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5 Ways to Heal Hip Bursitis


Hip bursitis is one of the primary causes of hip pain. It occurs when one or more of the fluid-filled sacs (called bursa), which act as cushions between the soft tissues and bones, become irritated and inflamed. Hip bursitis may be caused by sports injuries, repetitive hip movements, poor posture, or complications after surgery.

A characteristic feature of hip bursitis is pain on the outside of the hip. It may start out as a sharp pain that slowly becomes a dull ache. Activities such as climbing stairs or sleeping on the affected side may worsen symptoms. Here are 5 ways to heal hip bursitis:

  1. Application of Ice: Icing the painful area of the hip for 15-20 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day will help reduce inflammation and numb the area, ultimately reducing hip pain and discomfort.

  2. Activity Modification: Reduce your activity level, avoid sleeping on the injured hip, and minimize weightbearing on the joint with the use of crutches or other assistive devices.

  3. Anti-inflammatory Medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may also help reduce the inflammation of the hip bursa and relieve painful symptoms. Take them only as recommended by your doctor to avoid risk of adverse effects.

  4. Physical Therapy: Hip bursitis may sometimes be caused by a tight IT band (iliotibial band). A physical therapist can teach you specific exercises to stretch the IT band, strengthen hip muscles, and minimize irritation of the hip bursa.

  5. Ultrasound Guided Injections: These injections are a combination of steroid medication and local anesthetic which can decrease inflammation and relieve pain. They may be given every 3-4 months.


If conservative treatments do not relieve symptoms of hip bursitis, specialized hip arthroscopic techniques may be able to provide a definitive solution. Visit our hip specialists for accurate assessment and personalized treatment recommendations.

Dr. Ajay C. Lall is a dual fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and hip arthroscopy. He is an avid clinical researcher with numerous presentations and publications at international academic meetings and within top peer-reviewed journals. The doctors at the American Hip Institute® have been global leaders in Hip Arthroscopy and Robotic Surgery for over a decade. While some would call this excellence, we simply call it the American Hip Institute standard.

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