Hip bursitis is an irritating
condition that can range from slightly bothersome to very painful. If
you feel pain in your hip when you are lying in bed at night, or
immediately when you stand up after sitting for a while, you might have
Let’s explore this condition and look at the best exercises to treat hip bursitis so you can start feeling better soon.
What Is Hip Bursitis?
is an inflammation of the bursa sac. A bursa sac is a small, gel-like
pillow that sits between your bones and their connective tissues, acting
as sort of shock absorber. You have bursa sacs in your hips, shoulders,
elbows, knees and heels.
The bursa can become injured through a
fall or strained by repetitive use. According to the American Academy of
Orthopaedic Surgeons, two major bursae in the hip can become injured or
inflamed. The more common condition of the two, Trochanteric Bursitis,
is inflammation to the bursa covering the greater trochanter, which sits
at the bony point of the hip bone. The other bursa located on the
inside of the hip near the groin is called the iliopsoas bursa. When
this area becomes inflamed or injured it is often called “hip bursitis.”
Both are treated in a similar way.
The symptoms of hip bursitis vary from person to person, but the most common are:
- Hip pain that is sharp at first and then becomes aching over time
- Hip tenderness which seems more generalized in the entire hip area
- Pain that gets worse after prolonged or repetitive activity
- Leg pain that extends from the hip down the side or back of the leg
- Pain or discomfort when climbing stairs, running or cycling.
if you have warmth and redness in the area along with fever or illness,
you could have septic bursitis which comes from infection. Be sure to
see your doctor!
What Causes Hip Bursitis
There are a
number of things that can cause hip bursitis, from a direct fall on your
hip to running too many miles. Let’s take a look at some of those
things that put you at risk.
- Hip Injury: A traumatic injury or fall on the hip can cause hip bursitis.
- Repetitive Motion: You are at risk for hip bursitis if you do too much running, standing, bicycling or stair climbing.
- Leg-Length Inequality:
Believe it or not, a surprising number of people have one leg that is
slightly shorter than another (1.5 cm or more). This can affect your
gait, causing issues similar to the repetitive use problem resulting in
- Arthritis: Hip bursitis can come from arthritis. The same inflammation that comes with arthritis can extend into the hip bursa.
- Spine Diseases: Conditions like scoliosis can cause problems with the movement pattern of your hip and play a role in hip bursitis.
- Prior Surgery: Like
spine diseases, prior surgeries such as implants or hip replacements
can throw off your gait and movement patterns creating inflammation.
Best Exercises For Hip Bursitis
is always important to see a doctor in order to diagnose any condition
and know the details needed to help fix your particular problem.
However, specific hip exercises can help strengthen the muscles
surrounding the hip, and stretches can open up tight and painful areas
of the hip. Many of these moves require no equipment, while a few of
them require a resistance band to do the trick.
Here are nine exercises you can do at home to help treat your hip bursitis:
1. Glute Bridge
Repetitions: 10-12. Hold for 3 seconds at the top, lower slowly.
move engages your glutes, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors – the
muscles that support the hips. In addition, you’ll stretch and open the
hips flexors and front of the body overall.
2. Fire Hydrant
Repetitions: 10-12 per side
fire hydrant might look weird, but it’s an important exercise for
tackling the piriformis muscle and strengthening the hip join as a
whole. Unweighted, this exercise can be done by anyone and is great for
increasing your range of motion.
3. Resistance Band Butt Blaster
Equipment: Resistance Band
Repetitions 10-12 per leg
of the moves that tackle our glutes can also put excessive stress on
the hip flexors. This gives you an opportunity to isolate the glutes
alone. (Be sure you don’t pull the knee in too far after pressing back;
knee under hip bone is the start and end position.)
4. Resistance Band Outer Thigh Press
Equipment: Resistance Band
Repetitions: 16-20 total: 8-10 per side, alternating.
abductors (outer thighs) need work in order to balance out the strength
of the entire hip area. This move will take care of that and build
strength in the core as well.
5. Forearm Side Plank
Repetitions: Hold for 30 seconds each side
strength moves are extremely important for building strength and
stability. The forearm side plank strengthens the outside of the hip and
6. Sleeping Pigeon Pose
Repetitions: Hold for 30 seconds on each side
This stretch opens up outside of your hip, especially the piriformis
7. Seated Straddle Splits
Repetitions: Hold 30-60 seconds
Open up your inner thighs with the amazing stretch.
8. Yogi Squat Pose
Repetitions: Hold 30-60 seconds
This is a great pose to also add to the end of any workout. It will feel so good and your hips will thank you!
9. Inner Thigh Squeeze
Equipment: small pilates ball, volleyball or rolled up towel
on your back with your feet in the air and knees bent, pull your low
abs in so your lower back is gently pressing into the floor. Now squeeze
the ball or towel tightly between your knees as you pull your belly in
at the same time. This move strengthens the adductors (inner thighs)
which are typically weak and adding to dysfunctional hip movement.
Note: If this bothers your hip flexors, it can be done with feet on the floor and knees bent.
Final Step: Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate (RICE)
probably been told to do this for an ankle sprain or a bruise on your
shin. Bursitis is the same, although compression may not be possible and
elevating might also be difficult. It is very important to rest the
injured area until you don’t have pain. In other words, if running too
many miles is the cause of your issue, continuing to run will only
aggravate your condition.
In addition, ice the affected area a few
times a day to help relieve inflammation and take anti-inflammatories
like ibuprofen or naproxen. In addition, once you return to activity you
may need to modify what you were doing. For instance, run on a flat,
even surface for a while.
Above all, if you have hip pain that is
persistent or unbearable, please see your doctor. Treating hip bursitis
with the proper stretches is great, but you should always get a medical
opinion if pain of any kind doesn’t go away.