Exercises That Help Relieve Hip Bursitis

Today, we want to tell you about certain exercises that help relieve hip bursitis. However, the first thing you should do is see a physiotherapist. They'll indicate the best exercises for your particular case.
Exercises That Help Relieve Hip Bursitis

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 27 May, 2022

There’s a series of exercises that you can perform in order to relieve hip bursitis, which is a painful and bothersome inflammatory disease. To be more specific, it involves the inflammation of the bursa, a gelatinous sack that protects the muscles, tendons, and bones from one another.

In this particular case, the problem occurs in the sack that’s located between the femur and the pelvic bones. Its functioning is like that of a cushion that reduces friction.

Hip bursitis is a condition that’s very uncomfortable for those who suffer from it, as it produces sharp and intense pain. In general, women are more prone to this disease, which is associated with aging and osteoporosis. At the same time, it can also have to do with other sicknesses like arthritis and arthrosis.

Let’s take a closer look.

Types of bursitis

Hip bursitis isn’t the only type of bursitis that can affect people.

In fact, it can also affect the knees, shoulders, wrists, and elbows. When it occurs in the hip, it’s usually because the tensor muscle of the fascia lata (located in the inner side of the leg) rubs against the trochanter. The former is located in the inner side of the leg, and the latter sticks out of the head of the femur.

Also known as trochanteritis or trochanteric bursitis, it has two clinical presentations. The first is the result of some trauma to the area. On the other hand, the second has to do with bone spurs or the inadequate use of the hip muscle.

It’s important for a doctor to conduct a thorough physical exam to determine which of these is the case. That’s because proper diagnosis is relevant when it comes to finding a solution. What’s more, it’s key in keeping the problem from becoming chronic.  Once the joint has entered the symptoms start to be persistent, it’s very hard to reverse the process.

A man with hip pain.

Read more: Hip Osteoarthritis; Characteristics and Symptoms

Exercises to relieve hip bursitis

Resting is the first measure for reducing and eliminating the pain of hip bursitis – even before doing any exercises. If the pain is intense, that means that trochanteritis is in its acute stage. Therefore, the best thing you can do is allow your hip to rest using a good anatomic memory foam pillow.

Once you’re over the acute phase, then you should begin an exercise routine to completely relieve the pain. In order to do so safely, we recommend the following:

  • Perform movements gently and slowly.
  • Breathe normally, inhaling, and exhaling to avoid tension. You’ll need to stop if the pain becomes worse.
  • Before starting an exercise routine to relieve bursitis, you should always warm up.

Then, the next step will be to do foot stretches. One possibility is to cross one foot behind the other and incline your body toward the unaffected side. Or, lie down with your back against the floor or a mat and stretch the iliotibial band or the hips as far as possible.

More exercises to relieve hip bursitis

Another option is to gently stretch the hip rotator while lying down. This is a muscle in the external area that allows the thigh to move away from the body. Of course, you need to be extra careful not to force the movement too much or you could make any underlying injury even worse.

Another exercise that strengthens the area is lifting your leg straight up while lying on your side. In the same way, hip abduction, or raising the internal side of the thigh, is also beneficial.

No matter what, regulating the number of series is fundamental in order to establish rest between each one. That way, the soft parts of the joint can relax.

A physical therapist performing hip exercises on a patient.
You should first consult with a physiotherapist who will be able to indicate the exercises that you can perform at home.

You may also want to read: Hip Adductor Tendinopathy: What Is It and What Are Its Symptoms?

Complementary measures for exercises that relieve hip bursitis

A physiotherapist will be responsible for indicating which exercises are best for each particular case. In some cases, professionals will combine manual physiotherapy with the use of pain killers. Surgery is the last option if previous measures fail to produce positive results.

Also, on top of exercises for hip bursitis, you can apply cold to the area in order to reduce pain. This is especially beneficial during the acute stage. If your doctor recommends it, injections are more potent when pain is incapacitating.

Also, you should keep certain routines and habits in mind to keep hip bursitis from coming back. For example, the following:

  • Avoid overburdening the zone.
  • Keep your body weight under control.
  • Sit comfortably in order to avoid placing too much pressure on your hips.
  • Wear proper footwear and correct poor posture.

An effective, practical, and cheap form of treatment

Performing these exercises on a routine basis is one of the most effective measures for controlling hip bursitis. In doing so, you not only prevent muscular atrophy but also the progression of arthrosis.

It’s also a very cost-effective method. In fact, it doesn’t cost you a thing! What’s more, you can perform the exercises in the comfort of your own home and help prevent future relapses.

If you have any questions or need guidance, make sure to ask your doctor.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.