Hip Bursitis Pain: Causes and Treatments
What is it: Hip Bursitis or trochanteric bursitis occurs when the bursa in the hip becomes inflamed and swells. A bursa is a sac of fluid which reduces friction between surfaces in the body. The trochanteric bursa is located on the outside of the hip over the hip bone.
Important Facts: The main symptom of hip bursitis is pain at the point of the hip. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. In the early stages, the pain is usually described as sharp and intense. Later, it may feel achier and spread out.
Hip bursitis (trochanteric) can be caused by running. Hip pain is not at all uncommon among runners and joggers, and this can be from bursitis.
The greater trochanteric bursa lies on top of the hip bone, allowing the iliotibial band to glide smoothly over the hip bone. Running results in repetitive movement of the IT band over the bursa, which may result in greater trochanteric bursitis. Similarly, if the IT band is tight it will exert excessive pressure on the bursa, resulting in greater trochanteric bursitis.
Treatment Duration: The initial treatment for hip bursitis does not involve surgery. Many people with hip bursitis can experience relief with simple lifestyle changes.
Your health care provider may recommend temporary rest or immobilization of the affected joint.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may relieve pain and inflammation. Formal physical therapy is helpful as well. Surgery is rarely required.
Do’s/Don’ts: If the pain is affecting your gait or you are limping, then you should not run. Avoid hills and up-tempo or faster running. Icing after activity and again at bedtime can help with the inflammation in the bursa.
Common Myths: Recently, MRI and ultrasound studies have brought into serious doubt the idea that bursitis is the etiology for trochanteric pain.
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