Hip bursitis

It is the inflammation and irritation of the bursa that covers the outer part of the hip, which is known as the greater trochanter. This bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between muscles , tendons , bones, and joints . Hip bursitis is a common cause of hip pain that can be acute or chronic.

Hip bursitis
Hip bursitis


Hip bursitis can be caused by:

  • Overuse or strain on the hip when exercising or standing for long periods
  • Hip injury, such as from suffering a hip
  • Having one leg that is longer than the other
  • Bone spurs on the hip
  • Spinal problems, including scoliosis and arthritis of the spine
  • Muscle imbalance that puts more tension around the hip muscles
  • Infection (rarely)


Some health problems can also cause hip bursitis, including:
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Drop
  • Pseudogout
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease

Bursitis is more common in older adults. Being out of shape or overweight can put you at higher risk for hip bursitis.


Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the hip joint that can also be felt outside the thigh
  • Pain that is stabbing or intense at first, but may become more of an ongoing pain
  • Dificulty to walk
  • Joint stiffness
  • Swelling and warmth of the hip joint
  • Stuck or popping sensation

Exacerbation of pain

Hip bursitis pain worsens when:

Gets up from chair or bed
You are sitting for an extended period
Go upstairs
Sleeps or lies on the affected side


Your doctor will do a physical exam first and then determine if other tests are needed to rule out other conditions that may cause your symptoms, such as:

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance


Many cases of hip pain go away with rest and care. Specialists suggest the following methods:

  • Use ice 3-4 times a day for the first 2-3 days.
  • Take pain relievers to help relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Avoid activities that make pain worse.
  • When sleeping, do not lie on the side that has bursitis.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • When standing, stand on a soft, cushioned surface. Put the same amount of weight on each leg.
  • Putting a pillow between your knees when lying on your side can lessen your pain.
  • Wear comfortable, well-cushioned shoes with a low heel.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Strengthen your core muscles
As the pain subsides, physical exercises may be done to strengthen and prevent muscle atrophy. You may need physical therapy if you have trouble moving your joints.

Some treatments include

  • Extract fluid from the bursa
  • Steroid injection
If none of the treatments work, your doctor might suggest surgery to remove the bursa. This is rarely needed. If you have surgery, your hip will work fine without the inflamed bursa. a new bursa sac will grow back.


Overuse is the most common cause of hip bursitis. To help prevent hip pain:

  • Always warm up before exercising and cool down afterwards. Stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings.
  • Don’t increase the distance, intensity, and amount of time you exercise all at the same time.
  • Avoid running straight down the hill. Instead, walk.
  • Swim instead of running or biking.
  • Run on a smooth, smooth surface, like a track. Avoid running on concrete.
  • If you have flat feet, try using special inserts and arch supports (orthoses).
  • Make sure your running shoes fit well and have good cushioning.

You should go to a hospital or seek emergency help if:

  • Hip pain is caused by a serious fall or other injury
  • Your leg is deformed, bruised, or bleeding
  • You can’t move your hips and can put weight on your leg

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