How Menopause Causes Hip Bursitis: A Detailed Insight

How menopause causes hip bursitis might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the “joys” of aging. But alas, it’s a reality many women face.

Menopause can contribute indirectly to hip bursitis. Decreasing estrogen levels during menopause can lead to a reduction in joint lubrication and bone density.

This can increase friction in the hip joint, leading to inflammation of the bursa, known as bursitis. Regular exercise and maintaining bone health are key preventative measures.

You see, menopause is like that uninvited guest who shows up at your party and causes all sorts of havoc: hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems, you name it.

ladies walking

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more fun, enter hip bursitis. Yes, as if night sweats weren’t enough!

The connection between how menopause causes hip bursitis, though often overlooked in conversations about midlife changes for women, is an important one to understand.

So let’s take a deep dive into this less-talked-about side effect of ‘the change’.

Table of Contents:

How Menopause Causes Hip Bursitis

As women age, their bodies undergo significant changes. One of the most notable is menopause, which can have a profound impact on various aspects of health and well-being. But did you know that menopause actually plays a role in hip pain too?

Specifically, it can lead to conditions like gluteal tendinopathy and greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS), both often associated with lateral hip pain.

The Role of Hormones

Hormone levels fluctuate significantly when perimenopause starts and continues through menopause itself. Estrogen plays an essential role in maintaining lateral hip stability by promoting healthy tendon integrity within the body’s connective tissues, such as the gluteal tendons (Medical News Today).

As estrogen levels drop during menopause, this decreased tendon integrity may cause painful tendon conditions like gluteal tendinopathy.

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Anatomy Matters: The Gluteus Medius Tendon

The gluteus medius tendon attaches your thigh bone to your pelvis at the point known as the ‘hip socket’. It’s crucial for walking and other movements involving your legs.

When weakened due to hormonal changes or long periods of misuse or overuse, such as sitting for extended durations, it becomes prone to developing gluteal tendinopathy.

Maintaining Lateral Hip Stability Post-Menstrual Cycle

To avoid gluteal tendinopathy after menstruation ends permanently, focus on maintaining lateral hip stability through exercises designed specifically for aging adults whose knees don’t tolerate squats easily anymore. Here are some senior fitness strategies:

  • Bridges: This exercise targets your hips’ backside while sparing your knees any additional strain
  • Lunges: Lunges help strengthen not just one but several muscles around your hips
  • Pilates side leg series: A great way to work out those outer thighs without putting undue pressure on other joints

Understanding Hip Pain in Menopause

If you’re a woman nearing or going through menopause, hip pain might be more than just an occasional annoyance. It could signal something called gluteal tendinopathy.

This condition is often associated with lateral hip pain and decreased tendon integrity.

Women experiencing menopause may be more susceptible to gluteal tendinopathy, which can cause lateral hip pain and decreased tendon integrity.

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The Role of Hormones in Tendon Health

Hormone levels can play a crucial role when it comes to maintaining lateral hip stability, particularly estrogen. Studies have revealed that estrogen is a must for preserving our tendons’ vigor and robustness.

Studies show that lower estrogen levels contribute to less flexible connective tissues, which may explain why postmenopausal women experience increased instances of tendon-related injuries such as gluteal tendinopathy.

During menopause, these vital hormones take quite a nosedive, leading not only to hot flashes but also causing collagen replacement within your body’s hardworking tendons to slow down significantly, increasing their susceptibility to wear and tear-related conditions like gluteal tendinopathy.

Research has indicated a direct correlation between low estrogen levels experienced during menopause and loss of bone mass, making them prone to fractures, especially around joints like hips, further compounding issues related to joint pains, including those around hips.

In other words, ladies, if you’re approaching or already undergoing the perimenopausal phase, the period before the complete cessation of the menstrual cycle, it’s crucial to be aware.

This phase precedes what is commonly known as the ‘menopausal’ stage.

Understanding these physiological changes in your body is essential to taking preventive measures early.

By doing so, you can avoid severe complications related to bones or joints later on. This includes painful conditions arising from reduced tendon integrity, a result of natural hormonal imbalances occurring during this transitionary period.

