What is Hip Bursitis?
A "bursa" is a sac that contains fluid and allows soft tissues (tendons) to glide more easily over bones.
What is Trochanteric Bursitis?
The greater trochanteric bursa functions to prevent the iliotibial band (IT band) from rubbing against the hip bone (greater trochanter of the femoral head). The IT band runs from the pelvis (iliac crest) down the side of the hip and leg, and ends near the knee at the upper tibia.
Trochanteric bursitis is often caused by the iliotibial band (IT band) tightening and rubbing against the bursa.
When this bursa becomes inflamed, tenderness or pain will occur every time the tendon moves over the bone (greater trochanter). Pain may radiate from the hip down the outside of the thigh. As the tissue moves during each step, many sufferers of hip bursitis find it extremely painful to walk. In some cases, you may require the use of a wheelchair.
What are the Symptoms of Trochanteric Hip Bursitis?
A healthy greater trochanteric bursa is usually about the size of a small plum, but can swell to the size of an orange when bursitis sets in. Other symptoms you may experience include:
- Pain around the bursa that may extend down the groin and thigh
- Swelling and tenderness in the area of the bursa
- Pain my increase when the hip is flexed
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain
- The area around the bursa is hot to the touch
- Stiffness and tightness in the hip joint, groin and possibly the knee due to a tight muscle (iliopsoas) or tendon (IT band)
In North America, it is estimated that over 60% of hip pain cases are caused by trochanteric bursitis.
How Do I Diagnose Trochanteric Bursitis?
Diagnosing trochanteric bursitis can be difficult as many conditions (iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), hip muscle strain, ligament sprains, etc.) have bursitis-like symptoms. Your doctor will need to perform a thorough assessment and possibly run tests to determine if your pain is caused by bursitis or by muscle or joint injury, local bleeding, synovitis, arthritis, tendonitis, cellulitis or a number of other conditions.
To begin with, your doctor will gather a medical history about you and your current condition and symptoms. You will discuss the intensity of your present pain, the duration of your symptoms, which movements are causing your pain, and the limitations you are experiencing. He/she will inquire about any recent activity or injury, when your pain started, and whether or not you have ever had treatments for this or a similar condition in the past.
A physical examination will be performed and your doctor will visually assess and palpate (feel) the bones and soft tissue around your sore hip and the opposite joint to evaluate symmetry and recognize differences. This will identify any abnormalities, such as mild or severe inflammation, bone deformities, atrophied muscles, redness and/or warmth on the skin.
You will generally be asked to complete a series of movements to measure your active (performed by you) and passive (performed by your examiner) range of motion. These will test any possible weaknesses, joint stability and location of tenderness.
In order to rule out other conditions your doctor may recommend blood tests, an x-ray or MRI to investigate your bone structure and/or to examine the soft tissues and fluid in your hip.
Diagnostic Exams and Tests
Your doctor may aspirate (use a needle) to remove fluid from the bursa to check for possible staphylococcus epidermis (or staphylococcus aureus) bacterial infection. The knee and elbow tend to be the joints that are prone to septic (infectious) bursitis. If infection is detected you will be prescribed an antibiotic to treat it.
X-rays will provide a two-dimensional image of the overall structure of your pelvis. Although bursitis cannot be diagnosed from an X-ray, they are helpful in identifying other possible causes of pain and/or ruling out other conditions.
Some other possible causes of pain that an x-ray can identify include instability, abnormal bone shapes (bone spurs or bone cysts), wear and tear on the joints, avulsion fractures (when a fragment of bone tears away from the main bone along with the muscle, tendon, or ligament as a result of trauma), dislocations, arthritis, calcium deposits in the bursa or joint, and/or other problems.
MRI and CT Scans
You doctor may also order an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a CT (computed tomography) scan for more detailed information to help evaluate the soft tissues (bursa, muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and other connective tissues) in and around your hip joint. They will show fluid next to the muscle, and may identify bursitis, tendinitis, inflammation, tears and other associated conditions.
Ultrasonography can confirm diagnosis and demonstrate tissue disruption or thickened tendons. It is good for identifying bursitis and excessive fluid in bursa, and/or eliminating other causes of pain.
What Causes Trochanteric Hip Bursitis?
Running and other activities that require frequent flexion of the hip can overstress the trochanteric bursa. As well, the iliotibial band that runs overtop of the bursa may become tight for a variety of reasons putting extra pressure on the bursa during upper leg movements. Some activities and conditions that can contribute to trochanteric bursa include:
- Frequent running, or participation in sports that involve a lot of running
- Activities which require repeated hip flexion (i.e. ballet, hurdling, soccer)
- Bone spurs or calcium crystals that form inside the bursa can cause irritation
- Repetitive stress on the hip from running, jumping, or squatting
- An injury or blow to the hip or a fall on the hip
- Uneven leg length that causes excess pressure on the bursa
- Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)
- Weak hip abductor muscles (gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fascia lata)
As well as the common causes of bursitis, trochanteric bursitis can occur following surgery. Patients who have undergone surgery for a hip replacement or fractured hip often complain about pain over the outside of the hip which is usually caused by irritation of the bursa. Trochanteric bursitis is also known to occur as a complication of arthroscopic surgery, although it is estimated to have a low occurance rate (1.4% of all trochanteric bursitis cases).
Do You Really have Hip Bursitis?
Pain, swelling and inflammation in your hip could mean that you have hip bursitis. It's also important to consider that there are other conditions that might cause pain in your hip as well. You hip is a complicated joint with 5 bones, 17 muscles, numerous tendons, ligaments and bursae connecting your leg bone (femur), pelvis and spine all together. With so many connections of tissue to the bone it's easy to see why any pain in the hip can be bursitis or some other injury in the same area. You may even have bursitis AND another hip condition at the same time.
The only way you can know for sure whether you have hip bursitis is if you get a proper diagnosis for the condition by your doctor.
Some other hip injuries include: hip tendonitis, snapping hip syndrome, greater trochanteric pain syndrome, hip arthritis, labral tear, osteonecrosis, or a fractured hip.
Hip tendonitis (tendinitis) is a condition where you experience pain, swelling and inflammation from damage or micro-tearing of one or more of the tendons in your hip. The tendons in your hip connect muscle to bone and when these tendons are injured they usually cause pain and tenderness at the front, side and back of your hip, and even into your buttocks as well. If you have hip tendonitis, you could be suffering from different kinds of tendonitis including iliotibial band (IT band) tendonitis, gluteus medius tendonitis, or hip flexor tendonitis (iliacus tendonitis or iliopsoas tendonitis).
Snapping Hip Syndrome
Snapping hip syndrome is when you feel a snapping sensation or hear a popping sound in your hip when you walk, get up from a chair or swing you leg around. This feeling and/or sound is made by a tendon in your hip as it moves over a bony bump. Most of the time this is more annoying than painful. However long-term snapping/popping can lead to hip bursitis, a condition that is very painful.
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) causes chronic pain on the side of the hip. Symptoms of GTPS include constant pain in the side hip that travels along the whole side of the thigh to the knee and occasionally below the knee and/or buttock. If you have this condition you will probably feel very specific point tenderness on the side of the hip.
Hip Arthritis is joint pain and can be described as a dull aching pain in the groin, outer thigh, or buttocks. You may feel more pain in the morning that could get worse as the day goes but generally lessens as you get more active. Doing anything vigorous can result in pain, stiffness and may limit your movements or make walking difficult. Arthritis means inflammation of a joint and there are a number of types of arthritis of the hip - including:
- Osteoarthritis - the inflammation happens as the smooth covering (articular cartilage) on the ends of bones wears away.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - an immune system disease that usually affects multiple joints on both sides of the body at the same time.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis - a chronic inflammation of the spine and the point where the spine meets the pelvic bone (sacroiliac joint) that can also cause inflammation in other joints
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - an autoimmune disease in which the body harms its own healthy cells and tissues
The labrum is the cartilage that surrounds the hip joint. If you have a tear in your labrum you may feel a catching sensation and pain in the hip joint, groin, stiffness and limited range of motion of your hip. Any changes or abnormalities in the physical structure of the hip can lead to a tear in the labrum cartilage.
Osteonecrosis is a disease that affects blood flow to an area of bone. This lack of blood flow to the bone in the hip joint causes the cells to die and the bone may eventually collapse. Osteonecrosis is a condition that develops in stages, general hip pain is usually felt first that may progress to a dull ache or throbbing pain in the groin or buttock area. If you have this condition you may also have more pain and find it difficult to stand and put weight on you hip. Moving your hip joint will also be painful. These stages can last anywhere from several months to over a year. Early diagnosis of this disease provides a much better outcome with consistent, proper treatment.
De-generative hip fractures are most common in elderly patients with osteoporosis. Treatment of broken hips requires surgery to either replace the broken portion or repair it with a metal plate and screws. Stress fractures of the hip are most common in athletes who participate in high-impact sports, such as long distance runners. Treatment is usually successful by avoiding the impact activities.
How Do You Treat Hip Bursitis?
What You Can Do!
The good news is that most cases of hip bursitis will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed!
First you need to stop the activity that is causing your pain and rest your hip. Focus on treating the symptoms of your bursitis and any other soft tissue injuries you may have in your hip. Make sure to completely reduce inflammation, tenderness and swelling-induced pain first before switching to a goal of healing your bursitis injury.
With bursitis injuries, you might feel the swollen and tender feeling for a long time and it will be hard to treat your condition because your bursa will be sensative to all other therapies outside of cold compression. When introducing other therapies make sure to first treat with cold compression to reduce any lingering affects of the inflammation and then an hour or so later give your bursa a soothing BFST® treatment to heal your bursa and the surrounding tissue.
When it comes to temperature therapy what's better to treat your hip bursitis - heat or cold?
Cold Compression Therapy with a Back/Hip Freezie Wrap®
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) has been recommended for years by doctors, trainers, and other medical professionals to treat the pain and swelling, chronic pain from injury and after any re-injury. Bursitis injuries need rest and time for the tissue to heal.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and blue gel packs (full of anti-freeze and chemicals) have been the only choice up until now.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late and pool around your injury putting the cold everywhere except for where you need it most.
A Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your hip in an effective and convenient way. Our Freezie Wraps® will wrap around your hip keeping the cold right over your bursitis injury for the entire length of your treatment. Our food-grade, non-toxic gel packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. This method of cooling means our gel packs aren't icy-cold and stay flexible even right out of the freezer! The cushioned gel will wrap around your shoulder and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your shoulder or have to hold a hard block of ice on your injury!
Tailor your treatment to your own level of comfort - use a Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® out of the fridge OR freezer. It's important to treat yourself with whatever your body is comfortable with. So if that means you can't handle a lot of cold, then use your cold packs for 10 minutes out of the fridge instead. You'll stil get all the benefits of cold compression therapy but with a treatment that's tailored for your needs. It's as simple as that.
Cold Compression Therapy with a Freezie Wrap® works by stopping and slowing nerve and cell function in the area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your bursa, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal bursitis injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your hip bursitis pain right after it's hurt, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
BFST® with a Back/Hip Inferno Wrap®
After the inflammation in your bursa has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and helping to heal your damaged bursa is recommended for complete healing.
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®), will help with your recovery and heal your damaged tissue more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your bursa and soft tissue to nourish your injury, improving elasticity and speeding the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ to your bursa is greatly needed.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of a Back/Hip Inferno Wrap®. The Back/Hip Inferno Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming / heating tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach your bursae on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and may even burn you.
The best source of heat treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue BFST® works too! You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the heat isn't treating your skin, it's treating your damaged bursa by increasing the blood flow right in your soft tissue. Over time with consistent treatments you'll even notice that the warmth you feel from BFST® will decrease. This is a sign that you've successfully increased blood flow right at the source of your pain and your body is doing everything it can to speed up the healing process.
The Back/Hip Inferno Wrap® is the only product available anywhere that offers BFST® AND a thin, flexible Energy Web® (heating element) that conforms around your hip.
This Energy Web® also provides consistent, uniform heat all around your hip to increase blood flow in the entire joint.
Our Back/Hip Inferno Wrap® is made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it is to us! Other products that are sold in stores are considered "consumer goods" meaning the material only needs to be as good as a sweater that you wear. Clothing articles like this don't need to meet high standards of production or materials and may include materials that irritate your skin.
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - biocompatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product for heating treatment. Our manufacturer has spent years perfecting the wrap design to make sure you get the treatment you deserve!
Our Hip Bursitis Therapy Formula
is Proven to Work!
It may seem hard to believe, but our Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® and Back/Hip Inferno Wrap® home therapy products will assist you in recovering from your hip bursitis by maximizing blood flow where it's needed most and reducing your swelling and inflammation induced pain.
Here at AidMyBursa we pride ourselves in helping you with your healing and recovery process. Everyone at AidMyBursa has tested and used the products, finding solutions to conditions that do not fit into the norm. This dedication to our customers and our products goes hand-in-hand with our guarantees to you as a customer:
- Guarantee #1 - Use your products diligently for up to 60 days and you will experience a significant reduction in pain. If not, we encourage you to send back the items for a 100% refund.
- Guarantee #2 - You will not be left in the dark after purchasing any product form us. AidMyBursa Advisers and Product Specialists are available 7 days a week by toll free phone 1.866.237.9608 or email to answer your questions or concerns.
- Guarantee #3 - Your order is guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours on every business day.
- Guarantee #4 - All purchases receive a one year, full replacement warranty with guaranteed, prompt service.
- Guarantee #5 - You could save hundreds of dollars and possibly more, by utilizing our products, and getting back to work sooner.
Continue the healing process by resting your hip. Limit the activities that may be aggravate your hip. Without proper rest and limitation on activities, being active as if your hip is healthy can lead to re-injury. To get back to doing the things you love you need to give your body proper care and attention. Why risk having to limit or give up your favorite weekend activity, your exercise routine, or even your job due to a bursitis injury?
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits, a Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® and Back/Hip Inferno Wrap®, will provide exceptional results. Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using a Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ into your everyday health regimen.
Call one of our AidMyBursa Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your hip injury - toll free 1-866-237-9608
Learn More About SUPERIOR Bursitis Treatments
Learn more about how the Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the Back/Hip Inferno Wrap® helps with the healing process.