Hip Bursitis Part 1: The Main Hip Bursitis Symptoms and Causes

by | Apr 18, 2022 | General Chiropractic | 0 comments

“-ITIS.” It’s a suffix in words you don’t want to be associated with. In medical terms, “-itis” means there’s inflammation in a body part, such as encephalitis, appendicitis, dermatitis, conjunctivitis … and bursitis. 

In Part 1 of this series, we’ll look at hip bursitis pain, symptoms and causes. Later, in Part 2, we’ll discuss treatments and how to eliminate the inflammation and pain hip bursitis brings into your life.

What Is Hip Bursitis?

Bursitis is inflammation in the bursae—tiny sacs of thick fluid that provide padding among your joints’ bones and soft tissues. If they become inflamed, extra fluid will collect, and the area will swell and become painful. One of the most common types of the condition is hip bursitis. 

Hip bursitis is the painful inflammation in the bursae of the hip. The most common type of hip bursitis is called trochanteric bursitis because it involves the bursa in the point of the hip bone, the greater trochanter. Walking, moving around, and even standing become painful. You may develop a limp.

So, where does all this pain and swelling come from?

Causes of Hip Bursitis Pain

Repetitive Motion and Overuse

Hip bursitis is often a result of long-term repetitive motion, overuse, and anything that puts excessive pressure on the bursae in the hip. Repetitive motion is routine for some athletes. As they train and practice, they repeat certain motions over and over every day. They train hard, more so than the average person, so tissues can be easily overused. Ending up at the bottom of a fall and piling up can add too much pressure on the hip. 

People in certain physical occupations are also at risk for a hip injury and hip bursitis. Certain jobs require a large portion of the employee’s time climbing stairs or ladders, running from place to place, or remaining on their feet for hours. A slip and fall or a hard bump to the point of the hip can cause hip bursitis. Repetitive climbing, running, or standing can bring hip bursitis on more gradually.

Because we lose some strength as our bodies age, middle-aged adults and seniors are more susceptible to hip bursitis, especially if they engage in activities that put pressure on the hip. 

Hip Bursitis Connection with Other Conditions

Hip bursitis may occur in connection with other physical conditions. Poor posture, caused by scoliosis, arthritis, or having one leg longer than the other can shift additional pressure onto one hip more than the other and gradually lead to hip bursitis. Previous hip surgery or implants can also make you more susceptible to hip bursitis. 

Some diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, which have inflammation issues of their own, can increase your risk of hip bursitis. Being overweight also increases your risk. The higher weight puts more pressure on your hip joint. 

Bacterial Infection

Hip bursitis may also be caused by a bacterial infection, or, in this case, septic bursitis, which can be quite severe. It needs immediate treatment before the infection enters the bloodstream. Septic bursitis has the same symptoms as hip bursitis. The diagnosis relies on medical history, lab tests, and outward signs of infection, such as redness and tenderness at the site. You may also have a fever. 

What Does Hip Bursitis Feel Like?

The first symptom is, of course, pain in the hip. It is initially sharp and intense, then later it transforms into an ache across a larger area, possibly including the thigh. Hip bursitis pain will worsen if you put any stress on the hip, such as climbing stairs, lying on that side, or lifting yourself from a chair. In addition, with septic bursitis, you will have additional symptoms associated with infection, such as a fever. 

Over time you may develop a limp, and the hip joint will begin to feel stiff. The pain will continue even when you’re not moving, and it can interrupt your sleep. If hip bursitis becomes a chronic condition, you can expect ongoing pain and swelling. This may eventually lead to muscle deterioration and a loss of normal motion range.

How Is Hip Bursitis Diagnosed?

Diagnosis begins with a medical history and physical exam. As the symptoms of hip bursitis are similar to those for other conditions, your chiropractor will also conduct one or more tests to rule out other conditions. The test may include X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, aspiration of fluid from the bursa, and blood tests. 

We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!

The inflammation and pain of hip bursitis limit your ability to walk and move about freely. What if you suddenly couldn’t kneel to tend to your garden? You enjoy a vigorous run after a long workday, but now you have to rest your hip instead. You like to sleep on your right side, but that’s the side hip bursitis took over. You just don’t need this on top of managing your other medical conditions.

Whether it’s relatively mild and achy or infected and severe, hip bursitis interrupts your daily routine and seemingly everything in your life. 

Fortunately, there is a wide range of options for treating hip bursitis. In Part 2 of this hip bursitis series, we will explore what is available, both within standard medical care and from chiropractors. This is a musculoskeletal condition, which is the category of conditions in which chiropractors specialize. At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we are experts in diagnosing and treating any musculoskeletal injury, including hip bursitis.

With our evidence-based techniques, we aggressively treat the condition and return you to normal function as quickly as possible. We have the knowledge and tools to remove the “-itises” from your musculoskeletal system and reintroduce you to your everyday life. We’ll provide more information in Part 2. Meanwhile, contact us for more information. We are here to help!

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices in Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hackensack, NJ, are ready to welcome you!

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