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I have hip bursitis. What is it, and what do I do about it?

When people talk of having hip bursitis, it is most commonly the greater trochanteric bursa, which located on the boney knob near the top and at the outside of the femur (thigh bone). The bursa is a fluid filled cushion that reduces friction between the boney knob and the tendons and muscles that run over, and control your hip movement.

Hip bursitis occurs when this bursa becomes inflamed, and apart from local pain in the area, it can radiate pain down the outside of the thigh. People generally have difficulty walking, climbing stairs, getting up from seated positions, and lying on the affected hip. Research over time has suggested that hip bursitis is usually the result of another problem around the hip joint, often a damaged muscle or tendon. If tendons have become thickened or under more tension, this can increase friction across the bursa, causing inflammation. DIrect trauma onto the bursa, such as with a fall, can also trigger hip bursitis.

In summary, symptoms may consist of:

* Pain and tenderness at the outside of the hip

* Pain worse with prolonged inactivity

* Pain worse with repetitive activity

* Pain radiating down the outside of the thigh

* Pain at extreme range of motion of the hip

In rare cases, the bursa can turn septic, meaning it is infected. This will generally present as redness, warmth and swellling over the area, in conjunction with a fever. If you have these symptoms, seek medical attention urgently for further testing and antibiotic treatment if necessary.

Often the diagnosis will be made by your chiropractor, physiotherapist or GP, based on physical examination findings. Prior to treatment, an ultrasound me be need to confirm the diagnosis and asses for any other conditions at the hip joint that may be contributing to your symptoms, such as a muscle or tendon injury.

Treatment for Hip Bursitis:

The goal of treatment is to control the inflammation of the bursa and correct any causative factors that aggravating it in the first place. Getting the inflammation under control may consist initially of rest and activity modification, applying ice to the bursa, and taking some anti-inflammatory medications.

Manual therapy treatments such as the that provided by your chiropractor or other health provided may also help to settle pain, and reduce tension from muscles lying across the bursa. They will also address causative factors such and posture, poor hip stability and other biomechanical triggers that may be initiating the bursitis. Management usually focuses on a program of strengthening and conditioning exercises of the muscles that control stability and proper biomechanical motion at the hip joint.

In cases were symptoms don’t settle, aspiration or drainage of the bursa, often in conjunction with a cortisone injection are often helpful.

If you are suffering with hip bursitis and need more information, feel free to contact us at the clinic to discuss how we can help.