Gluteal Loading Versus Sham Exercises to Improve Pain and Dysfunction in Postmenopausal Women with Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2018 Jun;27(6):815-829. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2017.6729. Epub 2018 May 1.


Objectives: The aim of the current study was to determine the effects of education with targeted or sham exercise on pain and function in postmenopausal women with greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS).

Background: Conservative management of GTPS is poorly described, and to date, there have been no studies on education with exercise as an intervention for GTPS. Ninety-four postmenopausal women with GTPS were recruited to participate in this study.

Materials and methods: Participants were randomized to receive one of two 12-week exercise programs (GLoBE vs. sham). Participants received education on avoiding tendon compression with appropriate activity modification. The Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Gluteal tendon (VISA-G) was examined at baseline, 12, and 52 weeks. Secondary outcomes included hip pain and function questionnaires (Hip dysfunction and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS), Oxford Hip Score (OHS), and Lateral Hip Pain questionnaire), a global rating of change in symptom questionnaire, and a quality of life measure (Assessment of Quality of Life [AQoL]-8D). Differences between groups were analyzed using intention to treat with analysis of covariance, per-protocol analysis, and responder analysis.

Results: Responders to the GLoBE intervention had significantly better VISA-G, HOOS, OHS, and lateral hip pain questionnaire scores compared to responders in the sham group. However, intention to treat analyses showed no between-group differences for the GLoBE intervention and sham exercise groups. Significant improvement in VISA-G score was found for both programs at 12- and 52-weeks time points (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Lack of treatment effect was found with the addition of an exercise program to a comprehensive education on GTPS management. The improved outcomes of the responders in the GLoBE group indicate that there may be a subgroup of patients with a GTPS diagnosis that benefit from a GLoBE intervention program.

Keywords: GTPS; exercise; postmenopausal; rehabilitation; tendinopathy; women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Femur / physiopathology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Postmenopause*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Tendinopathy / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome