Could your hip pain be bursitis?
Do you have pain in the outside of your hip? At its worst, does it ache or radiate pain down the outside and front of your leg? Is it aggravated by laying or sleep on that side of your body? And is it making it difficult to do the things you want to do? Such as gardening or running?
Trochanteric bursitis or gluteus medius tendinopathy could be a potential cause. These injuries are often related and occur at the same time; therefore some professionals are now referring to it as greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS).
What is a bursa?
Bursae are small fluid filled sacks that are designed to cushion impact one joints. You can find them all throughout your body, hips, knees and even small ones in your fingers and hands. When these bursae become inflamed, they can become painful, putting pressure on surrounding tissues of the joint. In this case the gluteal tendon gets aggravated by one of the several trochanteric bursae of the hip.
Rarely the inflammation of the bursa is due to infection, this is treated via a course of antibiotics and/or aspiration
You can find out more about tendons, including the do’s and do not’s of tendon pain from one of our other blogs here.
Who is affected?
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is most common in people who are middle aged and older, and is also more common in women, as the different pelvic shape and hip angles can create more stress on the lateral hip joint. GTPS is also common in long distance runners, this can be acute whilst running or radiate down the leg
This is commonly an injury caused by overuse, but can be aggravated by new or increased activity, also things like sudden weight gain or altered movement patterns due to other injuries.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain on the outside of the hip, but can radiate into the glute and outside of the thigh
- Painful to lay on
- Hip feels hot or swollen
- Hip joint stiffness that improves with movement
- Pain with end range of movements
- May have, or have had recent illness, fever or infection
If your hip is tender after a bout of running or gardening or other activity, try using an ice pack to help relieve some pain, and hopefully make it more comfortable to lay on/sleep on.
There are things we commonly recommend to help ease stress on the trochanteric bursa.
- Whilst sleeping, lie on opposite hip with pillow between legs.
- Avoid crossing your legs.
- Sitting in low seats, such as your couch.
- Start isometric strengthening.
How can it be helped?
- By booking an appointment with one of our osteopaths we can begin to address the cause of the injury
- We will try an approach to try and avoid the need for cortisone injections or other invasive treatment
- Modifying aggravating factors
- Physical therapy
- Shockwave therapy
- Strengthening activities
- In very rare cases the bursitis won’t be helped by any of the above, and a surgical consult may be required to remove the irritated bursa in question.
If you are suffering from hip pain, please book in with one of our great osteopaths, also try our online booking system!