Bursitis hip exercises

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Hip bursitis is swelling and pain of a bursa in the hip.

A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion or shock absorber between a tendon and a bone. A tendon is a cord of tough tissue that connects muscles to bones. Normally a bursa has a small amount of fluid in it. When injured, the bursa becomes inflamed (painful and filled a lot of fluid).

There are different types of hip bursitis. These types include trochanteric bursitis (pain on the side of the hip), ischialgluteal bursitis (pain at the base of the hips- the buttocks), and iliopectineal bursitis (pain in the groin).

With treatment, many people feel better in about six weeks, but it may take longer for bursitis to heal.

Causes of hip bursitis:

•Persistent pressure on the hips. This is often caused by standing or sitting on hard surfaces for long periods of time.

•Direct trauma to the hip. This may happen if there is a fall on the hip.



•Overuse. This is caused by doing activities that use the same movements over and over again. Examples of this are running, climbing stairs or hills, and biking.

•Past surgeries such as hip replacement.

Hip bursitis usually causes pain, aching, and stiffness. Pain is different depending on the type of hip bursitis.

The pain may be over the outside of the hip and thigh. The pain may be in the buttock and later move into the hip. The pain may also be in the groin.

How is hip bursitis treated?

The most important part of treating bursitis is resting the hip while the bursa heals. Resting may also prevent the bursitis from getting worse.

Ice causes blood vessels to constrict which helps decrease inflammation. Ice should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times each day. Use ice for two to three days or as long as the pain continues.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, and ultimately, ultrasound-guided injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can heal bursitis.

Also, physical therapy can assist with more rapid healing of bursitis. Physical therapy treatments include ultrasound to increase blood flow to the injured area and massage to stretch the tissues. Exercises to stretch the hip muscles and tendons to make them stronger will be started after the bursitis has healed. The type of stretch will depend on which bursa was affected. The therapist can best direct the patient to the proper stretches for that specific issue.

Excessive weight can lead to re-occurrence of bursitis so weight loss may be advised.

Return to exercise is important for stretching muscles and keeping them strong. Always warm up muscles and stretch gently before exercising. Do cool-down and stretching exercises when finished. This will loosen muscles and decrease stress on the hips. Rest between exercise sessions.

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