Hip Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments | Back In Motion

About the Author: Dr. Scott Gray

Dr. Scott Gray is the Owner of Back in Motion Physical Therapy & Performance. Each and Every Week He Helps His Clients & Patients Live Their Life to the Fullest, Get Active, and Get Pain-Free.

If You Have Pain on the Outside of Your Hip When Walking or When Laying on Your Side, Chances Are You Have Hip Bursitis…

For many individuals grappling with hip pain, the experience can be nothing short of agonizing. In a recent hip pain forum, various patients shared their personal accounts of enduring hip bursitis.

I have hip bursitis and constant pain in my left hip and groin area. I can hardly sleep, walk, or bend. It only takes a few minutes of any activity for the pain to get worse.” – Male patient, age 45

My hip pain from bursitis is constant throbbing. It feels like my muscle is going to break my hip and thigh bone when I try to walk. I get temporary relief from an ice pack or sitting on a heating pad. No medication stops the pain. I’m taking a handful of pills for a few hours of relief before it comes back stronger than ever. The pain has me in tears pretty much every day all day.” – Female Patient, age 55

I have been suffering from this hip bursitis for four years now, and I am at my wits’ end. The doctors think I want painkillers for dope. No one understands that this agonizing pain keeps me up all night.” – Male Patient, age 54

If you find yourself resonating with their stories or have been contending with similar discomfort, this article is your guide to understanding hip bursitis, why it afflicts, and most crucially, how to attain lasting and natural pain relief.

What is Hip Bursitis, and How Did You Get It?

To comprehend hip bursitis, we must first acquaint ourselves with the bursae – small, fluid-filled sacs scattered around our joints. These sacs play a pivotal role in facilitating smooth joint movement by lubricating the articulations. When one of these bursae becomes inflamed or irritated, it leads to the debilitating condition known as bursitis.

Within the hip region, the trochanteric bursa, located atop the femur or thigh bone, lubricates the hip's ball-and-socket joint. In simpler terms, if you stand with your arms by your sides, this bursa sits directly under your palm's midpoint. Although the hip houses multiple bursa sacs, approximately 60% of hip bursitis cases can be traced back to inflammation in the outermost trochanteric bursa.

If you feel pain there when you press on it, or if you notice this joint is swollen or red, most likely it’s an inflamed trochanteric bursa sac.

Hip Bursitis Causes and Why the Pain Gets Worse

Hip bursitis can manifest due to a variety of reasons, some of which include:

  1. Injury – Trauma from events like car accidents, falls onto the hip, or inadvertent collisions with objects stands as a leading cause of hip bursitis. Additionally, prolonged pressure on one side of the body can irritate the bursa.
  2. Overuse -Activities demanding excessive physical effort, such as running up stairs, climbing, or prolonged periods of standing, can contribute to the development of hip bursitis. Athletes, runners, and ballet dancers often find themselves vulnerable to this condition.
  3. Incorrect Posture –Poor posture attributed to spine conditions like scoliosis or lower spinal arthritis can lead to hip bursitis. Nevertheless, other factors can contribute to poor posture, which we'll delve into shortly.
  4. Muscle Imbalance –Weak muscles surrounding the joints can lead to abnormal joint or bone positioning, putting added stress on the hip. For instance, weak gluteal muscles can cause excessive hip internal rotation, subjecting the bursa to constant pressure.
  5. Arthritis or Other Conditions –The hip bursa can become inflamed due to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis, thyroid ailments, unusual drug reactions, or infections.
  6. Previous Surgery –Hip surgeries or prosthetic implants constitute another common trigger for hip bursitis.
  7. Hip Bone Spurs –Calcium deposits on the bone can irritate or rub against the bursa.
  8. Sitting Too Long –Remaining seated for extensive periods without standing or stretching can lead to muscle shortening and tightness. When such individuals eventually stand, their tightened muscles pull across the bursa, causing irritation.

Notably, hip bursitis affects both men and women. Statistically, women in their fifties or older face a higher likelihood of encountering this condition compared to other demographic groups.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Hip Bursitis?

Patients suffering from hip bursitis describe the pain on a spectrum ranging from mild discomfort to sharp, burning pain. Pressure on the hip, particularly when standing, triggers this pain, primarily felt on the outer hip or thigh.

