Hip Bursitis (Trochanteric/Iliopsoas Bursitis)
Hip bursitis is a very painful condition in which a bursa sac inside of the hip becomes irritated and inflamed, affecting the bursa and the soft tissue around it. A bursa is a sac of synovial fluid, rich in protein and collagen that acts as a cushion to protect soft tissue, such as tendons, ligaments and muscle, from friction and excess pressure.
We have over 150 bursae in our bodies with most of them located in our joints. Bursae in the hip include the greater trochanteric bursa, deep trochanteric bursa, the iliopsoas bursa, gluteal medius bursa, ischiogluteal bursa, and ischial tuberosity bursa located in the back of the joint. The 3 most common types of hip bursitis occur in the greater trochanter bursa followed by the iliopsoas bursa and ischial bursa (also called the ischial bursa).
The trochanter bursa functions to prevent the iliotibial band (IT band) from rubbing against the greater trochanter of the femoral head. The IT band runs from the iliac crest (crest of the pelvis) down the side of the hip and leg, and inserts at the upper tibia (top of the knee.) It is mainly used along with the gluteus maximus for bracing the leg and knee when in the standing position. Trochanteric bursitis is often caused by the iliotibial band tightening and rubbing against the bursa.
The IT band is made up of thick, fibrous tissue that is considered connective tissue similar to a tendon. When it becomes irritated or inflamed, it can irritate the trochanter bursa causing inflammation within the bursa. Therefore, sufferers of iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) may experience trochateris bursitis at the same time.
The iliopsoas bursa lies between the front of the hip bone and the iliopsoas muscle and help reduce the friction between the bone and muscle. This bursa usually becomes inflamed due to overuse of the iliopsoas muscle. Overuse can tighten the muscle causing more pressure on the bursa when the hip is flexed. Iliopsoas bursitis can be mistaken for tendinitis or hip arthritis because of the location of pain and other symptoms.
The ischial bursa is located at the bottom of the ischium (lower hip bone). It cushions the gluteus maximus muscle from the ischium when sitting on hard surfaces or when sitting for long periods of time. Ischial bursitis may cause back pain and due to the location, it is often mistaken for sciatica pain.
In some cases, an inflamed bursa may become infected with bacteria (referred to as septic bursitis) and it is necessary to see a doctor to get rid of the infection.
There are two types of bursitis: chronic and acute. Chronic bursitis is caused by overuse or repetition of a certain area or joint. It will develop over time, and will likely get better and flare up over a long period of time. Acute bursitis can be the result of a trauma to the hip, such as a fall. It can also result from a simple movement such as lifting and twisting the wrong way or may come on quickly following irritation during hip surgery.
Some suffers cannot recall what triggered the hip pain, which is why some will not seek treatment, hoping it will resolve itself. However, it is always wise to address and treat hip pain as soon as possible so that the problem doesn't get worse.
Hip Bursitis Symptoms
A healthy trochanter bursa is usually about the size of a small plum, but can swell to the size of an orange when bursitis sets in. This is what creates the soft tissue damage in the area. Other symptoms you may experience include:
- Pain around the bursa location that may extend down the groin and thigh
- Swelling, tenderness in the area of the bursa
- Pain my increase when the hip is flexed
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain
- The area around the bursa is hot to the touch
- Stiffness and tightness in the hip joint, groin and possibly the knee due to a tight muscle (iliopsoas) or tendon (IT band)
Hip Bursitis Causes
- Runners, or participation in sports that involve a lot of running
- Activities which require repeated hip flexion (i.e. ballet, hurdling, soccer)/li>
- Bone spurs or calcium crystals that form inside can irritate the bursa
- Repetitive stress on the hip from running, jumping, or squatting
- An injury or blow to the hip
- Uneven leg length that causes excess pressure on the bursa
- Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB)
- Weak hip abductor muscles (gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fascia lata)
- Following surgery in the hip in which the bursa may have been irritated
Treatments for Hip Bursitis
Relieving the symptoms of bursitis initially focuses on keeping the pressure off the bursa. Surgery may be required if your bursa irritation is a result of a bone formation problem, such as a bone spur. If your bursitis is caused by an infection (septic bursitis), the doctor will probably drain the bursa sac with a needle and perscribe antibiotics to treat the infection. For non-infectious bursitis, the preliminary treatment starts with non-operative options such as ultrasound thereapy and cold therapy.
The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your hip. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.
Treatments should involve decreasing swelling, relieving stress on the hip joint, correcting any biomechanical dysfunction (uneven leg length, bone spur, etc.), treating scar tissue, and then restoring strength and movement in your leg and hip. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) is recommended once inflammation has been calmed to heal the bursa and surrounding tissue faster and reduce the risk of bursitis returning.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Therapy
To decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of trochanteric bursitis doctor's recommend cold therapy.
Applying cold to your inflamed bursa will help decrease the swelling and redness around it. Cold therapy will also help to numb the pain in your acetabular joint and help to control the inflammation. In addition, the deep cooling effect provided by the Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® reduces tissue damage.
The Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn.
Cooling your inflamed trochanteric bursa as needed throughout the day is recommended. The Hip Freezie Wrap® can be used to apply cold in a safe, convenient and effective way - and the gel pack is reusable. The gel pack sits gently over the inflamed bursa to reduce swelling and redness.
The wrap is soft and adjustable so it fits your body properly, without irritating the bursa, and allows you to adjust the compression. This is important when treating an inflamed bursa because too much pressure can cause you further pain. You control how much pressure the bursa receives so you can benefit from the compression to hold the cold where you need it, without increasing your pain.
Applying cold to your tender bursa and hip joint is the first step in treating your bursitis. Then begin ultrasound therapy to continue the healing process.
Ultrasound has been used by physical therapists and chiropractors for years to treat bursitis. By applying ultrasound therapy to your sore trochanteric bursa you can reduce the inflammation caused by the fluid that has built up.
In addition, ultrasound therapy will treat any other soft tissue conditions that you may be experiencing in your hip such as iliotibial band syndrome, osteoarthritis pain, a labrum tear and more. By treating yourself with ultrasound everyday, you are able to rid yourself of bursitis pain; this is best accomplished with a personal, therapeutic ultrasound device.
Scar tissue develops with bursitis as your damaged tissue heals. This fibrotic tissue is naturally produced instead of forming brand new healthy tissue. Scar tissue adheres to your bursa sac, tendons, ligaments, and nerves causing pain and preventing them from moving properly (this limits your range of motion, flexibility and strength). However, ultrasound therapy can treat scar tissue. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results.
Ultrasound therapy is a great therapeutic option to decrease inflammation, pain and scar tissue build up experienced with bursitis and other soft tissue injuries. The treatment is easy, painless, and requires 10 minutes of your time. It is based on a form of deep thermal therapy which is generated through high frequency sound waves that reach into the cells of the tissue. These sound waves help to reduce the fluid build up in the bursa, heal any tissue damaged through trauma, reduce scar tissue, as well as reduce any crystal or calcific deposits that may have gathered in the area.
Using the MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Gel during your ultrasound therapy gives you 2 therapies in 1. You get the benefit of the regenerating sound waves from the ultrasound device itself AND the added bonus of the therapeutic ingredients inside the gel being delivered into the tissue where it is most effective.
Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel contains the natural essential oils of Bulgarian lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and menthol and is exclusively available from MendMeShop®. These ingredients reduce inflammation, relieve pain and improve blood circulation to your hip bursae. 1 bottle of MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel comes FREE with every MendMeShop® Ultrasound System so you get unbeatable ultrasound therapy for your bursitis.
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
Once the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with cold therapy and ultrasound treatments it is time to improve blood flow and improve the elasticity of your surrounding soft tissue. Your body needs a fresh supply of blood to improve the health of your tissue and get your trochanteric bursae and IT band back to normal.
