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Hip Bursitis

What is hip bursitis?

A bursa is a closed fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. "Bursae" is the plural form of "bursa." The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.

When the bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is known as "bursitis."

There are two major bursae of the hip, the trochanteric bursa and the ischial bursa. Inflammation of either can be associated with stiffness and pain around the hip joint. The trochanteric bursa is located on the side of the hip. It is separated significantly from the actual hip joint by tissue and bone.


Trochanteric bursitis frequently causes tenderness of the outer hip, making it difficult for patients to lie on the involved side, frequently causing difficult sleep. Trochanteric bursitis also causes a dull, burning pain on the outer hip that is often made worse with excessive walking or stair climbing.

The ischial bursa is located in the upper buttock area. Ischial bursitis can cause dull pain in this area that is most noticeable when climbing uphill. Bursitis of the hip is the most common cause of hip pain.

Suggestions for treating hip bursitis

Patients with hip bursitis can often benefit by weight reduction, stretching exercises, and wearing proper footwear for exercise activities.

Physical-therapy programs such as osteopathy, myotherapy, physiotherapy and remedial massage can be helpful in reducing the tightness in the gluteal muscles which is a significant cause of bursitis around the hip.  Ice therapy is very effective at reducing the pain and inflammation around the joint. In severe cases a cortisone injection is applied to the inflamed bursa by a physician.

Contact us now for immediate advice regarding hip bursitis.