Trochanteric bursitis is a condition that causes pain in one or both the hips while doing routine work and even while resting. People suffering from it often become restricted in their day-to-day activities. Although it is difficult to deal with, there are treatment options that can be availed to help relieve the pain caused by this condition.
Intense pain in the hip that radiates to the buttocks or down the side to the knee(s) is often caused by trochanteric bursitis, which in an inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sac) of the greater trochanter.
The Greater Trochanter
The thigh bone (known as the femur) is the largest bone in the body. It has many protruding structures that are attached to various other bones and muscles. One such structure is the Greater Trochanter, a protuberance to which several muscles are attached. In addition to these muscles, a band of fibrous tissues called the Iliotibial Band (ITB) also passes over the Greater Trochanter. To protect these tissues from injury due to friction with the bones, there are fluid-filled sacs known as bursae (singular: bursa) between these tissues and the Greater Trochanter. These bursae act as smooth surfaces over which these tissues move easily. However, sometimes, the bursae can become inflamed. The inflammation of one such bursa, called the Superficial Trochanteric Bursa, causes the pain associated with Trochanteric Bursitis.
Hip pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. Physical trauma, infections, and posture problems, all these can cause excruciating pain in the hip. Apart from these, some people have idiopathic (cause unknown) pain too. One of the most common causes of hip pain is due to trochanteric bursitis. There also are people who have hip pain, but without any inflammation of the trochanteric bursa.
☞ Pain while walking, climbing the stairs, and sleeping on the affected side.
☞ Pain in the buttocks or the knees, along with hip pain.
☞ Tenderness over the hip area, and pain while moving the thigh.
☞ Lying on the affected side for prolonged periods, resulting in hip pain.
☞ Pain while performing activities like running and cycling.
☞ In extreme cases, the affected individual is unable to walk.
☞ Repeated rubbing of the muscles and tendons over the trochanteric bursa, caused by vigorous activities like running and cycling.
☞ Any activity that involves persistent pressure on the hip, leads to inflammation of the bursa.
☞ Posture problems or problems with a person’s gait can put pressure on the hip(s).
☞ People can sustain injury to the bursa if they fall on their hip or if they bump into a hard surface.
☞ Deposition of insoluble crystals in the bursa can occur in conditions like gout. This inflames the bursa, causing pain.
☞ Being overweight puts pressure on the hips, and may lead to bursitis.
☞ Surgery of the hip may result in injury and inflammation of the bursae.
☞ The bursa may become infected, and get inflamed as a result.
☞ Hip bone spurs in contact with the bursa cause friction and irritation to it
☞ Tightness of the iliotibial band puts pressure on the bursa and inflames it.
☞ Some exercises, if performed incorrectly, put pressure on the hip and may also end up affecting the bursa.
☞ Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis may also end up inflaming the trochanteric bursa.
✓ Oral anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs
✓ Putting an ice pack on the hip for 5 -10 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day
✓ Removal of the bursa fluid
✓ Injections of corticosteroids directly into the bursa
✓ Antibiotics treatment, in case of an infection
✓ Surgical removal of the affected bursa
✓ Physical therapy, that is, exercises like stretching, can help relieve the pain
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a registered medical practitioner.