Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis

Hip bursitis is also called as trochanteric bursitis.

Bursitis could be explained as an inflammation of the bursa that is a sac filled with fluid adjacent to the joints that acts like a cushion for the joint.

A bursa is a sac that is filled with lubricating fluid situated between tissues like muscles, tendons, skin and bone that lessens irritation and friction between the tissues. The bursa causes pain in the hip when subjected to continual trauma resulting in swelling and inflammation. This could strongly affect athletes such as runners, footballers and soccer players who frequently put the entire weight of their body on their hips.

Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis

The bursae that surround the joint of the hip include:

  • Trochanteric Bursa: Trochanteric bursa is located on the outer side of the hip between the greater trochanter and place where the gluteal muscles get connected.
  • Gluteus Medius Bursa: Gluteus medius bursa is a small bursa, which is located between the greater trochanter and gluteus medius muscle.
  • Iliopsoas Bursa: Iliopsoas bursa is located between the iliopsoas muscle which is present at the front side of the joint of the hip and the underlying bone. Bursitis in this region is also called as iliopectineal bursitis.
  • Ischial Bursa: Ischial bursa is located between the base of the pelvis and the hamstring tendons.

However among all of the bursae, the most commonly affected one is the trochanteric bursa. Trochanteric bursa can be affected in two ways, either in the form of traumatic bursitis that may result from a direct impact to the bursa due to falling down on to the outer hip or by repetitive friction caused by the overlying tendons and muscles that may occur while running. This repeated friction forces the bursa to become swollen and inflamed as the tendons keep on rubbing the bursa resulting in pain.

Hip bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis is very frequent among runners or athletes

Hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitisis very frequent among runners or athletes who participate in running-oriented sports.

Causes and Risk Factors of Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis:

  • Traumatic bursitis is caused by falling onto the side of the hip.
  • Majority of cases of hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitisis are overuse injuries resulting from biomechanical abnormalities.
  • Over pronation also causes hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitisis because this bends the knee inwards increasing the angle of the hip.
  • Weakness caused in the hip abductors, particularly gluteus medius, can also cause a similar effect.
  • Tightness in the structures around the hip like the hip flexors, hamstrings and iliotibial band.
  • A bone spur may also result in aggravation of bursal inflammation.

Signs and Symptoms of Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis:

  • Pain is experienced on outer side of the hip.
  • Exacerbation of pain while performing activities like climbing stairs, getting out of a car and running.
  • Gradual worsening of pain.
  • Pain is experienced while pressing on the outer side of the hip.
  • Pain may also spread down the outer thigh.

Treatment for Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis:

  • Rest.
  • Cold therapy for pain.
  • Avoiding activities that aggravate the symptoms.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, Celebrex and naproxen may help in reducing inflammation and swelling and relieving pain associated with hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitisis.
  • Fine needle aspiration of bursa to remove extra fluid from the affected region.
  • Corticosteroid injections where the medication is injected into the bursa which not only helps in reducing the inflammation but also alleviates the symptoms.
  • Surgery is required in very rare cases. Surgery is usually performed to remove the inflamed bursa.

Physical Therapy Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis:

Physical therapy for hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitisis is important in speeding up the healing process. Physical therapy also decreases the likelihood of recurrences in the future. Physical therapy may include:

  • Application of heat and ice.
  • Electrotherapy like TENS and ultrasound.
  • Soft tissue massage.
  • Stretches.
  • Dry needling.
  • Joint mobilization.
  • Using crutches.
  • Correction of abnormal biomechanics such as using orthotics.
  • Education.
  • Anti-inflammatory advice.
  • Exercises of the muscles and tendons surrounding the area to improve strength and flexibility, especially of the iliotibial band.
  • Activity modification and training.
  • Appropriate plan for return to activity.

Exercises for Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis:

Gluteal Stretching Exercise for Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitisis:

Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis Exercise: Gluteal Stretch

This exercise is performed by lying down on the back. With the help of hands, bring the knee towards the opposite shoulder until a mild to moderate pain-free stretch is felt along the buttocks or at the front side of the hip. Hold the position for about 15 seconds and release. Repeat four times ensuring there is no exacerbation of pain.

Transversus Abdominis Activation Exercise for Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitisis:

Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis Exercise: Transversus Abdominis Activation Exercise

This exercise is performed by lying down on the back. Now gradually pull the belly button inwards away from the belt line and breathe normally. Make sure that the rib cage remains relaxed and does not elevate while performing this exercise. Muscle contraction should be felt if pressed deeply 2 cm from the bony prominence at the front of the pelvis. Practice holding this muscle at one third of a maximal contraction during everyday activities provided it is pain free.

Test for Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis:

Generally a complete subjective, objective and physical examination is performed to diagnose hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitisis. Other tests that help in diagnosing and assessing the severity may include:

  • Ultrasound.
  • X-ray.
  • MRI.
  • CT scan.

Also Read:

  • Bursitis: Wrist, Shoulder Joint, Ankle Joint, Retrocalcaneal

Watch 3D Video of Hip Bursitis or Trochanteric Bursitis

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: August 4, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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