Understanding Hip Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatment Options

Understanding Hip Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatment Options

Published: December 6, 2023

Hip Bursitis is a common condition that affects many individuals, causing pain and discomfort in the hip area. This article aims to comprehensively understand hip bursitis, including its causes, symptoms, and effective treatment options.

What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, which are small fluid-filled sacs located around the hip joint. These sacs act as cushions between the bones, tendons, and muscles, reducing friction during movement. However, when the bursae become inflamed, it can lead to hip bursitis.

The most common type of hip bursitis is trochanteric bursitis, when the bursa on the outside of the hip joint becomes inflamed. This condition can be caused by various factors, including overuse, repetitive stress, trauma, or underlying medical conditions such as arthritis.

Causes of Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis can be caused by a variety of factors. One common cause is repetitive stress on the hip joint, such as prolonged standing, running, or cycling. This repetitive motion can irritate the bursae, leading to inflammation and hip bursitis.

Another common cause of hip bursitis is trauma or injury to the hip area. Falls, direct blows to the hip, or accidents can cause damage to the bursae, resulting in inflammation and pain.

Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or gout, can also contribute to the development of hip bursitis. In these cases, the inflammation of the bursae may be a secondary symptom of the underlying condition.


Hip bursitis can cause a range of symptoms, which can vary in intensity from mild to severe. The most common symptom is pain in the hip area, which can radiate to the buttocks or thigh. The pain is typically worsened by activities that involve repetitive motion or pressure on the hip joint, such as walking, climbing stairs, or sitting for extended periods.

In addition to pain, individuals with hip bursitis may experience swelling, tenderness, or warmth in the affected area. The hip joint may also feel stiff or limited in movement. Some individuals may also notice a clicking or snapping sensation in the hip joint.

Diagnosing Hip Bursitis

Diagnosing hip bursitis typically involves a comprehensive evaluation of the individual’s medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. During the physical examination, the healthcare provider may assess the range of motion in the hip joint and apply pressure to the affected area to identify areas of tenderness or swelling.

Diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may be ordered to rule out other conditions and confirm the diagnosis of hip bursitis. These imaging tests can help identify any structural abnormalities or underlying conditions that may be contributing to the symptoms.

Treatment Options for Hip Bursitis

The treatment of hip bursitis aims to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve the individual’s overall mobility. The most effective treatment options for hip bursitis can be categorized into non-surgical and surgical treatments.

Non-surgical treatments 

Non-surgical treatments are usually the first line of defense against hip bursitis. These treatments include:

  • Rest and activity modification: Avoiding activities that exacerbate the symptoms and allowing the inflamed bursae to heal.
  • Physical therapy: Specific exercises and stretches can help improve hip joint strength and flexibility, reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Pain management: Over-the-counter pain medications or corticosteroid injections can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.
  • Use of assistive devices: The use of crutches or walking aids can help alleviate pressure on the hip joint during activities.

Surgical treatments 

In cases where non-surgical treatments fail to provide adequate relief, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgical options for hip bursitis include:

  • Bursa removal: In some cases, the inflamed bursa may need to be surgically removed to alleviate symptoms. This procedure is known as a bursectomy.
  • Hip joint surgery: If an underlying structural abnormality or condition is contributing to the hip bursitis, surgical correction may be necessary to address the root cause.

Prevention Tips

While hip bursitis cannot always be prevented, there are steps individuals can take to reduce their risk of developing this condition. These preventive measures include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight can place additional strain on the hip joint, increasing the risk of hip bursitis.
  • Using proper technique and equipment: When engaging in physical activities, such as running or weightlifting, it is essential to use proper form and equipment to avoid unnecessary stress on the hip joint.
  • Taking regular breaks and using proper ergonomics: Individuals who perform tasks that involve prolonged standing or sitting should take regular breaks and ensure their workstations are ergonomically designed to reduce strain on the hip joint.


Hip bursitis is a common condition that can cause pain and discomfort in the hip area. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hip bursitis is crucial for individuals experiencing hip pain. Non-surgical treatments, including rest, physical therapy, pain management, and assistive devices, are often effective in alleviating symptoms. In cases where non-surgical treatments fail, surgical intervention may be necessary. By taking preventive measures and adopting healthy habits, individuals can reduce their risk of developing hip bursitis and enjoy improved hip joint health.

If you are experiencing hip pain or suspect you may have hip bursitis, consult with a healthcare professional at Texas Pain Experts to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Don’t let hip pain limit your mobility and quality of life.


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