What Is the Fastest Way To Heal Bursitis of the Hip?

Reviewed on 1/29/2021

What Is bursitis of the hip?

Your body has over 150 bursae. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae. Two major bursae are located in your hip and most cases of hip bursitis will heal with rest and at-home care. But medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, fluid removal, and surgery are additional options for treatment and relief.
Your body has over 150 bursae. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae. Two major bursae are located in your hip and most cases of hip bursitis will heal with rest and at-home care. But medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, fluid removal, and surgery are additional options for treatment and relief.

Bursae are small, jelly-like sacs that cushion areas where tendons, bones, ligaments, and muscles rub against each other. They are filled with a small amount of fluid and act as a cushion in these areas. There are over 150 bursae in the human body. Bursitis is an inflammation of one of these bursae. Bursitis is more common in women and older people, but it can affect anyone.

Your body has 150 bursae. Two major ones are located in your hip. One of the major hip bursae is located at the bony part of your hip bone called the greater trochanter. Inflammation of this bursa is called greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS), or trochanteric bursitis. 

Your iliopsoas bursa is the other major hip bursa, located on the inside of your hip by the groin. Inflammation of the iliopsoas bursa is not as common as trochanteric bursitis, but it is treated in a similar fashion.

Symptoms of hip bursitis

Symptoms of hip bursitis include: 

The pain is often worse at night, when you are resting on the hip that hurts. It may also be painful to rise from a chair after sitting for a while. You may have severe pain when squatting, going up and down stairs, or walking for an extended period of time.

Causes of hip bursitis

Trochanteric bursitis can be caused by the following:

Anyone can develop hip bursitis but it is more common in older people and women.

Diagnosis for bursitis of the hip?

If you have symptoms of bursitis, visit your doctor. They will listen to your symptoms and perform a physical exam to check for tenderness of the hip. To make a definite diagnosis, your doctor might ask for X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or an ultrasound.

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Treatments for bursitis of the hip

Many cases of bursitis will heal with rest and at-home care. Additionally, the following measures may help:

Rest

Avoid activities that worsen the pain. Apply ice or cold packs at the onset of pain for 10 to 15 minutes, up to three times an hour. After 3 days, you can use heat or alternate heat and ice. 

Medication

A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may help with pain and inflammation. NSAIDs should be used with care and only for a limited time. They can cause stomach irritation and other side effects. Discuss all medication use with your doctor. 

A cane or crutches

Devices that help you walk such as canes or crutches may help relieve the pain when needed. 

Steroid injection 

Your doctor may inject a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid into the bursa. This simple treatment is very effective and can be done in the doctor’s office. It may provide temporary or permanent relief. If the pain returns, another injection may be given several months later. 

Physical therapy

Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to help with hip strength and flexibility. A physical therapist can show you how to do exercises at home to help stretch your muscles. It’s also a good idea to gently move your hip through a full range of motion even while you are resting so that it doesn’t get stiff. 

Removing fluid from bursa

In cases of severe bursitis, your doctor may use a needle to remove extra fluid from the bursa. 

Surgery

Surgery is not typically needed to treat hip bursitis. Your doctor may recommend removing the bursa only if your problems continue after all nonsurgical treatments have been tried. Your hip can function normally without the bursa. This may be done arthroscopically, using a small camera. A small incision is made and the doctor uses the camera to view the bursa and remove it. This type of surgery is less invasive. It allows you to heal faster than you would from traditional surgery. 

Prevention 

Regardless of which treatment option works for you, here are some ways to prevent bursitis from recurring: 

  • Avoid repetitive movements that put stress on the hip joint. 
  • Swim instead of running or cycling for exercise.
  • Use shoe inserts if needed for foot problems or leg-length differences. 
  • Strengthen your core muscles and hip muscles.
  • Avoid standing for long lengths of time. 
  • Lose weight if needed. 

Risks and side effects of treatments

Some treatments for hip bursitis can have risks and side effects. Here are some common side effects that result from the following treatments:

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs:

Steroid Injections:

Surgery:

Talk with your doctor to be sure you’re choosing the right treatment for you and minimizing your chance of negative side effects.

QUESTION

Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer

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References
Boston Medical Center: "Hip Bursitis Treatment."

Cleveland Clinic: "Trochanteric Bursitis."

National Health Service: "NSAIDs."

National Health Service: "Steroid Injection."

Ortho NorCal: "Trochanteric Bursitis of the Hip."

OrthoInfo: "Hip Bursitis."

Stanford Health Care: "Bursitis."

StatPearls: "Bursitis."

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