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What Causes Hip Bursitis and How is it Treated?

 Bursitis is a term used to describe inflammation of joint cushioning, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae. Bursae act as cushioning and protection from the muscles rubbing on the underlying bone. The four most common joints that develop bursitis are the elbow, shoulder, knee, and hip. For the purposes of this article, we’ll discuss hip bursitis—specifically, what causes it and how it can be effectively treated.

Hip Anatomy

The hip is a ball and socket joint composed of the head of the leg bone (femur) and acetabulum of the hip. Regarding bursitis, two bursae are important. The first, and most commonly affected, is the greater trochanteric bursa and the second is the iliopsoas bursa.


Overuse is the most common causes of hip bursitis. When the hip is stressed due to excess training, exercise, or physical activity, the bursa(e) can become irritated and inflamed, resulting in bursitis. Other causes of hip bursitis are:

  1. Anatomic abnormalities. A difference in leg length can result in excess stress being placed on the hip joints. Spinal abnormalities, such as scoliosis and arthritis, can also stress the joints in a similar manner.


  1. An accident. Falls, bumps, and motor vehicle accidents can injure the lower extremity and facilitate hip bursitis.


Regardless of the cause, individual cases of bursitis are (generally) treated the same way.



 Any combination of the following treatment options can be prescribed:


  1. Activity modification. Stopping or modifying the activity that is causing the condition typically reduces inflammation.


  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS). These oral medications reduce pain and decrease inflammation.


  1. Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises are used to increase hip stability and function. It also helps to refocus the stressor of the painful bursae to help it heal. Pain, inflammation and the chances of reoccurring bursitis are decreased.


  1. Steroid injections. Fast acting pain relief is afforded through the use of steroid injections. They help to calm down the inflammation, promoting your body to begin the healing process.


Because they’re trained to handle joint related injuries and conditions, orthopedic and sports medicine specialists at the OSM Center are the go-to medical professional to treat hip bursitis.

Arranging an Appointment


If you can relate to the information in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our 5 Fairfield County offices. One of our specialists will accurately diagnose and effectively treat your injury. Give us a call and we’ll get you in ASAP.