The hips are some of the most flexible structures in the human body, providing the necessary amount of strength and stability needed to support the human body when walking, running or jumping. However, the hip joint can also be vulnerable to damage or injury, resulting in debilitating hip pain. Trochanteric bursitis is hip pain brought on by the inflammation of the fluid-filled sac, or bursa, found on the outer border of the hip.
There are about 160 bursae located around the entire body. Bursae act as a sort of “cushion” between soft tissues and bones, preventing bones from rubbing against tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Trochanteric bursitis can affect any of the bursae inside the human body. Trochanteric bursitis affects the outer part of the thighbone, or the femur, at the edge of the hip. This bony point is best known as the greater trochanter.
Another bursa, called the iliopsoas bursa, can be found on the inside of the hip. Inflammation of the iliopsoas bursa also triggers pain in the groin. Bursitis is considered to be one of the top causes of hip pain. Repetitive physical activities, such as climbing stairs, or even surgical interventions to the hip may cause inflammation in the bursa. Many doctors commonly refer to trochanteric bursitis as greater trochanteric pain syndrome.
The main characteristic of trochanteric bursitis involves pain in the outer area of the hip or pain when laying on the affected side of the hip. The painful signs and symptoms will also generally become worse through certain physical activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. Pain may also radiate down the thigh and into the feet, or it may disperse. Pain can be sharp and fade into an ache, accompanied by swelling in the legs.
Common causes of trochanteric bursitis include slip-and-fall accidents, strong blows to the hip, or lying on one side of the body for an extended period of time. Sports injuries involving overuse from repetitive physical activities like running, bicycling, or climbing stairs, a ripped tendon or even standing may cause trochanteric bursitis. Health issues, such as bone spurs in the hip or thighbone, may consequently cause trochanteric bursitis.
A variety of conditions and disorders may also lead to trochanteric bursitis, including spine problems, such as scoliosis or arthritis of the lumbar spine, even rheumatoid arthritis, and gout as well as thyroid disease. Moreover, legs of two different lengths, hip surgery or prosthetic implants can create problems in the hips. Trochanteric bursitis is most common in middle-aged or elderly people and it is most prevalent in women than men.
Avoiding the physical activities which caused trochanteric bursitis will allow time for the body to heal. After seeing a healthcare professional for diagnosis, the doctor may often recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs to help control pain and inflammation. The recommended amount should be used to avoid side effects. Some doctors may also use steroid injections to control pain and inflammation.
Many healthcare professionals may also recommend alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care and physical therapy to help improve trochanteric bursitis signs and symptoms. A chiropractor may utilize spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to reduce pressure from the spine while a physical therapist may teach the patient exercises to maintain strength. A cane or crutches can also take the weight off a patient’s hip.
If pain relievers or alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care or physical therapy, do not work for the patient, the healthcare professional might recommend surgery to remove the bursa. This procedure can be accomplished through very small incisions with a camera. Other treatment approaches should be considered before following through with surgery. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain is the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
The information herein on "Understanding Trochanteric Bursitis" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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