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What Does Bursitis In The Hip Feel Like?

What is Bursitis of the Hip & How is it Caused?

Bursitis is a medical condition characterized by swelling of the bursae. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs which act as a cushion for the tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the body. They facilitate smooth movements of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Sometimes the bursae become swollen which leads to the area around them becoming extremely tender and painful. This is what is called as bursitis. When the bursa of the hip is swollen then it is termed as bursitis of the hip. Bursitis is not limited only to the hips, but may also occur in the shoulder, knee or elbow.[1]

Bursitis in the hip may be acute or chronic. Overuse is the primary cause of bursitis of the hip which causes excessive stress on the hip joint. Additionally, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or pseudogout may also result in bursitis of the hip. [2] In some cases, an injury or direct blow to the hip may result in bursitis of the hip. Bacterial infections are also known to cause bursitis of the hip. Individuals suffering from scoliosis are also predisposed to having bursitis in the hip. This article gives a brief overview on what does bursitis in the hip feel like.

What Does Bursitis In The Hip Feel Like?

What Does Bursitis In The Hip Feel Like?

An individual with bursitis in the hip will primarily complain of pain and tenderness along the hip joint. There may also be swelling and warmth along the hip joint. The intensity of the pain around hip is quite sharp during the initial few days, but tends to wane away after a few days and may become dull and achy. The pain will be felt more when getting up from a sitting position and getting out of the bed. Sitting for a long period of time on a chair may also cause symptoms of hip pain in cases of bursitis in the hip. Sleeping on the affected side is also extremely painful for people suffering from hip bursitis.[3]

The symptoms of acute bursitis of hip can flare up over days and then calm down; whereas individuals with chronic bursitis of the hip will have symptoms that last for days to weeks altogether without any change in the symptoms. The symptoms of chronic bursitis tend to recur every once in a while.[4]

An individual with acute bursitis may go on to develop chronic bursitis if the patient incurs an injury to the affected hip joint. As the disease condition advances, the bursa tends to become thick which makes the swelling and pain even worse and the flare ups will be even more difficult to tolerate. This will also cause limitation in function and movement of the hip joint. It can also cause muscle atrophy.

In conclusion, bursitis in the hip is basically of two types acute and chronic. While symptoms of acute bursitis can flare over hours and days, the symptoms of chronic bursitis can linger for over weeks and cause severe impairment of function with difficulty doing activities of daily living, getting in and out of a car, or sitting up from a seated position as a result of Bursitis in the Hip.


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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 3, 2020

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