Many of us in an effort to combat the effects of isolation are exercising more than ever before, and some of us may be experiencing new, and unwelcome pain responses. If this is the case for you, hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitis could well be the cause of your hip pain.
What it is, and what you can do about it.
Trochanteric bursitis presents with pain on the side of the hip, often spreading down the outside of the thigh.
It usually comes about because of muscular tightness and poor biomechanics of the hip resulting in inflammation of the trochanteric bursa. This bursa, a small fluid filled sac on the outside of the hip sits beneath a muscle on the outside of the hip and protects the muscle and soft tissue from the boney protrusion of the hip (greater trochanter) If the buttock muscle should become weak then other muscular and tendinous structures around the hip compensate and this inadvertently leads to increased friction and rubbing of the trochanteric bursa. It becomes inflamed, painful and begins to refer pain down the outside of the leg. It can be particularly painful at night when you lie on it while trying to sleep.
Often buttock muscle weakness combined with increased activity are the contributing factors so identifying these issues are an important part of the treatment process. It could be you had fall, or recent diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the hip. Perhaps you increased your step count with hill walking or running. Either way it is good to investigate your recent activities to help understand the causative factors.
There are many things you can do to help trochanteric bursitis and here are few:
- Reduce the activities that aggravate your pain. Change things up so you are doing less of what aggravates the pain and reducing the stress and fatigue of the muscles around the hip
- Massage or foam rolling the muscles and tissues on the side of your hip and down your thigh can help relieve some of the tightness.
- Ice therapy can help reduce the inflammation of the bursa. Wrap some ice in a damp cloth and place it over the outside of your hip for 10-15 minutes. Make sure you check the skin to avoid an ice burn.
- Strengthening and stretching exercises around the hip. Try these to 2 exercises to start with:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Tighten your buttock muscles and lift your hips up off the floor. Push through your heels and keep your hips high and level throughout the movement.
- Hold this position then lower your hips and buttocks onto the floor, back to the starting position.
Iliotibial band stretch
- While standing cross the leg to be stretched behind the other leg.
- Bending sideways from the hip, lean your body away from the leg you are stretching.
- Take the arm on the side you are stretching, overhead across to the other side.
- Push your hips forward to feel a stretch on the outer hip and thigh.
- Hold this position.
Hope this helps.