Several factors exacerbate the condition, such as:

  • Strenuous physical activity.
  • Climbing stairs.
  • Lying on the affected side, which is common during sleep.
  • Pressing or touching the outer hip region.

My patients tell me that their trochanteric bursitis is worse at night because they tend to lay on their side sleeping, putting pressure on it.

Often, inflammation extends to the tendons surrounding the hip bone, compounding the pain and stiffness.

Diagnosing Hip Bursitis

Diagnosing hip bursitis necessitates the careful differentiation of this condition from other hip and spine disorders, each demanding distinct treatment approaches. At Back In Motion, we employ several diagnostic tools, including a patient interview, a physical examination, and Musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound.

MSK ultrasound offers real-time visualization of the hip bursa, granting us swift diagnostic insights without the cost, radiation, or lengthy waiting times associated with MRI scans. This precision ensures we arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

The Gray Method™ for Treating Your Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis can be an excruciating condition, and traditional treatment methods often encompass a combination of rest, splints, heat and cold therapies, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. Some healthcare providers may resort to corticosteroid injections as an option to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. In extreme cases, surgery may be suggested as a last-ditch effort to find relief. However, there exists a superior path to healing that transcends these conventional approaches – The Gray Method™. This revolutionary method is adept at tackling hip pain and stiffness without resorting to surgery, painkillers, or painful injections, as it delves deep into the root cause.

Swift Relief and Lasting Healing with The Gray Method™

What might usually take months to heal, The Gray Method™ can often address in a matter of weeks. This innovative three-step approach is focused on understanding the unique aspects of your hip pain:

Step 1 – Understanding Your Medical History: To gain insights into your condition, our team initiates the process by delving into your medical history. This step is crucial for formulating a tailored approach to your specific ailment.

Step 2 – Comprehensive Examination: We perform a meticulous examination of your hip and the surrounding areas. This process helps us gain a comprehensive understanding of the nuances of your condition. We assess the strength and flexibility of your muscles and determine whether any joints are overly stiff or excessively loose, a condition known as hypermobility.

Step 3 – Diagnosis and Prognosis: Following the examination, you'll receive a diagnosis and prognosis tailored to your condition. This will help you understand the nature and severity of your hip bursitis.

The examination also provides crucial insights into your posture, spine alignment, and the correctness of your exercise routines. It's important to note that three critical areas within your body – the feet, hips, and thoracic spine – can often be the root cause of many problems.

Once the problem area is isolated, a range of therapeutic solutions are prescribed, including:

  • Stretching Exercises: Targeted stretching exercises for the tendons and muscles in the legs, hips, and lower back can be incorporated into your treatment plan.

  • Ice Therapy: This natural method can effectively reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

  • Heat Therapy: After a few days of cold treatments, heat therapy is introduced. It aids in delivering essential healing nutrients to the affected area.

  • Low-Impact Exercise: Activities like swimming or using a stationary bike are recommended to improve joint mobility.

  • Physical Therapy: Non-invasive adjustments to the joints help in reducing the stress and pressure on the bursa, offering rapid pain relief.

Typically, within less than 20 minutes, the root cause of your hip bursitis can be uncovered through The Gray Method™. The advantage lies in providing a long-term solution that avoids the use of drugs or surgical interventions. It's important to note that surgery, in most cases, primarily addresses the symptoms rather than the underlying cause and might not provide long-lasting pain relief.

Moreover, a good night's sleep plays a pivotal role in recovery and relief. The Gray Method™ can assist in ensuring restful nights. After a few sessions, you can expect to walk pain-free, regain a normal range of motion, and return to your regular life.

Isn’t It Time to Do Something About Your Hip Bursitis?

So, if you find yourself relying on pain medication more than once a week, it's an opportune moment to seek help. Pain medications may only mask the symptoms and potentially lead to permanent damage to your internal organs. The Gray Method™ is geared towards unveiling the true source of your hip bursitis pain and expediting your journey to a pain-free life, often much sooner than you might anticipate.

Initiating a complimentary consultation for your hip bursitis is a straightforward process, and it's the first step on your path to living with pain-free hips. To embark on your journey towards hip pain relief, simply contact us at (239) 766-5590 schedule your consultation. Don't let hip bursitis hold you back – there is a way forward.

“Physical Therapy, Fitness, & Performance Tips From Dr. Scott & the Back in Motion Team”