Best 5 Exercises for Hip Bursitis

The most common name for hip bursitis is called trochanteric bursitis. The trochanter is the bony bump at the side of your hip joint. When the bursa becomes inflamed, then you have bursitis.

When the bursa becomes inflamed, you may experience pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can affect your walking, and most commonly it’s a real problem sleeping on that side.

There are lots of causes of hip bursitis, but the most common is secondary to a hip osteoarthritis. We commonly see it in people with arthritis of the hip as a complication. This makes it hard to treat as the underlying condition is the arthritis and the secondary condition is the bursitis. In younger people, usually females, we see hip bursitis due to a change in gait. This can be due to a sprained ankle, walking long distances in a new pair of shoes, another foot or knee issue that has altered gait, or having a particularly wide pelvis. In that regard, weight loss can be important as part of the treatment.

We see A LOT of patients see us with trochanteric or hip bursitis as Surrey Physio. It’s very common, and can be treated (but in some cases can be challenging to treat too, but often it does resolve).

Symptoms of trochanteric bursitis can include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the outer part of the hip.
  • Swelling around the outer part of the hip.
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip joint.
  • Pain or discomfort when walking or engaging in other physical activities that involve the hip.
  • Aching or burning sensation in the hip or thigh.

Diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis typically involves a physical examination of the affected hip, as well as imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI to rule out other potential causes of hip pain and swelling.

Steroid injections for hip bursitis:

Patients often see us requesting a steroid injection for the hip. We perform steroid injections for bursitis, to the outer part of the hip called the trochanter. This is not in the groin, as this requires a long needle and is performed under ultrasound. Steroid injections for hip bursitis are currently considered the gold standard of treatment. Being a non-intra articular injection, they are very safe to use. Steroid injections (at the time of writing) cost £140.00 but check our price page for up-to-date pricing.

Treatment for trochanteric bursitis may include:

  • Trying not to sleep on the painful side.
  • Applying ice (or heat) to the affected area to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Receiving corticosteroid (cortisone) injections to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Physiotherapy to improve range of motion and strength in the affected hip.
  • Osteopathy to address pelvic bony issues.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the inflamed bursa or to treat an underlying condition that is causing the trochanteric bursitis. Luckily this is very rare and we try everything else first before a surgical approach.

Best 5 Exercises for Hip Bursitis

1. Ice to the Outside of the Hip

Place an ice pack or pack of frozen peas over the side of your hip. Be careful that it’s not too cold, you may need to wrap it in a thin towel. Using ice can help reduce inflammation and pain. This exercise is very useful to treat trochanteric bursitis. Hold the ice pack over the area for ten minutes, twice per day.

2. Glute Stretch Lying Down

Lie on your back, and bring your knee towards your opposite shoulder to feel a stretch in your bottom. Tip: changing the angle you take the leg will change the position of the stretch and you can play around with the position to find the stretch that feels most effective for you. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat three times.

3. Glute Stretch with Leg Crossed

Lie on your back, and bend your knee to 90 degrees (i.e., pointing straight up). Place your ankle across your knee. To make the stretch stronger, pull your ankle towards you, while pushing away with the opposite knee (the side getting stretched). You should feel a stretch in your bottom. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and repeat three times.

4. ITB stretch

Standing, cross your legs, and run your arm down the side of your leg. You should feel a stretch in your back, and slightly on the outside of the opposite leg. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and repeat three times.

5. Clam

Lie on your side, with both knees bent. Keeping your feet together, and squeeze your deep abdominal muscles by drawing the belly button inwards. Open your knees, like a clam, hold, and return to the start position. This is a good strengthening exercise for your gluteal (buttock) and outer thigh/hip muscles. Repeat 15 reps, for two sets. Stop if you get any pain.

It is important to seek support from Surrey Physio if you experience symptoms of trochanteric bursitis, as early treatment can help to prevent complications and improve outcomes. With proper treatment, advice, guidance, exercises and management, most people with trochanteric bursitis can recover fully and return to their normal activities without pain or discomfort.

(Therapists, osteopaths, sports therapists, chiropractors reading this page… if you love the exercises here, then please check out the amazing exercise prescription tool You can sign up for a free 14-day trial, and it’s affordable to buy, with pricing starting from £11.23 per month.

For more info on trochanteric bursitis, check out this guide:

If you are a patient, in pain, or suffering with Hip Bursitis, please call us to discuss your case further. Surrey Physio have an amazing team of therapists to help you recover from pain, and get you back to living a normal life. Call us on 0208 685 6930 or click the link at the top to book online.)