(Bursitis of the Hip)
In North America, it is estimated that over 60% of incidences of hip pain are caused by trochanteric bursitis.
The trochanteric bursa rests between the bony area on the outside of the hip (the greater trochanter) and the illotibial band (IT band) that passes over this bone. When the bursa becomes inflamed (bursitis) it becomes sore or painful every time the IT band slides over the greater trochanter.
Pain may radiate down the outside (lateral) of the thigh and many sufferers of hip bursitis find it extremely painful to walk. In some cases, patients require the use of a wheelchair.
Trochanteric Bursitis Symptoms
A healthy greater trochanteric bursa is usually about the size of a small plum, but can swell to the size of an orange when bursitis sets in. Other symptoms you may experience include:
- Pain around the bursa that may extend down the groin and thigh
- Swelling and tenderness in the area of the bursa
- Pain my increase when the hip is flexed
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain
- The area around the bursa is hot to the touch
- Stiffness and tightness in the hip joint, groin and possibly the knee due to a tight muscle (iliopsoas) or tendon (IT band)
Trochanteric Bursitis Causes
Running and other activities that require frequent flexion of the hip can overstress the trochanteric bursa. As well, the iliotibial band that runs overtop of the bursa may become tight for a variety of reasons putting extra pressure on the bursa during upper leg movements. Some activities and conditions that can contribute to trochanteric bursa include:
- Frequent running, or participation in sports that involve a lot of running
- Activities which require repeated hip flexion (i.e. ballet, hurdling, soccer)
- Bone spurs or calcium crystals that form inside the bursa can cause irritation
- Repetitive stress on the hip from running, jumping, or squatting
- An injury or blow to the hip or a fall on the hip
- Uneven leg length that causes excess pressure on the bursa
- Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)
- Weak hip abductor muscles (gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fascia lata)
As well as the common causes of bursitis, trochanteric bursitis can occur following surgery. Patients who have undergone surgery for a hip replacement or fractured hip often complain about pain over the outside of the hip which is usually caused by irritation of the bursa. Trochanteric bursitis is also known to occur as a complication of arthroscopic surgery, although it is estimated to have a low occurance rate (1.4% of all trochanteric bursitis cases).
Hip Bursitis Treatments
Relieving the symptoms of bursitis initially focuses on keeping the pressure off the bursa. Surgery may be required if your bursa irritation is a result of a bone formation problem, such as a bone spur. If your bursitis is caused by an infection (septic bursitis), the doctor will probably drain the bursa sac with a needle and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. For non-infectious bursitis, the preliminary treatment starts with cold therapy.
The most important factor in healing bursitis is resting your hip. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that stress your bursa until your pain and inflammation settle.
Treatments should involve decreasing swelling, relieving stress on the hip joint, correcting any biomechanical dysfunction (uneven leg length, bone spur, etc.), treating scar tissue, and then restoring strength and movement in your leg and hip. Blood flow stimulation therapy (BFST®) is recommended once inflammation has been calmed to heal the bursa and surrounding tissue faster and reduce the risk of bursitis returning.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Therapy
To decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of trochanteric bursitis doctor's recommend cold therapy.
Applying cold to your inflamed bursa will help decrease the swelling and redness around it. Cold therapy will also help to numb the pain in your acetabular joint and help to control the inflammation. In addition, the deep cooling effect provided by the Hip Freezie Wrap® reduces tissue damage.
The Hip Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn.
Cooling your inflamed trochanteric bursa as needed throughout the day is recommended. The Hip Freezie Wrap® can be used to apply cold in a safe, convenient and effective way - and the gel pack is reusable. The gel pack sits gently over the inflamed bursa to reduce swelling and redness.
The wrap is soft and adjustable so it fits your body properly, without irritating the bursa, and allows you to adjust the compression. This is important when treating an inflamed bursa because too much pressure can cause you further pain. You control how much pressure the bursa receives so you can benefit from the compression to hold the cold where you need it, without increasing your pain.
Applying cold to your tender bursa and hip joint is the first step in treating your bursitis.
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
Once the inflammation of your bursitis has been reduced with cold therapy it is time to improve blood flow and improve the elasticity of your surrounding soft tissue. Your body needs a fresh supply of blood to improve the health of your tissue and get your trochanteric bursae and IT band back to normal.
Unfortunately, when you are suffering from bursitis it can be painful to even walk or lift your leg. When you limit movement in your hip the blood flow is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients.
The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further inflaming the bursae. This is where blood flow stimulation therapy, or BFST®, becomes a powerful tool.
BFST® compliments your body's natural healing process by promoting blood flow while you give your hip the rest it needs.
The Hip Inferno Wrap® uses a patented process to generate the same energy that is part of the sun's spectrum of light, the same energy that is necessary to all living things for optimum health. The energy emitted from the Energy Web® stimulates blood flow to your hip, more than your body would ever be able to generate on it's own, giving your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process. The healing energy reaches deep into your trochanteric bursa and IT band to speed tissue repair, whisk away the toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenate your hip tissues for improved elasticity.
With these easy-to-use home therapies, cold therapy and BFST®, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your hip pain and range of motion.
We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.
NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be used if required to help manage your pain. However, these aren't recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The use of cold therapy and BFST® in conjunction with NSAIDs can greatly improve the effect of this medication and can help to heal quicker.
Your doctor may aspirate your inflamed bursa. This involves removing the extra fluid that has built up with a needle. Sometimes, the fluid will be tested at a laboratory to rule out infection.
If your bursitis does not get better with conservative treatments, the bursa may be surgically removed. Usually this is done by hip arthroscopy, which is a surgical procedure where tiny incisions are made and a pencil-sized camera is inserted into the hip. A small shaver is inserted into another incision, and is used to remove the swollen bursa all together. The surgeon will then look for any damage to the hip and make repairs if necessary. This is also done to remove any bone spurs.
Recovery time for the surgery will depend on a number of different factors including your healing ability, diet, rest and how many procedures were done in your surgery.
Post-op recovery time can be reduced with the use of cold compression and blood flow stimulation therapy following surgery. Cold compression is recommend by doctors following surgery to treat your pain in a natural, non-addictive way and to reduce swelling. Once the incision has healed, speak with your doctor about the use of BFST®. BFST® encourages more oxygen and nutrients to flow to the area to speed healing and improve the strength of the soft tissue in your hip.
Physical therapy is a beneficial way to restore atrophied muscles and improve strength and mobility after treating bursitis. The type of physical therapy and the duration will be dependent on the tissue damage and your symptoms. When you are treating or recovering from bursitis, it is important to ensure you do not perform any exercises that will further irritate the bursa.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist will set up an individualized strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines.
Individuals will often lift weights on their own, to try and build up their strength. However, in doing so, they can do more damage to their joint. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is appropriate and effective. For best, long term results use BFST in conjunction with physical therapy and an exercise program.
During your recovery, you may have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your joint until your pain and inflammation settle, and you gain more mobility and strength. The more diligent you are with your rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results.