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Key Takeaway: 

For women approaching or in menopause, hip pain could indicate gluteal tendinopathy due to hormonal changes. Lower estrogen levels can lead to less flexible connective tissues and increased risk of tendon injuries. Awareness of these physiological shifts is crucial for early prevention and avoiding severe complications.

The Anatomy of Gluteal Tendons and the Hip Joint

Let’s talk about the hip joint. It’s a ball-and-socket arrangement where your thigh bone, or femur, meets up with your pelvis at an area known as the acetabulum, a fancy term for the ‘hip socket’.

This setup allows us to move in all sorts of ways thanks to supporting structures like ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

A particularly important group among these is our gluteal tendons.

Gluteal Tendons: The Silent Workforce

The gluteus maximus may be the star of the show, but its support team, medius, and minimus, are doing most of the work through their connections to each other, known as gluteal tendons.

These three musketeers work together via their fibrous connectors, also known as gluteal tendons, providing lateral stability when you’re moving around on one leg – walking or running, for instance.

If there is any disturbance in this force due to injury or inflammation, it can lead to significant discomfort around your hip region.

This discomfort could be exacerbated during periods such as menopause because hormone levels fluctuate significantly, affecting collagen production, which is vital for maintaining tendon integrity.

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Trouble In Paradise

In case things go south with these crucial players (we’re looking at you here, especially glutes), they have quite an impact not just on athletes who put them through rigorous use daily, but everyone else too, including women going through menopause.

Women entering menopause may experience an increased risk of developing conditions like gluteal tendinopathy.

Maintaining healthy hips isn’t merely a vanity project; they provide essential support, allowing us to perform everyday movements like standing upright without wobbling over ourselves.

Understanding how everything works under the hood then becomes critical so we can take better care of ourselves, especially during the transitional phases life throws our way. 

Key Takeaway: 

Understanding the anatomy of your hip joint, particularly gluteal tendons, is crucial for maintaining healthy hips. These silent workers provide stability and support during movement. However, disturbances such as menopause can lead to discomfort due to fluctuating hormone levels affecting collagen production vital for tendon health.

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) Unveiled

Don’t let the mouthful that is Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, or GTPS for short, intimidate you. This condition often occurs among women going through menopause, and it’s all about pain in the outer hip area – a real downer when trying to stay active.

The Culprits Behind GTPS

GPTPS doesn’t just appear out of nowhere; there are some sneaky culprits behind its development. For starters, your posture could be playing a villainous role here. When alignment goes awry, undue stress can wreak havoc on those gluteal tendons, leading to inflammation and discomfort.

Your body structure might also have something to do with this unwelcome guest at your life’s party.

If Mother Nature gifted you with an irregularly shaped thigh bone or hip socket, blame her.

Such gifts may lead to increased friction over your greater trochanter, causing irritation that eventually gives birth to our not-so-welcome friend: GPTS.

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You know who else we can point fingers at? Menopause itself. Those hormonal roller coasters during menopause affect collagen replacement in tendons, slowing down their repair processes and inviting conditions like GPTS to play.

And if sitting around crossing your legs for long periods was one of your favorite pastimes… well, bad news, I’m afraid, as it increases pressure on these areas and exacerbates any existing issues.

Tackling the Root Causes of GTPS

If living free from lateral hip pain is what you’re after, then understanding the root causes will give you quite an edge in creating targeted treatment plans that address symptoms while also tackling underlying issues to prevent future occurrences of such painful situations.

Here, you can dive deeper into how factors, including hormone levels, change when perimenopause starts affecting tendon health.

Key Takeaway: 

Don’t let menopause-related hip pain, or Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS), throw you off your stride. This pesky condition can be traced back to poor posture, body structure quirks, and hormonal changes during menopause that slow tendon repair. Tackling these root causes head-on could help keep GPTS from crashing your life

Preventing Hip Pain During Menopause

If you’re navigating the choppy waters of menopause, it’s not just hot flashes and mood swings that can make waves. Experiencing gluteal tendinopathy, a condition that can cause considerable hip agony, may be an issue for those going through menopause.

