What is Hip Bursitis?

What is Hip Bursitis?

April 10, 2023

Hip bursitis, also known as trochanteric bursitis, is a common cause of hip pain. This condition causes inflammation in the bursa sac near the hip joint at the outside point of the hip. The bursa sac is a small fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between the bones, tendons, and muscles in the hip joint.

It doesn’t take long for continued hip pain to impact your daily life. If you have been experiencing hip pain, keep reading to learn more about hip bursitis and its symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

Hip Bursitis Symptoms

The symptoms of hip bursitis can vary from person to person, but the most common symptom is feeling pain in the hip area. This pain may be sharp, dull, or aching and can be felt on the outside of the hip or in the buttock area. In some cases, the pain may radiate down the leg.

Other hip bursitis symptoms may include swelling, tenderness, and warmth around the affected area. You may also experience stiffness and difficulty moving your hip joint. These symptoms can be mild or severe and may interfere with daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or even sitting for long periods.

What Causes Hip Bursitis?

Anyone can be affected by bursitis of the hip. However, it is more common in women and middle-aged or older adults. Younger people and men are both less likely to experience hip bursitis.

Bursitis of the hip can result from any of the following events:

  • Repetitive stress injury/overuse
  • Injury to the point of the hip
  • Incorrect posture/spine disease
  • Leg-length inequality
  • Previous surgery around the hip
  • Hip bone spurs or calcium deposits
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Hip Bursitis Treatment

Hip bursitis treatment depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be enough to relieve symptoms. However, in more severe cases, medical intervention may be necessary.

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help alleviate your symptoms and improve your hip joint’s range of motion. Physical therapy treatment for trochanteric bursitis involves exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip joint, improve flexibility, and reduce inflammation.

Sometimes, your doctor may also recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain. These injections are given directly into the affected area and can provide quick relief. However, it’s important to note that corticosteroids should be used with caution as they can have long-term side effects.

Even with proper treatment, it can take a significant amount of time for hip bursitis to heal. While many patients recover in about six weeks, others can take as long as 12 weeks.

If conservative treatments do not provide relief, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the inflamed bursa sac. This procedure, known as a bursectomy, is typically done as a last resort when other treatments have failed.

Physical Therapy for Hip Bursitis

Physical therapy is a non-invasive, conservative approach to treating hip bursitis. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your symptoms and individual needs.

The first step in physical therapy for trochanteric bursitis is to reduce pain and inflammation. This may involve modalities such as ice, heat, or ultrasound therapy. Your physical therapist may also recommend specific exercises to improve the range of motion and flexibility in the hip joint. Your PT can teach you how to stretch your hip muscles and use other treatments, such as rolling therapy, to increase your hip strength and flexibility.

As your symptoms improve, your physical therapist will focus on strengthening the muscles surrounding the hip joint. This can help reduce the risk of future flare-ups and improve your overall function. Strengthening exercises may include resistance bands, weight lifting, or bodyweight exercises.

In addition to exercises, your physical therapist may also recommend modifications to your daily activities to help reduce stress on the hip joint. For example, improving your posture, changing how you sit or stand, or performing certain activities can help prevent bursitis.

Find Hip Bursitis Treatment in Woodbridge, Virginia

While trochanteric bursitis is not a fatal condition, the pain and discomfort can have a serious impact on your daily life. If you are experiencing hip pain in Woodbridge, Virginia, we can help.

At Mid-County Physical Therapy, we are experienced in treating people with musculoskeletal injuries, such as hip bursitis. Our team can assess your condition and help you find the right treatment options to improve your comfort and minimize the risk of further injury.

Contact Mid-County today to schedule an appointment for hip bursitis physical therapy.

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