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

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


In a recent hip pain forum, patients described their hip pain ordeals.


Do any of these hip pain comments sound familiar to you?


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 can relate to these people suffering from excruciating hip pain, then you’ve come to the right place.


I will explain what causes hip bursitis, why you got it, and, more importantly, what you can do to relieve the pain permanently and naturally.


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


There are 150 tiny fluid-filled sacs near the joints in your body. They are called bursae, and they help lubricate the joints, making them move smoothly.


When a bursa becomes swollen or irritated, it causes the painful condition we know as bursitis.


One bursa sits on the top of the leg bone or femur that helps lubricate the ball and socket joint of the hip called the Trochanteric bursa.


If you stand with your arms at your sides, this bursa sac will be under the middle of your palm.


Although the hip area contains more than one bursa sac, 60% of hip bursitis problems stem from 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 begin for one or more of the following reasons:


  1. Injury – Trauma such as a car accident, falling onto the hip, or bumping it into an object are leading causes. Also, lying on one side of the body for an extended period can irritate the bursa.
  2. Overuse – Play or work activities such as running upstairs, climbing, or standing for long periods. Athletes, runners, and ballet dancers are susceptible to it.
  3. Incorrect posture – Poor posture from spine problems like scoliosis or arthritis of the lumbar (lower) spine can cause hip bursitis. However, there are other reasons for poor posture, which we will get into shortly.
  4. Muscle Imbalance – Weak muscles around joints can result in an abnormal or poorly positioned joint or bone which affects the hip. One of the most common examples is having weak gluteal muscles that cause the hip to fall into excessive hip internal rotation. This puts constant load on the bursa.
  5. Arthritis or other conditions – Like any joint, the hip bursa can become inflamed from rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis, thyroid disease, an unusual drug reaction, and infection.
  6. Previous surgery – Hip surgery or a prosthetic implant is another common cause.
  7. Hip bone spurs – These are calcium deposits on the bone that may irritate or rub against the bursa..
  8. Sitting too long – People who sit for hours without standing or stretching cause the muscles to become shorter and tighter. As they stand, the tightened muscles pull across the bursa and irritate it.


Both men and women suffer from hip bursitis.


Statistically, women in their fifties or older are more likely to experience this condition than any other group…


What are the Signs & Symptoms of Hip Bursitis?


My patients describe the pain as mild discomfort to sharp, or sometimes it’s a burning pain. When they stand and put pressure on their hip, it causes pain, usually outside the hip or thigh.


It worsens…


  • With strenuous physical activity
  • When walking up the stairs
  • If they lay on the affected side
  • When touching or pressing on the outside hip


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.


Quite often, the tendons around the hip bone also become inflamed, worsening the pain and stiffness.


Diagnosing Hip Bursitis


The symptoms of Trochanteric bursitis can mimic other hip and spine disorders and conditions.


Although they have similar signs and symptoms, the treatment is completely different. Thus, discerning exactly what the diagnosis is is crucial to recovery.


Our Doctors of Physical Therapy will use various tools and images to rule out other conditions such as hip osteoarthritis, tendonitis, snapping hip syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, and disorders affecting the lower back.


The three most effective tools we use at the Back In Motion are the patient interview, a physical examination, and MSK ultrasound.


MSK ultrasound allows us to see your hip bursa in real-time.


It’s kinda like a MRI but without the expense, radiation, or long wait times. We can literally see your hip bursa within seconds to make a diagnosis.


The Gray Method™ for Treating Your Hip Bursitis


Traditional therapy and treatments for hip bursitis pain may include a combination of rest, splints, heat and cold applications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen.


Some physicians will treat with Corticosteroid injections to decrease inflammation and pain. As a last resort, they may say that you need surgery.


However, there is a better way.


Using the revolutionary Gray Method™, we treat hip pain and stiffness with out surgery, painkillers, or painful injections by getting to the root cause of it.


Within a few brief sessions, we can usually remove your pain and stiffness.


What usually takes months to heal, we can generally do in a few weeks.


The Gray Method™ is a three-step process to understanding your specific hip pain issues.


  • Step 1 – We learn your medical history.
  • Step 2 – We examine the hip and surrounding areas.
  • Step 3 – You’ll receive our diagnosis and prognosis.


During the examination, we will determine if specific muscles are too weak or too tight.


Are the joints too stiff or too loose (Hypermobile)?


Other indicators include proper posture, spine alignment, and whether you are exercising correctly.


Three critical areas in the body that can cause most problems are the feet, hips, and thoracic spine.


Once we’ve isolated your problem area, here are some of the therapeutic options we prescribe:


  • Stretching exercises for tendons and muscles in the legs, hip, and lower back
  • Ice therapy can reduce swelling and pain naturally
  • Heat therapy, after a few days of cold treatments, helps the body deliver healing nutrients to the area
  • Low-impact exercise such as swimming or a stationary bike help improve the joint’s mobility
  • Physical therapy includes non-invasive adjustments to joints to help reduce the stress and pressure on the bursa and offers instant pain relief.


Usually, in less than 20 minutes, we can uncover the root cause of your hip bursitis. From there, we can provide you with a long-term solution to your hip pain that doesn’t include drugs or surgery. Surgery, in most cases, only addresses the symptoms and not the underlying cause. It won’t help relieve your pain for long, if at all.


What does help in speeding recovery and relief is a good night’s sleep. The Gray Method™ will help you sleep all night long again. After a few sessions, you should be able to walk pain-free with a normal range of motion and return to your regular life.


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


If you take any kind of pain pills more than once a week, you need to see us. Drugs only mask the pain, and they can cause permanent damage to your internal organs.


We can expose the true source of your hip bursitis pain and get you back to living a pain-free life much sooner than you think.


It’s effortless to set up a complimentary consultation for your hip bursitis to see if we can help you get back in motion


To get started on the road to pain-free hips, call us at (239) 223-0484 or schedule your Complimentary Consultation Here

About the Author: Harminder

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