Unfortunately, when you are suffering from bursitis it can be painful to even walk or lift your leg. When you limit movement in your hip the blood flow is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients.
The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further inflaming the bursae. This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™, or BFST®, becomes a powerful tool.
BFST® compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting blood flow while you give your hip the rest it needs.
The Hip Inferno Wrap® uses a patented process to generate the same energy that is part of the sun's spectrum of light, the same energy that is necessary to all living things for optimum health. The energy emitted from the Energy Web® stimulates blood flow to your hip, more than your body would ever be able to generate on it's own, giving your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process. The healing energy reaches deep into your trochanteric bursa and IT band to speed tissue repair, whisk away the toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenate your hip tissues for improved elasticity.
With these 3 easy therapies, cold therapy, ultrasound and BFST®, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your hip pain and range of motion.
We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.
NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be used if required to help manage your pain. However, these aren't recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The use of cold therapy, ultrasound and BFST® in conjunction with NSAIDs can greatly improve the effect of this medication and can help to heal quicker.
Your doctor may aspirate your inflamed bursa. This involves removing the extra fluid that has built up with a needle. Sometimes, the fluid will be tested at a laboratory to rule out infection.
If your bursitis does not get better with conservative treatments, the bursa may be surgically removed. Usually this is done by hip arthroscopy, which is a surgical procedure where tiny incisions are made and a pencil-sized camera is inserted into the hip. A small shaver is inserted into another incision, and is used to remove the swollen bursa all together. The surgeon will then look for any damage to the hip and make repairs if necessary. This is also done to remove any bone spurs.
Recovery time for the surgery will depend on a number of different factors including your healing ability, diet, rest and how many procedures were done in your surgery.
Post-op recovery time can be reduced with the use of cold compression, ultrasound therapy, and blood flow stimulation therapy following surgery. Cold compression is recommend by doctors following surgery to treat your pain in a natural, non-addictive way and to reduce swelling. Once the incision has healed, speak with your doctor about the use of ultrasound therapy and BFST®. BFST® encourages more oxygen and nutrients to flow to the area to speed healing and improve the strength of the soft tissue in your hip. Using ultrasound therapy as soon as you can following your surgery will treat the scar tissue that forms as you heal. Treating scar tissue is the most important step following surgery, especially in a joint, to improve the range of motion in your hip. Leaving the scar tissue untreated can lead to stiffness, chronic hip pain, osteoarthritis or other chronic conditions.
Physical therapy is a beneficial way to restore atrophied muscles and improve strength and mobility after treating bursitis. The type of physical therapy and the duration will be dependent on the tissue damage and your symptoms. When you are treating or recovering from bursitis, it is important to ensure you do not perform any exercises that will further irritate the bursa.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist will set up an individualized strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines.
Individuals will often lift weights on their own, to try and build up their strength. However, in doing so, they can do more damage to their joint. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is appropriate and effective. For best, long term results use ultrasound and BFST in conjunction with physical therapy and an exercise program.
Would you like to discuss your Hip Bursitis or other conditions with a MendMyHip Advisor?
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With these 3 easy-to-use, pain-free, home therapies from MendMyHip, pain is significantly reduced, tissue heals faster, and there's an incredible improvement in the range of motion of your hip. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
We've helped thousands of people treat their painful injuries and conditions to get them back on the road to a pain-free life!
Our customers have tried other common hip treatments, such as cortisone injections, pain killers, physical therapy, NSAIDs, and simply staying off their feet to give their hip the rest it needs, all without lasting results - until they found our incredible therapies! In addition, our customers include physicians, professional athletes, sports trainers and coaches, physical therapists, and nurses. These professionals rely on products from MendMyHip to treat their patients, players, and themselves. Click here to read more about their experience with MendMyHip!
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. It is recommended that you see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are many injuries and conditions that could be the cause of your pain.