Bursitis (hip, trochanteric)


Bursitis is an irritation or inflammation (‘itis’) of the bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a lubricating membrane between body tissues, such as where muscle moves against bone, tendons or skin.

Bursitis of the Hip (trochanteric bursitis)

The superficial trochanteric bursa, the fluid-filled sac located over the outside prominence of each hip, is the most common area to suffer bursitis. It is associated with symptoms of pain and swelling that may extend far along the side if the body affected. The pain may increase when sitting cross-legged or when climbing stairs.

Bursitis Causes

There are five common causes of bursitis. The first is a sudden, serious injury to the affected area, and the second is a long series of minor, repetitive impacts. To a lesser extent, patients may experience a type of bursitis due to the hardening of their tendons as they age. A localised infection could also be to blame. Lastly, abnormal growth or healing of a joint’s bones can put additional stress on that region’s bursa, causing very similar inflammation and discomfort.

Bursitis Treatment

There are typically 4 phases in treating severe bursitis via physiotherapy:

  • Pain relief and inflammation management
  • Restoring range of motion, muscle strength and balance
  • Restoring full function, and access to all normal activities
  • Biomechanical correction to prevent recurrence
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