- Orthopedic (muscles, bones, injury)>
- Trochanteric Pain>
- Treatment Overview
Trochanteric Pain Treatment Overview
First steps to consider
- Mild to moderate pain can be treated at home.
- Use ice and heat, take OTC pain relievers, and do gentle stretches to help with pain.
When you may need a provider
- Your pain is moderate to severe
- Treating yourself is not helping the pain or pain is interfering with everyday activities or makes it difficult to sleep.
Go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Redness or severe swelling
- Unbearable pain with hip movement
- Unable to put weight on your leg
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When you may need a healthcare provider
Most cases of greater trochanteric pain syndrome are helped by home remedies, including ice and heat, OTC antiinflammatories, and stretching.
It can take 4–6 weeks for symptoms to improve and up to 6 months for pain to go away completely. See a healthcare provider if your symptoms are not getting better after 3–4 weeks of regular home treatment.
Greater trochanteric pain symptoms can mimic other conditions like torn hip tendons or pinched nerves in the lower back. See a healthcare provider if you develop a severe limp or have shooting leg pain with numbness and tingling.
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms and a physical exam. Your doctor may recommend X-rays to check for other causes of pain like arthritis. In rare cases, an MRI of the hip may be necessary to look for tears in the hip tendons—though tears are an uncommon cause of greater trochanteric pain syndrome.
What to expect from your doctor visit
The doctor will discuss your current treatments including any OTC medications you are taking.
- If OTC medications are not helping, you may be given prescription anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Physical therapy to help stretch and strengthen the muscles around your hip is often recommended.
- If your pain doesn’t improve with NSAIDs and physical therapy, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection into the hip. This helps to directly reduce inflammation in the area.
- Greater trochanteric pain syndrome rarely requires surgery. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove the hip bursa sac and lengthen the tissues around your hip. If there are tears in the hip tendons, they may require surgical repair.
Prescription medications for greater trochanteric pain syndrome
Prescription anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include:
- Meloxicam (Mobic)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Naproxen (Naprosyn)
- Nabumetone (Relafen)
- Voltaren (Diclofenac)
What kind of doctor treats greater trochanteric pain syndrome?
- A primary care provider can treat mild to moderate symptoms.
- An orthopedist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating bone, joint, tendon, and muscle conditions.
How to treat greater trochanteric pain syndrome at home
If you have greater trochanteric pain syndrome, you can often treat it at home. Taking OTC anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) can help pain and keep inflammation down. Applying heat and ice can also help reduce pain and inflammation.
Simple stretching exercises help loosen muscles and tendons around the joint and side of the leg. Avoiding activities and exercises that increase your pain and finding ones you can do without pain can help prevent flare-ups.
Greater trochanteric pain symptoms may take 4–6 weeks to improve and up to 6 months to be completely gone. The condition can be very stubborn, and symptoms have a tendency to come and go.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
Tips for treating greater trochanteric pain syndrome
- Use a heating pad 3 times a day to relax muscles or ice 3 times a day to reduce swelling and numb pain.
- Try not to lie directly on the side with the pain.
- Stretch the muscles around the hip on a daily basis. It may help to see a physical therapist to get stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Don’t sit for too long.
- Avoid repetitive squatting, crouching, and lunging.
Wellness and prevention
- Regular stretching of the iliotibial (IT) band muscle on the side of your hip and leg can help reduce and prevent greater trochanteric pain symptoms.
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time.
- Take 5–10 minute breaks every hour to stand and stretch.
- Try to reduce the amount of time you lie on the side that is painful and avoid repetitive motions like squatting, crouching, or stair climbing.
- When exercising, use proper technique and avoid motions that are painful or require deep hip bending.