Relieving Soft Tissue Hip Pain

Hip, back and spinal problems in young ages.

Soft tissue hip pain can be debilitating, affecting everyday activities such as standing, sitting, and walking. Conditions like Trochanteric Bursitis, Gluteal Tendonitis, Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, and Piriformis Syndrome are common culprits behind this type of pain. This blog post explores the intricacies of these conditions and sheds light on an effective therapy approach aimed at improving patient outcomes.


Understanding the Source of Lateral Hip Pain

Lateral hip pain frequently originates from the tendon attachments onto the greater trochanter. Essential muscles like the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and piriformis play a critical role in hip stability and movement. Weakness in these muscles can result in heightened stress, inflammation, and compression in the hip region, leading to pain. This pain can appear both when bearing weight and when not, creating a persistent issue for those affected.


The Role of Therapy in Relieving Soft Tissue Hip Pain

To address soft tissue-related hip pain, a multifaceted approach is necessary, considering the specific conditions and their root causes. This is where targeted physical therapy becomes crucial. The objective is to not only alleviate immediate pain but also equip patients with tools for long-term self-management.

  1. Correcting Habits for Restful Recovery

Patients receive guidance in adopting new sitting and sleeping habits that minimize irritation to the lateral hip structures during periods of rest. Proper sleeping positions with knee support and sitting positions with lower tension aid in reducing stress on the affected area.

  1. Activating and Controlling Muscles

A key aspect of therapy involves directing muscle activation and control. Initially, patients focus on isometric muscle activation, which lessens compressive loads on the lateral hip structures across various positions. This stage establishes the groundwork for more advanced interventions.

  1. Gradually Advancing to Weight-Bearing Activities

As patients gain improved control over muscle activation, therapy advances to tasks involving more weight-bearing and compressive loading. This approach ensures that the muscles become prepared to manage the demands of daily activities without placing additional strain on the affected structures.

  1. Home Program for Consistent Management

Consistency holds the key to managing soft tissue hip pain. Patients receive a personalized home program comprising 3-5 exercises to perform daily. These exercises are designed to sustain muscle strength and stability, facilitating ongoing relief from symptoms.


Addressing Common Concerns

  • Stretching: Although stretching is advantageous for many conditions, it could exacerbate soft tissue hip pain during specific phases of treatment. Nevertheless, under therapist guidance, patients will gradually reintegrate stretching into their routine.
  • Foam Rolling: Similar to stretching, foam rolling has its place but necessitates gradual introduction. Initial therapy phases might exclude foam rolling due to the potential for exacerbating compression.
  • Sleep and Sitting Positions: Your sleeping and sitting postures can significantly impact hip pain. Appropriate sleeping positions and lower tension sitting positions can alleviate stress on the lateral hip structures, promoting better recovery.
  • Injections: In certain cases, injections might be considered to reduce inflammation in the affected structures. However, this decision usually follows about four weeks of focused physical therapy intervention. Therapy remains pivotal for long-term improvement, regardless of the need for injections.


Soft tissue hip pain can substantially affect the quality of life for numerous individuals. With the right approach, including habit correction, targeted muscle activation, controlled progression, and consistent home exercises, relief from hip pain becomes achievable. If you struggle with Trochanteric Bursitis, Gluteal Tendonitis, Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, or Piriformis Syndrome, seeking professional guidance can pave the way for improved patient outcomes and a superior quality of life. Remember, relief is attainable, and a comprehensive therapy approach can be your route to recovery. Contact our Hip Specialist, Anna Caldwell, PT, DPT, OCS, today at Meridian location today at (208) 887-6757 or at


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