Hip Bursitis

As mentioned in a previous blog a “bursa” is a soft spacer that is present in many of our joints.  Analogous to a slightly filled water balloon,  a bursa separates various tissues to prevent friction.  An example is a bursa that sits between muscle and bone.  Unfortunately, the bursa itself can be a source of injury.  Irritation of the bursa can cause bursitis, and bursitis of the hip is quite common.

Hip Bursitis

Hip Bursitis

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?

Although there are different bursa in the hip, the one that receives the most attention (since it gets injured the most) is the trochanteric bursa. It is located on the side of your hip. When it gets irritated it can inflame, causing the condition of bursitis. In this case it would be called hip bursitis, or more specifically, trochanteric bursitis.

Who gets Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis usually occurs in the 4th to 6th decades of life. It typically gets entrapped or irritated by the gluteal muscles or the iliotibial band. Hip bursitis is more common in women and at our clinic, it is mostly seen in distance athletes like marathon runners or triathletes. This is not an absolute though; hip bursitis can affect people from all walks of life and all fitness levels.

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

Usually, pain is present in the area of the lateral hip. It can often be described as a warm, swollen, achy pain that is aggravated with pressure or excessive activity. Sleeping on the affected hip often exacerbates or worsens trochanteric bursitis.

Treatment for Hip Bursitis

For those patients who have persistent bursitis in the hip that won’t respond to conservative treatment like chiropractic or physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections have some scientific validity.  Prior to this, it is always recommended to try something less invasive.  At Burlington Sports Therapy, hip bursitis can be treated in a variety of ways. Active release to the surrounding musculature, acupuncture, laser therapy, interferential current (IFC) and rehabilitative exercise are just some of the options.  Unsure what to do?  Unsure if you have hip bursitis?  We can help!  info@burlingtonsportstherapy.com

Rowand M, Chambliss ML. How should you treat trochanteric bursitis? The Journal of Family Practice 2009; 58(9): 494,500.