Bursitis Of The Hip

A bursa is a small gel-like sac that generally contains a minimal amount of liquid. Bursae are throughout the body but most importantly they are located around the heel, knee, hip, elbow and shoulder. These act as cushions between soft tissues and the bones in order to help reduce friction between the bone and gliding muscles. Should a bursa become inflamed, then bursitis is the result.

Bursitis Risk Factors

Although bursitis is something that can affect anyone those in their later years and women are more at risk. Hip bursitis is the most common and there are several risk factors that contribute to this. They include:

  • Leg length – Sometimes one leg is longer than the other, and in some cases by more than an inch. The body tries to compensate as the person walks and this creates stress leading to hip bursitis.
  • Calcium deposits – These deposits (and bone spurs) can develop within the tendons that attach to the bony prominences toward the near end of the femur (trochanter). This in turn irritates the bursa therefore causing inflammation.
  • Overuse injury – Running, cycling, standing for long periods of time all can contribute to bursitis.
  • Previous surgery – Surgeries around a prosthetic implant or hip can lead to bursitis.
  • Hip injury – Any blow or injury to the hips can cause inflammation of the bursa.
  • Spine disease – Scoliosis, arthritis of the lower spine and other spinal problems can contribute to bursitis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – This tends to increase the likelihood of bursae becoming inflamed.

Bursitis Symptoms

If an individual has bursitis, then he or she will feel pain. Often there is an achy or stiff feeling and the affected area looks swollen and is red. The affected area will hurt more when pressure is applied.

Bursitis of the hips often starts with pain at the point of the hip and extends to the outer thigh area. At the onset the pain is sharp and it later becomes achy. Typically the pain is worse after sitting for long periods of time, lying on the hip at night, and it may worsen with prolonged activity.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

The good news is that most people with hip bursitis can get relief with some simple lifestyle changes. Some of these changes include:

  • Avoid the activities that tend to worsen symptoms.
  • Use anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and even turmeric.
  • Overuse injury – Running, cycling, standing for long periods of time all can contribute to bursitis.
  • If only temporary, use a walking cane or crutches to help you get through the worst of it.
  • Seek the advice of a health profession who can help with physical therapy.

Some physical therapy methods include the use of heat, ice, electric stimulation, ultrasound and laser therapy, yet having the guidance of a health professional is strongly advised in order to minimize the length of time it takes to recover.


Of course, like most health ailments, prevention is paramount. Avoiding certain activities that can worsen a pre-existing condition is the first step in prevention. Also, avoid repetitive movements that place stress of areas that have a bursa (especially the hips). Maintaining strength and flexibility in the hip area is really important.

Properly fitted shoes are essential if an individual is aware that one leg is longer than the other.
Last but not least, losing weight may be required to reduce the stress on the hips.

The best plan is that if you have suffered from or it feels like you may have bursitis, see a health professional. Never self-diagnose because things could go from bad to worse before you know it. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has friendly health professionals on staff to help you live pain-free as naturally as possible. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a walk-in clinic conveniently located at 10144 Yonge Street, just north of Major MacKenzie Drive in the heart of Richmond Hill. Call 905-918-0419 for more information or to book a consultation.

March 7, 2014

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