge 

  • Objective: strengthen gluteus maximus, hamstrings, pelvis, and torso

  • Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat. Keep your arms flat at your sides. Lift your hips, aiming to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Squeeze your glutes and hold briefly at the top before gently lowering back down. To increase the challenge, wrap a resistance band around your waist.

  • Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

Side Lying Clamshell 

  • Objective: strengthen hip and pelvic muscles

  • Lie on your side with both your hips and knees bent. Keep your feet together. Then, raise the top knee as high as possible without moving your hips or pelvis. Pause at the top, where you feel maximum engagement in your glutes, and then lower back down. Use resistance bands around your thighs, just above the knees to increase difficulty.

  • Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

Side Lying Leg Raise 

  • Objective: strengthen hip abductors to enhance stability and balance

  • Lie on your side with your legs straight. Raise the upper leg while maintaining a straight line with your body. Aim to lift it to about 45 degrees, hold it briefly at the top, and then gently lower it back down. 

  • Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

Step Ups

  • Objective: strengthen lower extremity muscles, improves balance and stability, addresses imbalances between legs

  • Stand in front of a sturdy platform. Step up onto the platform with your injured foot first, followed by the other leg. Then step back down, leading with the injured foot. To further challenge yourself, increase the step height or perform the exercise while holding weights.

  • Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.

Single Leg Balance Exercise

  • Objective: improve stability, coordination, and lower body strength

  • Stand on the affected leg on a stable surface. Put your hands on your hips and slowly shift your weight onto one foot. Carefully lift your other foot and raise the leg so that your thigh is as close as parallel to the ground. You can make this exercise more challenging by holding weights.

  • Hold this position for 1 minute and then repeat on the other side. 


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