Hip Bursitis

Hip Bursitis is also called Trochanteric Bursitis or ITB Friction Syndrome and is a painful condition that typically impacts individuals in the fluid-filled sacs that help to cushion bones, muscles, and tendons around joints.

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Causes of Hip Bursitis

This condition usually begins when tight hip flexor muscles and weak gluteal muscles cause the lubricating fluid sacs called "bursa" to rub against the hip bone, creating inflammation. This condition is common among runners and triathletes but can also affect desk workers, especially if they're just getting into a physical activity. Over-pronation or flat feet can pre-dispose a person to this muscle imbalance.

  • Tight Hip Flexor Muscles
  • Weak Gluteal Muscles
  • Over-Pronation or Flat Feet
  • Other Risk Factors or Medical Conditions

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

Aching or nagging pain in the outside of the hip may be a sign of hip bursitis. The pain may cause a person to wake at night, especially if lying on that side. Pain may worsen when walking up and down stairs, getting up from sitting and getting in or out of the car.

  • Aching or Nagging Pain in the Outside of the Hip
  • Sleeplessness At Night
  • Pain When Lying on Side
  • Increased Pain When Performing Certain Activities (i.e. walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of vehicles, or standing from a sitting position)

Diagnosis of Hip Bursitis

A diagnosis for Hip Bursitis typically comes with a thorough evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional who can confirm the cause of the hip pain aside from other contributing factors or potential hip pain conditions. A thorough background check and evaluation will be conducted to identify if Hip Bursitis is the correct diagnosis including a potential confirmation with an X-ray or other diagnostic tests.

Treatment of Hip Bursitis with Physical Therapy

Correcting this muscle imbalance requires exercise to strengthen the gluteal muscles and myofascial release to stretch the tight hip flexors. Manual low back mobilization may be required to relieve lumbar stiffness, and foot biomechanics may also be needed. Ultrasound, Ice, and electrical stimulation can soothe local soreness, and steroid injections may bring short-term relief. But for a lasting recovery, the underlying muscle imbalances need to be addressed by a comprehensive manual therapy and exercise plan.

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Prevention Tips for Hip Bursitis

Developing strength in the supporting structures could potentially help to alleviate the strain that is placed on the joints and hip flexors. Frequent breaks, exercise, proper lifting techniques, and stretching techniques can help to alleviate pain before activities that typically cause flare-ups in pain.

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References and Additional Research Reading

  1. “Bursitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 31 July 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bursitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353242.
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