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Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS): Cause and Treatment Options

Illustration of a Greater Trochanteric Pain SyndromeHip Pain: Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome is a common hip disorder that causes pain along the sides of the hips. Pain and tenderness from a Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome often develop gradually. However, there are cases in which the pain develops acutely from a traumatic event. Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS), affects about two out of every 1000, making it the most common hip problem. It impacts females more often than males and has a higher level of prevalence.  Those at risk of developing this disorder are the obese, arthritic and existing back pain patients.

Because the Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome is a relatively long-term, most clinicians have started to use its acronym, GTPS. Therefore, we will use this abbreviation throughout this article to mean the same. This article will provide you with information and holistic non-surgical treatment options that repairs the root-causes of the Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome.


Illustration showing causes of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome.

What Does the Term Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) Mean?

The term, Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is an all-encompassing term descriptive of hip disorder at or near the greater trochanter. In a short while, we will elaborate more on the need for this new term, GTPS. But, first, let’s address the greater trochanter and its importance.






Anatomical location of the Greater Trochanter.The greater trochanter is the bony prominence along the side of the hip. It serves as attachment point for the tendons of muscles from the spine, buttocks, hip, and leg. In other words, there are several tendons and even muscles that traverse near or in proximity to the greater trochanter. Therefore, the clinical significance of the greater trochanter is undoubtedly important to the recovery of back pain, hip pain, leg pain, slipped disc and even scoliosis patients.



Balance in Muscles of the hip and Grater Trochanter.

The Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is a confluence of disorders that impact the lateral hip. One of which is the greater trochanteric bursitis. In fact, GTPS is a new term that has replaced the traditional trochanteric bursitis term. The shit towards GTPS terms denotes the significance of the greater trochanter. Also, many issues and conditions can cause swelling, pain, and tenderness in lateral or side of the hip joint. Thus, the need for this new, all-encompassing term.





Inflamed IT band and Greater Trochanteric Pain SyndromeGreater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) and Greater Trochanteric Bursitis?

As mentioned, the previous term for the Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome was “trochanteric bursitis.” Yes, both conditions are inflammatory processes present in the bursa of the greater trochanter. But, the hip has several bursae and structures that cause pain or tenderness. That’s the primary reason for the term of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome or GTPS. It covers the variability present in symptoms while acknowledging the many other possible causes. They include but are not limited to muscle pain, muscle tears, and iliotibial band pain, also known as ITB.



Bursa of the hip and greater trochanter.

As the name applies, the greater trochanteric bursa is situated directly above, the greater trochanter. It provides protection and cushioning of the muscular tendons that attach to the greater trochanter. Trochanteric bursitis has many causes including trauma, repetitive motions and most important is pinched nerves resulting in chronic muscular spasms of muscles that have tendentious attachments to the greater trochanter.






Additional sources of pain in Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. Can the Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) Come from the Spine or Caused by Sciatica?

The short answer is a definite YES! Spinal issues such as a slipped disc (slip-disc) cause nerve irritation. Nerve irritation is the result impingement syndromes. An impingement syndrome compresses the nerve. The exiting spinal nerves, traversing spinal nerve or the Thecal Sac (distal spinal cord) are all susceptible.




Side view of the lumbar spine.

Why is this important? Well, if the cause of your GTPS is a spinal disc disorder, and your doctor or therapists continue to treat the hip without addressing the root-cause (spine), you will not recover. In fact, you may progress and get worse. Therefore, the most critical factor to recovery is accurate diagnosis followed with holistic care. A correct diagnosis combined with targeted, holistic treatments is the only way forward. So, don’t opt for the palliative care that most centers provide. Aks for holistic corrective care combined with palliative measures. In other words, get the kind of care that gets rid of all your symptoms once and for all.

So, avoid the inexperienced or the clinically challenged, visit one of our centers for accurate diagnosis and best of the holistic treatments of hip pain, back pain and of course Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS).




Bursitis and Greater Trochanteric Pain SyndromeBursitis: A Common Cause of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS)

A bursa, not to be confused with Bursa Malaysia is the fluid-filled, natural sacs in our bodies that protects and cushions sensitive structures. They thin cushions located between the opposing surfaces of bones, muscles, ligaments and even skin, protecting against friction. The plural form a bursa term is as bursae. Trauma, tight clothing and repetitive can irritate and produce inflammatory reactions within the synovial walls of a bursa. An inflamed bursa (swelling in the synovial walls of a bursa) is called bursitis. The largest of the bursae around the hip and the gluteal region is the subgluteus maximus bursa.

In the gluteal region, there are three bursae: the subgluteus minimus bursa, subgluteus medius bursa, and the subgluteus maximus bursa. But, these are not the only bursae impacting the lateral hip (side of the hip).  Other bursae implicated in the Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) include the greater trochanteric bursa and genitofemoral bursa.  A mentioned earlier; the biggest is the bursa under the gluteus maximus muscle, the subgluteus maximus bursa.

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome itself is a regional pain syndrome, which often mimics pains generated at other points, such as degenerative joint conditions. Common examples of degenerative joint conditions include spinal problems or osteoarthritis of the hip. In fact, anywhere from a quarter to a third of those with the pain of the low back wind up experiencing GTPS.


What are the Symptoms of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome?

Symptoms of a GTPS (Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome) usually consist of persistent pain, especially towards the outer or lateral hip and gluts. Pain might radiate down through the outside of a thigh towards the knee, but on occasions, it can emit below the knee and cause leg pain. Patients afflicted with GTPS have point tenderness on the lateral hip that is consistent with the particular site where they experience the pain. That might be over their gluteal tendons, bursae, or related soft tissue, and it prevents many from lying comfortably on their sides.

In GTPS, it’s often painful to push a leg out to a side against any resistance or even climb stairs. Some folks might find it more intrusive than others, and it might impact their capacity to participate in sports, go running, or even walk in daily life. This is the main reason why our expert clinical teams of chiropractors and physiotherapists assess the lower back, spinal discs, buttocks, and the hip joint.


Chiropractor and Female patient in discussionHow Should the Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome be Managed or Treated?

First and foremost, pain management is best when a given condition cannot be corrected. Many centers offer pain management, but few provide corrective care. Therefore, whenever possible restorative care is better than pain management. Because, in pain management, the condition progresses, and in time it may proceed to appoint where it cannot be treated. Therefore, our advice is to opt for holistic diagnosis based targeted treatment, such as that offered by our centers.

There are scenarios where patients suffering from a GTPS have recovered without any intervention. But, these are rare occasions. Treatment strategies that are conservative are most helpful when based on an accurate diagnosis. The most common cause of pain management is a misdiagnosis of patients. Therefore, if you are experiencing chronic hip or buttocks pain, visit us for a thorough assessment to identify the root-cause of your GTPS.

Manual Physiotherapy for Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome.

We have the best chiropractors and clinical physiotherapists in Kuala Lumpur. Our clinical teams can advise you on strategies for activity modification, as well as help you address particular biomechanical issues. We offer guidance on the optimization of your comprehensive musculoskeletal health. Our Chiros and Physios can help you manage various contributing factors like issues with your hip joint, buttocks or spine. In short, if you are looking for the best clinical non-surgical treatment of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS), chose us!

Back pain treatment of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome.

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