Trochanteric (Hip) Bursitis – What is it, and How is it Treated?


Hip pain is never a pleasant experience, and it’s something which can affect people both young and old. One of the most common hip related conditions is trochanteric bursitis, and in this blog post Brunswick Heads Physio will be sharing some common causes, symptoms to look out for and treatment options available.

What is trochanteric bursitis?

Within the hip, there are numerous tendons and bones surrounded by bursa. The hip joints main function is to support the weight of the body during both static and dynamic situations, that means both standing still and physical activities.

The hip is exposed to significant amounts of tension, and the fluid-filled bursa function as ‘cushioning sacks’ which help to protect your bones and soft tissue from damage. Sometimes, the bursa can become inflamed as a result of either an acute injury or excessive friction. The resulting pain and inflammation can contribute to the development of bursitis within the hips, which can be quite debilitating and require professional diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

The most obvious sign you may be suffering from hip bursitis include pain, swelling and stiffness. This will normally be noticed around the outside of the hip, and potentially around the knee and thigh.

You may experience the following:

  • Pain, Swelling and Tenderness around the hip bone (greater trochanter)
  • Difficulty performing exercise
  • Dull or burning pain which is exacerbated by physical activity (e.g. walking, running, cycling, standing for long periods etc).
  • Pain arising immediately after a period of being seated
  • Difficulty sleeping on your side due to pain

If you notice any of the above, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with a physiotherapist. Upon diagnosis, we will assist in minimising your discomfort and getting you on track for a full recovery.

Diagnosis of Bursitis

During your consultation, your physiotherapist will examine your past history of hip pain and discomfort. We will perform visual and physical examinations, in addition to asking questions about the duration of your pain and which type of movements you find most uncomfortable. Things your physio will check for include:

  • Signs of tenderness around the hip bone
  • Stiffness
  • Signs of limping

Hip bursitis is assessed on a case-by-case basis. In some cases a physical examination may be all that is necessary to confirm a diagnosis, however we may also refer you for diagnostic ultrasound or MRI. This can provide us with further insight into your condition as well as rule out the possibility of gluteal tendinopathy or arthritis, which can also display similar symptoms to trochanteric bursitis.

Physio Treatment at Brunswick Heads Physio

Treatment for trochanteric bursitis generally includes:

  • Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory Treatment
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Muscle Strengthening and Corrective Exercise
  • Preventative Exercises to Lower Your Risk of Future Bursa Irritation
  • Ice Pack application to reduce inflammation, pain and swelling
  • Corticosteroid Injections

The treatment options available will vary from individual to individual. Physiotherapists at Brunswick Heads Physio work in close consultation with local doctors and medical professionals, and we regularly treat individuals suffering from trochanteric bursitis. We will prepare a tailored treatment plan to suit your unique condition and lifestyle, so please call us today to schedule an appointment.


Call Brunswick Heads Physio Today – Your Partner in Bursitis Recovery

Don’t put up with hip pain, overcome it once and for all. Our friendly and professional team of physiotherapists treat individuals of all ages, and our bursitis management plans are formulated from evidence-based research and proven results. We’re your local physio Brunswick Heads, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Call Brunswick Heads Physio on 0419 629 333 or book an appointment online today.