Hip Bursitis

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: Hip Pain, Bursitis


Hip Bursitis
Assessing for muscle imbalances - one of the underlying causes of hip bursitis

Hip bursitis is a condition close to my heart as I have suffered from it myself and I realise just how much it hurts! So, just what is hip bursitis?

This condition is an inflammation of a bursa in the hip area. A bursa is a sack of fluid separating soft tissue from bone. It acts like a cushion when functioning correctly. However when it becomes injured or inflamed a bursitis may result. This is where your bursa becomes red hot and swollen. It can also be very painful! You commonly will not see the redness as it can be deep under the bulk of your thigh!

The causes of hip bursitis may be due to rheumatoid arthritis or gout. However, I find that it is more commonly due to muscle imbalances in your body. These muscles imbalances generally arise from poor posture and movement patterns. Although the onset of hip pain with bursitis is often sudden, the cause has usually been there for some time. Unless you had a direct trauma to the hip, pain is usually due to a movement problem that has been there for some time. Do not ignore the little aches and pains! Prevention is always better than cure.

My own example is that I fell on ice and landed on the side of my right hip. I had a lot of superficial soreness and bruising at the time, but with arnica and tender loving care it disappeared. However, six months later I started waking at night with severe hip pain. I quickly diagnosed bursitis - treated it well - and thankfully I am now fine.

However, I want you all to know it was very painful indeed! Seek a physiotherapy opinion after any fall of great intensity, even if you think it is only a bad bruise! I could have avoided my bursitis with a few stretches and mobilisations after the fall I had six months previously, if I had practised what I preach!

Treatment for hip bursitis

Like all forms of bursitis - involves both treating the bursitis and removing the cause. Treatment for bursitis involves early ice, rest, anti-inflammatories and sometime cortisone injections. Seek a medical opinion at an early stage if you have a sore hip suggestive of bursitis.

If an infection is present, anti-biotics will be required. If it is very severe and not responding to ice and rest, surgery may be required. This is where they remove your bursa. However, in my opinion it should be a last resort. Seek good medical attention and try to avoid surgery unless all else fails.

For muscle imbalances, poor posture or poor movement patterns, removing the cause involves correcting this movement dysfunction. This can involve postural correction and exercises to balance your hip muscles out again! You must do them to avoid further episodes of bursitis in your hip.

So my advice is not to just sit out an episode of hip bursitis. Seek Physiotherapy advice on what may be causing it and address this underlying cause. It will lead to a faster recovery as well as help prevent a reoccurrence of the condition in the future.

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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