The Pain in Your Hip

We have bursae throughout our bodies. These small, jelly-like sacs contain a small amount of fluid and are positioned between bones and soft tissue, acting as cushions to help reduce friction. You’ll find bursa in all the joints, including the shoulder, elbow, knee, heel, and hip.

When a bursa is inflamed, this is called bursitis. In the hip, there are two major bursae that are prone to bursitis. One covers the bony point of the hip bone called the greater trochanter. When inflamed, this becomes trochanteric bursitis. The other, the iliopsoas bursa, is located on the inside of the hip. When this bursa becomes inflamed, it may be referred to as hip bursitis, but the pain is located more in the groin. Most hip bursitis is trochanteric bursitis.

What are the symptoms of hip bursitis?

With trochanteric bursitis, you’ll feel pain at the point of your hip. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. When in the early stages, the pain is sharp and intense, but this often changes to an ache that spreads across a larger area of the hip.

Sleeping can be difficult if lying on the affected hip. Getting up from a chair after sitting for some time can be a challenge. Prolonged walking, climbing of stairs, or squatting will lead to pain.

Who gets hip bursitis?

Hip bursitis can affect anyone, but it is more common in women and middle-aged or elderly people. These are the risk factors:

  • Repetitive stress injury— Running, bicycling, exercising on a stair master, or standing for a prolonged period.
  • Hip injury— If you fall onto your hip, bump your hip, or lie on one side for an extended period of time.
  • Leg-length inequality— If one leg is significantly shorter than the other this affects the way your walk, and this can irritate the hip bursae.
  • Spine disease— Scoliosis, osteoarthritis, and other spine problems can irritate the hip bursae.
  • Previous hip surgery
  • Bone spurs or calcium deposits— These can develop within the tendons that attach muscles to the trochanter, and they irritate the bursa.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis— This affects all joints, including the hips.


At Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, Dr. Trujillo opts to treat hip bursitis with various non-surgical treatments. First of these, as you would assume, would be to cease the activity that is inflaming the bursae. Otherwise, these are potential treatments:

  • Physical therapy— This can help increase hip strength and flexibility. Stretches can be combined with rolling therapy, ice, heat, or ultrasound.
  • Steroid injections— Injecting corticosteroid directly into the inflamed bursa can be very effective. These help to calm inflammation and can provide temporary (for months) or permanent relief.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories— Ibuprofen, naproxen, piroxicam, celecoxib, and others can help to control inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Assistive devices— Use of a walking cane or crutches can take the loads off the hip and allow the inflammation to calm.

Do you have hip bursitis? Let us help with the pain. Please call us at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates, (928) 532-1605, to make an appointment.

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