Hip Bursitis (Trochanteric Bursitis)


  • Runners
  • Athletes involved in jumping, sprinting and lunging sports
  • Elderly



Trochanteric bursitis is a general term used to describe pain around the hip, specifically at the greater trochanter region. Bursitis refers to the inflammation of the bursa within the hip joint. A bursa is a small sac of fluid that sits on the outer aspect of the hip joint. The bursa lies between the gluteal muscles and the greater trochanter, a bony prominence of the femur bone. The bursa acts to lubricate the joint and prevent friction of the tissues around the joint. When this sac of fluid becomes irritated it becomes inflamed causing pain and swelling around the hip joint. Pain is often felt on the side of the hip but can often refer to the front of the hip and even down the side of the thigh.



Hip or trochanteric bursitis is often caused as a result of repetitive exercise or prolonged activities placing strain on the bursa. It can also occur as a result of direct trauma or prolonged pressure to the area, such as lying on your side on a hard surface for too long.  The gluteal muscles are the main muscles that attach at the hip and lie over the trochanteric bursa. These muscles are normally responsible for the stabilisation of the hip joint in weight-bearing activities. So in activities such as running, jumping and squatting where the gluteal muscles are very active, there is a lot of frication created at the bursa. Overtime this causes irritation and inflammation at the bursa and thus pain. Similarly poor movement patterns can affect the way the hip joint or lower back moves which can further irritate the bursa. Poor movement can be caused by numerous variables such as;

  • Muscle strength imbalances
  • Excess muscle tightness
  • Overactive or inhibited control of a muscle
  • Poor foot posture (eg. Flat feet)
  • Hip and lower back problems
  • Degenerative changes due to old age



Treatment and management of Trochanteric bursitis requires any underlying causes to be addressed whilst treating the pain and inflammation at the hip itself. Your physiotherapist at our Move Forward Kinross Physiotherapy clinic will assess the hip, as well as the whole lower limb and low back in order to determine the exact cause of your hip pain. Following this assessment, you will be provided with a detailed outline of your own individualized treatment management plan. Your treatment may include a combination of the following;
• Rest
• Ice/ Heat
• Brace/ off-load taping
• Soft tissue massage
• Mobilizations
• Dry needling
• Stretching & strengthening exercises, which can be performed within the gym located at Move Forward Hillarys Physiotherapy
• Activity and exercise modifications to improve lower limb mechanics and posture, which can be performed within our pilates studio at Move Forward Quinns Physiotherapy or Jindalee Physiotherapy