Maintaining Lateral Hip Stability: Your Secret Weapon Against Gluteal Tendinopathy

Your first line of defense? Maintaining lateral hip stability. The trick is to strengthen the muscles surrounding your hips that support the gluteal tendons. Strength training exercises, such as lunges or leg lifts, are great for this purpose.

But remember. If your knees don’t tolerate squats well due to conditions like GTPS or gluteal tendinopathy, moderation is key when performing these exercises. Too much, too soon, could do more harm than good.

Beyond exercise, proper nutrition plays an important role in maintaining tendon health during menopause.

Consuming enough protein helps repair damaged tissues while vitamin C aids collagen production, an essential component for healthy tendon integrity.

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Pacing Yourself: Exercise Intensity & Frequency Matters

The intensity and frequency at which you work out should be adjusted accordingly if you want to avoid developing painful tendon conditions like GTPS or gluteal tendinopathy during menopause.

Cross-training with low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling may help reduce pressure on your hips without compromising fitness levels.

WebMD suggests incorporating flexibility and balance exercises into routines.

These workouts promote joint health without causing undue strain on any particular area of the body; talk about killing two birds with one stone.

Living with GTPS Post-Menopause

Aging gracefully, they say. But when lateral hip pain due to Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) comes knocking post-menopause, it can feel anything but graceful.

Fear not. There’s a silver lining in this cloud of discomfort. With the right strategies and treatments up your sleeve, you can manage GTPS effectively without compromising on life’s joys.

The Power of Physiotherapy

Studies have shown that physiotherapy is an ace against conditions such as gluteal tendinopathy, or GTPS. It’s akin to giving your body its very own personal trainer who knows just how much pressure those muscles need for optimal performance minus the strain.

Besides reducing inflammation and easing painful tendon symptoms associated with menopausal changes in hormone levels, regular sessions also enhance overall muscle strength around our dear friend, the hip joint.

Lifestyle Tweaks: Your Secret Weapon Against GPTS

No magic potion will keep pesky ailments at bay during actual menopause. However, some lifestyle tweaks go a long way in managing chronic conditions like greater trochanteric pain syndrome after the menstrual cycle ceases permanently.

Regular exercise (Arthritis Foundation) keeps joints flexible, promoting physical well-being while also fostering mental health.

  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight:
    • Your scale isn’t just about vanity; excess weight adds unnecessary stress to joints, including the hips, which may lead to the development of gluteal tendinopathy or other similar disorders over time. So bid adieu to those extra pounds today
  • Say No To Stressful Activities:
    • If running uphill makes your hips scream louder than a banshee or sitting for long periods feels more torturous, then listen to your body and don’t do those things

Staying Fit After Menopause

The cessation of your menstrual cycle doesn’t mean the end of fitness and vitality. In fact, with a little planning and some smart adjustments, you can continue to lead an active lifestyle well into postmenopause.

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Knees Senior Fitness: 6 Ways to Stay Active

When it comes to maintaining physical activity after menopause, modifying exercises is key, especially if conditions like gluteal tendinopathy or GTPS have made high-impact activities such as squats less tolerable. Here are six ways you can keep moving:

  1. Pedestrian Pursuits: This low-impact exercise, known as walking, does wonders for cardiovascular health without overtaxing your joints
  2. Bicycle Bliss: A fantastic way to build leg strength while being gentle on the knees. Stationary bikes offer a safe alternative if the balance becomes challenging
  3. Pilates Power: An exceptional method for boosting core strength and flexibility, which indirectly aids in hip stability during menopause

In addition to these activities, consider incorporating some lightweight training into your routine, focusing more on repetitions than heavy weights (National Library of Medicine).

This approach helps strengthen the muscles around the hips, thereby reducing pressure on the gluteal tendons.

Always check with a medical professional before beginning any new exercise program.

Nutrition also plays an integral role in senior fitness following menopause.

Consuming adequate protein assists in repairing body tissues, including painful tendon areas, while foods rich in calcium support bone health (National Institutes of Health).

And don’t forget hydration. Dehydration could worsen tendon-related pains by decreasing blood flow through them. Here’s why staying hydrated matters so much.

