Hip Bursitis (also known as Trochanteric Bursitis) occurs when the fluid-filled sacs called bursae become inflamed and press into other parts of the hip, causing large amounts of pain. You will find these sacs in many of the body’s major joints, including the hip, elbow, shoulder and knee. These are vital pouches that hold a thick fluid designed to lubricate joints and protect the body from the adverse effects of friction.
Hip bursitis is not inevitable, and there are a few ways to lower your chances of developing the condition in the first place. The first and most obvious involves ensuring you avoid activities that aggravate your hips and cause them to become painful. If you discover this has become an issue, take regular breaks to ensure you are not making the problem worse. Sometimes, weight can be a factor as well, as your joints and muscles are only designed to bear so much before becoming overworked and have a greater chance of swelling. Finally, there are a couple of approved workout routines that will help build hip strength and reduce the likelihood of developing issues. Always remember to warm up and stretch your muscles before workout routines to prevent additional injury.
If you have already developed the condition, it is usually not the end of the world. Fortunately, it is fairly common, and in most cases, it can be treated easily. The following are the top five treatments for hip bursitis.
1) Rest And Ice
This is the most common treatment for most mild inflammatory conditions. Using ice draws excess heat away from your body, numbing the area and potentially reducing the pain and swelling. This is usually applied for 20 to 30 minutes every four hours while you are awake.
Rest is the key to ensuring the condition doesn’t worsen, as you allow the injured area to heal by greatly reducing its use. If possible, try to avoid lying down on the injured area when sleeping or resting, as this added pressure can make it more difficult for the injury to heal.
2) Anti-Inflammatory Medications
There are many over-the-counter medications that are commonly used for this type of condition. Ibuprofen medications like Advil or Motrin and naproxen medications like Aleve are found in your average drug store and do not require prescriptions. Celecoxib (Celebrex) is a prescription medication that must be recommended by a doctor in more advanced cases. In cases of extreme need, you may require a trip to the doctor for cortisone shots, which is usually used as a last resort.
A therapy routine is often suggested to be performed in conjunction with rest. A doctor will prescribe a series of exercises for a patient to complete to ensure the muscles in the affected area regain their strength and prevent the recurrence of the injury later. These exercises are specifically designed to target the problem areas while applying the right amount of pressure and stretch. The right regimen will introduce exercises that are initially low-impact, and gradually increase as the muscles strengthen over time. Some physical therapists will recommend the use of assistive tools like kinesiology tape to ensure hyperextension does not occur, which has been shown to potentially decrease the required recovery time significantly. Kinesiology tape is used for mild support and as a guide based on the amount of tension felt in the applied tape.
4) Assistive Devices
Walkers, crutches, or other tools allow you to take the pressure off your hip for the long run, and should be considered if you still need to keep some level of mobility during recovery. While it is generally recommended in the early stages to remain off the hip entirely, these can be a suitable alternative for special cases, while also ensuring the hip is monitored closely to prevent the condition from getting worse.
While a rare occurrence, some critical injuries related to the bursa may require manual drainage or removal. This is usually resulting from the patient misusing the affected joint even after initial aggravation. The process involves the use of very small surgical tools that only require small incisions. Complete removal of the bursa is rare, and usually causes additional complications related to inflamed muscles down the road, which may require additional surgeries to fix.
In all cases, but especially in more advanced situations, it’s important to consult your doctor about the best course of action when dealing with hip bursitis. Depending on the severity of the condition, they will recommend a treatment, which should clear it up in a relatively short amount of time, followed by a regimen of exercises that you can do after rehabilitation to ensure flare-ups don’t return.
Additionally, a physical therapist or a personal trainer should be able to give you a greater range of techniques to maintain good general fitness. Feel free to ask them about preventative measures for any of your areas of concern, including those not related to the hip so that you can maintain an overall healthy body and lifestyle.
Colin Hegarty is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb that helps businesses showcase their brand through enticing copy. When he’s not working, you can find him playing net in a local beer league or biking around the city.