I had a 50 yo client come into our Richmond clinic who presented with chronic gluteus minimus tendinosis and was recommended Myotherapy treatments by her GP who had diagnosed the condition via MRI imaging. The gluteal muscles are a group of 3 muscles; gluteal maximus, gluteal medius and gluteal minimus, these muscles assist in the stabilisation of the femur in the hip socket. They generate power when we lift the legs and keep our pelvis in the correct position when walking.
My client works long hours in an office environment and experiences pain originating at the left lateral hip and is brought on by walking distances of approx 1km. Through questioning I found the client would favor the left leg when using her sit/stand desk. Discomfort increased gradually as the day went on, and as a result often caused interrupted sleep pattenrs, this became a concern of mine.
She saw a decrease in her physical activity and wanted to be able to go on long walks with their two dogs a favorite pastime of hers.
After performing myofascial release to offload the muscles around the hip complex, I prescribed isometric exercises for her to perform whenever she felt the pain appear. Isometrics are a great way to help relieve clients suffering tendinopathy; for the analgesic affects that isometric holds have on tendon pain, and can often be easily performed in home or office.
For this client the exercise prescribed was a side lying hip abduction held for one minute, repeated four times. This involved the client lying on their unaffected side (right) with their legs straight, shoulders stacked and spine in a neutral position. Then, using around 50% effort, the client raised their left leg to around 30 degrees and held it there for one minute, then relaxed. This was repeated four times with a minutes rest between holds.
Isometric holds can be performed multiple times throughout the day, whenever tendon pain causes discomfort.
My client adopted this protocol whenever she felt the pain was noticeable and found that isometric holds helped to decrease the pain to a point where it was not affecting her work day. She also noticed an improvement in sleep quality, and importantly has been able to take their dogs on long walks again almost pain free.
If you are experiencing pain that you believe may be tendon related see one of our Myotherapists today so they can assess you and create an individual treatment plan.
Written by Luke Walsh Myotherapist
Below is a video on isometric exercise.