What is bursitis?
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. Bursae are small, squishy sacs that sit between your bones and soft tissues to cushion impact and reduce friction. They’re spread throughout your body, including in your shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and heel.
You have two bursae in your hip that can be prone to hip bursitis:
- Trochanteric bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursa covering the bony point of your hip bone. This is the most common type of hip bursitis.
- Iliopsoas bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursa on the inside (groin side) of your hip.
What are the symptoms of hip bursitis?
Bursitis can make the affected joint feel stiff, achy and painful when you move or apply pressure to it. The area may also look swollen and red.
Symptoms of trochanteric hip bursitis include pain:
- At the point of your hip, which may extend to your outer thigh
- That feels sharp and intense initially but later becomes a spreading ache
- Worsens at night, when you lie on that side or when you stand up after being seated for a while
- Intensifies after a long walk, climbing stairs or squatting.
What causes hip bursitis?
Hip bursitis is often caused by overuse, which can happen if you’ve been running, cycling, stair climbing or standing for long periods.
Other risk factors include:
- Spine disorders such as scoliosis or arthritis in the lower spine
- Hip injuries
- Having one leg that’s considerably shorter than the other, which can irritate the hip bursa over time
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Previous hip surgery
- Bone spurs or calcium deposits.
Who gets hip bursitis?
Hip bursitis can affect anyone but is most common in women and in people who are middle-aged or older. Hip bursitis is also more common in people who are overweight or live with medical conditions like diabetes or arthritis.
What’s the treatment for hip bursitis?
Treatment aims to reduce the inflammation in the bursa and so relieve pain and promote ease of movement. Surgery is rarely necessary since conservative treatments can usually resolve hip bursitis.
Your treatment options may include:
- Reducing inflammation with topical creams or short-term use of anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen
- Avoiding activities that aggravate the hip bursa, especially if your hip bursitis is probably caused by overuse
- Physiotherapy to tailor your activity level appropriately, encourage joint mobility, take pressure off your hip with walking aids or correct leg imbalances using orthotics
- Draining fluid from a particularly swollen bursa using an aspiration needle
- Antibiotics if the bursa has become infected
- Losing weight to ease pressure on your hips
- Corticosteroid injections into the hip bursa if other treatments have not led to an improvement.
How can The Brisbane Spine Centre help?
We’re here to help you recover from hip bursitis, reduce the risk of a recurrence and enjoy ease of movement once more.
Our skilled physiotherapists will assess your condition, explore its causes and develop a treatment plan to reduce inflammation in the bursa, relieve symptoms and ease pain.
Your tailored treatment plan may involve exercises to strengthen your quads and glute muscles and to stretch your iliotibial band to better support your hips. We may also provide advice on your posture and on proper running and jumping form if necessary.
Please make an appointment today.
All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances.