Hip Bursitis Treatment

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A Doctor's View on Hip Bursitis Treatment

Comment by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Bursitis of the hip is commonly mistaken as a hip-joint problem. In reality, however, it is a problem well outside of the hip joint. A bursa is a tiny fluid-filled sac that provides a gliding surface for adjacent tissues, such as the muscle, fascia, and tendon tissue over the bony prominence of the femur bone at the outer hip area. The bony prominence is referred to as the trochanteric area of the femur. This is precisely the area that most commonly develops bursitis of the hip. Bursitis of this area of the hip is characterized by localized dull pain and tenderness on the outer side of the hip. It often causes difficulty with sleeping on the affected side.

Medication and therapy for hip bursitis

Generally, hip bursitis is a mild annoyance that will resolve spontaneously over time. When it persists, measures that are used to reduce the local inflammation include avoiding excessive use of hills and stairs, StairMaster, or incline treadmill exercise, etc. Anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and others) or naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, etc.), can also be helpful. Applying ice to the tender area can decrease inflammation. More persistent inflammation can be treated with an injection of cortisone medication into the inflamed bursa, often with an anesthetic.

Lifestyle changes for hip bursitis treatment

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