What is Trochanteric Bursitis?
The trochanteric bursa is a small fluid filled sack that lies between the greater trochanter (the bony knob on the side of your hip) and the iliotibial band (a band of connective tissue that runs along the side of the thigh). Trochanteric bursitis occurs when this fluid filled sack becomes inflamed and painful. The pain from trochanteric bursitis is usually felt along the side of the hip.
What causes Trochanteric Bursitis?
Trochanteric bursitis is most often caused by a mechanical fault at the pelvis and hip. The mechanical fault involves the inability to control the femur (thigh bone) during weight bearing activities such as walking, hiking, running and going up and down stairs. The lack of control of the femur during these activities causes increased friction between the greater trochanter and the iliotibial band resulting in irritation of the bursa.
How Is Trochanteric Bursitis Treated?
Many treatments such as ultrasound, ice, anti-inflammatories and steroid injections can provide short term benefit. However, in order to provide long term relief and prevention one must treat the mechanical cause. The muscles that control the femur must be strengthened in order to eliminate the excessive friction on the bursa. The muscles that help control the femur during weight bearing activities include the gluteus medius and the deep lateral rotators of the hip (the rotator cuff of the hip). Excessive pronation (flattening) of the foot during weight bearing activities may also cause excessive friction on the trochanteric bursa. This excessive pronation of the foot can be reduced by wearing proper footwear or using orthotics.
Here is a video demonstrating some of the hip strengthening exercises we recommend for the treatment of trochanteric bursitis:
If you live near Lakewood, CO and need help finding the cause of your hip pain for successful treatment we are here to help. Contact Belmar Physical Therapy at (303) 274-2404, or click here to email us >>