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When Perimenopause Starts: Preparing Your Body

The journey to actual menopause begins with a transitional phase known as perimenopause. This is the time when hormone levels start doing their own version of the cha-cha, resulting in shifts in menstrual cycle patterns and estrogen fluctuations.

Understanding these changes can help you better prepare your body for this hormonal roller coaster ride and potentially reduce the risks associated with conditions like Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) or gluteal tendinopathy.

Maintaining Tendon Health: The New Fitness Goal

In case you missed it, tendon health should be at the top of your fitness goals during perimenopause. Why? Because decreased estrogen levels could affect collagen replacement in tendons leading to slower repair processes; not exactly what we want.

You may ask how one keeps their tendons healthy. It’s all about balance.

A diet rich in protein supports tissue repair, while regular exercise helps maintain muscle strength around joints, which ultimately protects those precious tendons from overuse injuries.

Beyond physical preparations, let’s not forget mental well-being during this transition period.

Techniques such as meditation or yoga are great stress busters that also contribute positively to overall health, including maintaining balanced hormone levels.

Scheduling Regular Check-ups: Not Just for Kids

Your healthcare provider plays an essential role during perimenopause by monitoring any drastic hormonal swings through blood tests if necessary; they might even suggest hormone therapy depending upon individual circumstances. Hormone Therapy? Yes indeed.

Frequent check-ups enable early detection of potential issues related to the musculoskeletal system, including painful conditions like GTPS or gluteal tendinopathy, thus enabling timely intervention before things get worse.

Regular doctor visits are key not just for treatment but also for preventive care throughout the menopausal transition, ensuring you stay ahead of any possible complications.

Avoid activities that put excessive strain on the hip joint, such as long periods of sitting cross-legged and chanting “Om”.

Instead, opt for low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling, which provide effective workouts without upsetting our tender hip friends too much.

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Key Takeaway: 

During perimenopause, your hormone levels cha-cha, affecting tendon health and increasing the risk of conditions like GTPS. To keep those tendons in tip-top shape, balance a protein-rich diet with regular exercise and stress-busting activities like yoga. Don’t skip out on check-ups – early detection is key to tackling musculoskeletal issues head-on. 

FAQs in Relation to How Menopause Causes Hip Bursitis

Additional questions and answers about menopause and hip pain follow:

What are menopausal hip bursitis symptoms?

Symptoms include pain on the outer side of your hip, tenderness when lying on the affected side, and increased discomfort during activities like walking or climbing stairs.

How do you fix menopausal hip pain?

Treatment may involve physical therapy exercises to strengthen muscles, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for relief, and lifestyle changes such as weight management and low-impact exercise routines.

Why does menopause cause hip pain?

Hip pain in menopause is often due to decreased estrogen levels, which affect collagen replacement in tendons. This can lead to slower repair processes and an increased risk of conditions like gluteal tendinopathy.

How does menopause affect your hips?

The hormonal changes during menopause can decrease tendon integrity, leading to conditions like Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS), which causes lateral hip pain.


Menopause is more than just hot flashes and mood swings. It’s a complex biological process that can lead to changes in your body, including hip health. It’s important to learn about how menopause causes hip bursitis, as education is power.

The hormonal roller coaster of menopause has far-reaching effects, one of which is the potential development of hip bursitis or gluteal tendinopathy.

Understanding how hormones like estrogen play into tendon health gives us insight into why women going through menopause may experience lateral hip pain.

We’ve explored the anatomy of our hips and discovered how these structures work together for mobility and stability, with any disruption potentially causing discomfort or pain.

We dove deep into Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS), a condition often seen in post-menopausal women, which is not a hip joint issue but rather linked to tendon health.

However, there is hope! We’ve also discussed practical tips on preventing this type of pain during menopause, such as adjusting exercise routines and maintaining lateral hip stability through strength training.

Lifestyle changes are key when managing GTPS post-menopause; physiotherapy benefits were highlighted alongside other non-surgical treatment options available for painful conditions like this one.

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Trina Greenfield, Nutrition Coach
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield is a well-respected publisher passionate about how health and fitness affect our health as we age. Trina takes a personal interest in the healing power of nutrition, eliminating the need for prescriptions whenever possible.

How Menopause Causes Hip Bursitis: A Detailed Insight

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