Hips are a great place for carrying a child, wrapping a belt, resting a laundry basket—and developing bursitis! If that happens, you won’t be wanting a kid, belt, or basket anywhere near your hip—because it will be too painful with movement and pressure. Called trochanteric bursitis, this condition is a common cause of hip pain. Not to worry, though. Castle Pines Physical Therapy can help!
Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that act as cushioned buffers between our bones and soft tissues. Sometimes they can become irritated and inflamed. When this occurs around the outer hip joint (greater trochanter) it is referred to as trochanteric bursitis. Pain can be felt on the outside of the hip, but can also extend into the thigh or buttock. It is especially intense during activities such as walking, climbing stairs, squatting, and getting up and down from a seated position. Discomfort is also present when pressure is placed upon the area by touch or by lying on the affected side.
Get Clued In to the Causes
Often times this condition is brought on by overuse and repetitive stress. If your job requires you to stand for long periods of time, you log a lot of miles running, or you tend to run up and down stairs frequently, these activities could all put you at risk. Trochanteric bursitis can also develop as a result of an injury to the hip such as a hard fall or bump. Other causes include bad posture, bone spurs or calcium deposits, a previous surgery, a difference in leg length, or underlying conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and scoliosis. Most often this type of bursitis affects women and middle-aged or elderly people. If hip pain starts to interfere with your day-to-day activities, or recurs, give Castle Pines Physical Therapy a visit.
No matter the cause, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation, and increase mobility. Typically this can be accomplished by conservative measures alone. First, take a break from activities that aggravate the symptoms. Using an assistive device like a cane or crutch can help. We may also suggest anti-inflammatory medication, or possibly corticosteroid injections. Lastly, physical therapy including stretches, ice, heat, massage, and ultrasound, can do wonders to alleviate pain and restore range of motion, flexibility, and strength. Only if all else fails will surgery be considered to remove the affected bursa, but this is very rare.
Get Privy to Prevention
Although trochanteric bursitis can’t always be avoided, there are steps you can take to keep symptoms at bay or at least from getting worse. Keep your hips strong and flexible with regular stretches and exercises. Avoid repetitive activities that can stress the hips. Maintaining a healthy weight is also beneficial. Orthotic shoe inserts can be helpful in certain circumstances as well, like leg-length differences, poor posture, or incorrect technique in sports. If pain occurs, it’s important to listen to your body and rest. Return to activity should be gradual.
If hip pain is coming between you and your active lifestyle, come see us at Castle Pines Physical Therapy. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Molner, and before you know it, instead of moaning in agony, you’ll be shouting hip, hip, hooray!