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  • Writer's pictureDr. Troy Miles

Rehab for Hip Pain: Does Physical Therapy Help Hip Bursitis?

Do you suffer from lingering hip pain? If so, it’s possible you might have a condition known as hip bursitis. Hip bursitis occurs when the bursa gets inflamed along the outside or inside part of your hip. This can cause some serious pain, as well as decreased strength and difficulty walking or running.

Adults who suffer from hip bursitis often benefit from working with a physical therapist. A physical therapist can assess the condition and then help come up with strategies to improve mobility and strength.

How do you know if the pain you’re feeling is caused by hip bursitis, or if a different underlying condition is to blame? The only way to know for sure is to book an appointment with a board certified orthopaedic surgeon. Together, we can come up with a plan to reduce your pain and get you back to your favorite activities.

Hip Bursitis: Common Causes

Understanding hip bursitis means knowing a little about human anatomy. Throughout the body, we have small sacs of synovial fluid. These are called bursae. The sacs are what allows the muscles and tendons to slide freely. On the outside of each hip, you’ll find the trochanteric bursa. On the inner part of the hip, you’ll find the iliopsoas bursa. Excessive rubbing of soft tissue over these bursae is what creates inflammation and causes pain.

Trochanteric hip bursitis typically manifests as pain on the outside of the hip. It might hurt when you walk or press on your hip. It might also feel warm along the outer aspect of your hip. Iliopsoas bursitis is typically felt on the inner aspect of the hip and groin. If a case of hip bursitis is chronic, the bursa can actually become calcified, which leads to even more pain.

Risk Factors for Hip Bursitis

The top risk factors for hip bursitis are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Trauma

  • Repetitive strain

  • Spine problems

  • Lack of physical exercise

Evaluating Hip Bursitis

During your initial evaluation, expect to be asked about your hip pain and how it began. Get ready to talk about how your symptoms are evolving and what makes your symptoms worse. We’ll be covering all aspects of functional mobility during our first evaluation.

With this information, we will be able to get an idea of how severe your hip bursitis is. The most severe cases can create significant limitations that make walking a challenge. My hope is that we can catch this condition and begin treatment before you get this far along, and that your functional mobility is not affected to such an extent.

Assessment Tests for Hip Bursitis

Several tests are commonly used by orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists to assess a patient’s condition. These include:

  • Palpation

  • Range of motion

  • Strength

  • Gait analysis

  • Flexibility

  • Balance

Common Treatments for Hip Bursitis

Are you wondering how we treat hip bursitis? The most common treatments to expect at a physical therapist’s office include:

  • Heat

  • Ice

  • Ultrasound

  • Electrical stimulation

  • Massage

  • Stretching

Interested in learning more? Contact Dr. Troy Miles to schedule an appointment and be evaluated for your hip condition. We’ll talk about your history, assess your pain level, and provide you with simple exercises that can help with rehabilitation. You don’t have to continue living in pain. Call (530) 246-2467 to schedule an appointment today.


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