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Happy Hips At Menopause

Gluteal tendinopathy is a common and frequently disabling condition. Research shows that it affects 1 in 4 women over 50 years old, and has similar effects on quality of life as severe hip arthritis. This condition is very common in women in their 40's and 50's due to the changes in hormone levels, especially estrogen. Current management of tendinopathy centers around education and progressive loading exercises. At Whole Body Wellness, we specialize in menopausal health, helping you recover from musculoskeletal injuries so that you can get back to the activities you love!


Symptoms of Gluteal Tendinopathy

Gluteal tendinopathy presents as pain over the greater trochanter, the bony lump on the side of your hip. You may have discomfort with:

  • Sleeping on your side

  • Crossing your legs

  • Wearing tight or compressive clothing (i.e. leggings)

  • Sit to stands or squats

  • Standing on one leg.

It is commonly misdiagnosed as IT band syndrome, sciatica, greater trochanteric bursitis, or hip arthritis.


Hormonal Changes

A drop in estrogen during peri-menopause and post-menopause can affect the integrity of your ligaments, tendons, muscles, and connective tissue. Estrogen is a very important hormone for collagen synthesis, rebuilding, healing, and tissue recovery. More specifically, type 1 collagen is converted to type 3 collagen, which is less pliable, elastic, and more easily injured. Fat also infiltrates your muscles and tendons. This explains why gluteal tendinopathy is so common during women during their peri-menopause and menopause stages.


Protein Intake for Collagen Rebuilding

Protein is very important at this stage for recovery. Protein (including chicken, fish, seafood) contains amino acids that support collagen repair and muscle/tendon/fascia recovery. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods are also great for decreasing inflammation in the hip: avocados, berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries), turmeric, ginger (great to seep in hot water for 3-4 hours, and then drink as tea), green tea, spinach, and dark chocolate, to name a few. If you're looking for a protein supplement, I recommend vital proteins collagen powder!


Treatment

Gluteal tendons have very poor blood flow. It's important to participate in cardiovascular exercise to promote blood flow to the tendons for healing. This includes swimming, biking, elliptical, and walking (if you can tolerate it). For swimming, I recommend lateral movements (i.e. breast stroke or walking sideways along the pool). Treatment also involves gradually and progressively loading your gluteal tendons to build its strength back.


Book an appointment below to get back to your daily and recreational activities you love without limitations!




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