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Trochanteric/Hip Bursitis

Posted by Eqphysio on 20 September 2019
Trochanteric/Hip Bursitis

Bursa are fluid-filled sacs that act as a cushion between bones, tendons, joints, and muscles.  Trochanteric Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa at the outside point of the hip, the Greater Trochanter, and this irritated and inflamed bursa commonly causes hip pain.


Causes of Trochanteric Bursitis

  • Injury from a fall or hard hit to the outside of the hip can cause the bursa to fill with blood and inflamed

  • Lying on one side for a prolonged period.

  • Overuse or repetitive activities can cause hip bursitis. Excessive running, cycling, climbing stairs and standing for long periods can all lead to hip bursitis.

  • More prevalent in women than men and more common in the middle aged or the elderly.

  • Lumbar spine pathology that involves the irritation of the nerves in the lower back. This the leads to a potential weakness of the muscles that support the hip joint, specifically the gluteal muscles.

  • Tight hip flexor muscles often found in younger athletes diagnosed with hip bursitis.

Symptoms of Trochanteric Bursitis       


  • Pain and sometimes swelling over the outside of the hip joint. (greater trochanter)

  • Pain that travels down the outside of the thigh down to the knee.

  • Pain when sleeping on side, especially sleeping on the affected side.

  • Pain after prolonged sitting and climbing stairs

  • Pain often originally starts sharp and searing but after a while becomes more a deep ache.



  • Initially treatment will involve some rest from activity that causes the pain.

  • Ice or cold pack to sore hip after any exercise of activity that may inflame the hip bursa.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Nurofen)

  • Ultrasound

  • Dry needling

  • Massage

  • De-loading taping techniques

  • Strengthening and Stretching exercises which not only helps relieve the current problem but also prevents it recurring.

  • Corticosteroid injection when other more conservative treatments not helping



How can Physiotherapists help?     


Physiotherapists are trained at assessing, diagnosing and treating these conditions. A physiotherapist can ascertain where or if there is muscle weakness and tightness that is contributing to the hip pain. Initially the physiotherapist will use modalities that will speed up the healing process such as massage, dry needling, taping, and ultra sound.

Once the symptoms are controlled the physiotherapist will help with the corrective hip and back strengthening/ stretching exercises. This focus being on the muscles and the support structure of the hip joint to create a balanced support of the hip joints as well as stretching out the muscles that tend to be tight. The physiotherapist will also provide a preventative exercise regime to reduce the risk of future bursa irritation and advice on activity modification if necessary.

The physiotherapist at Equilibrium Physiotherapy are experienced in treating Hip Bursitis and if you have any questions or need of advice please feel free to ring and speak to one of the physiotherapists on 9553 8145.

Tags:Hip Pain

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