Trochanteric Bursitis

Trochanteric bursitis is associated with inflammation of the trochanteric bursa.

A bursa is a fluid filled sack which sits in between muscle attachments around a joint. There are lots of different bursa around joints in the body, with often more than one bursa being present in any one joint. Their role is to act as a shock absorber and lubricant, helping spread force or load through the joint and its supporting muscles as they work. The trochanteric bursa takes its name from the area in which is sits close to, the trochanter. This is the bony part on the outside of your hip.

Signs and symptoms

  • Tenderness on the outside of the hip
  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Sleep disturbance due to pain at night (usually inflammatory pain)
  • Aggravated by climbing stairs
  • Prolonged periods of standing or walking
  • Getting in and out of a car
  • Runners experiencing this condition usually have pain radiating down the thigh as well as localised hip pain.

How physiotherapy can help

The primary treatment is rest. This does not mean bed rest or immobilising the area but avoiding the actions which bring on, or reproduce, the pain. Icing the joint may help. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug may relieve pain and reduce the inflammation. Should your condition not be improving, a steroid injection maybe recommended but this is usually after trying Physiotherapy and more conservative treatments.

Physiotherapy can help with both pain management and can aid recovery. Following identification of the cause of the problem your Physiotherapist will work with you to strengthen the hip muscles, core stabilisers and may stretch the iliotibial band, which if tight, will relieve tension around the hip and reduce the friction caused by the band ‘rubbing’ over the bursa.

The use of ultrasound has also been found to be helpful in treating the bursal pain, reducing inflammation and aiding tissue healing. Acupuncture around the hip joint is also effective in resolving many of the symptoms caused by this painful condition. Your Physiotherapist will be able to advise you on exercise strength, progression and your return to activity or sport should you require.

If the Physiotherapist feels a biomechanical problem maybe a contributing factor, we have an on-site Orthotists Clinic which will be able to undertake a more detailed biomechanical assessment and make custom made orthotics to improve your foot mechanics and gait.