Hip bursitis can be a painful and aggravating condition. For example, it might feel mildly frustrating when you go to bed, or immediately after sitting down for a period of time. If you are experiencing this pain on a regular basis, we recommend consulting with your doctor. Explore the condition of hip bursitis and find out the best exercises so you can start feeling better soon.
What Is Hip Bursitis?
If you are experiencing symptoms of hip pain, you may have bursitis. The pain is usually caused by an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs between the bones and their connective tissues, called a bursa. Hip bursa sacs typically serve as shock absorbers to help reduce the pressure on your joints, which makes movement less painful.
The bursae can be injured following a fall or by overuse. As reported by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the hip may have two major bursae that are exposed to injury and inflammation. Trochanteric bursitis is inflammation of your hip’s bursa.
There are two types of bursae in your joint: the iliopsoas bursa, which is on the inside near the groin, and the greater trochanter, which is at the end of your hip bone. The inflamed or injured area closest to the hip is called hip bursitis. Both can be treated in a similar way.
Hip bursitis varies from person to person, but the most common symptoms are:
- There are many causes of hip pain, such as sharp pain that becomes aching over time.
- Hip tenderness which seems more generalized in the entire hip area
- Chronic pain that becomes worse with repetitive or prolonged use
- Leg pain that extends from the hip to the side or back of the leg.
- RLS, or restless leg syndrome, is a condition where people experience pain or discomfort when they climb stairs, run, or cycle. It may involve an irresistible urge to move their legs.
What Causes Hip Bursitis?
There are many different factors that cause bursitis, including direct falls and excessive activity. Let’s explore some of the things that put you at risk.
- Injury: A traumatic injury or fall can cause hip inflammation.
- Repetitive Motion: Repetitive motion like cycling or running might damage your joints. A heavy vertical activity like climbing or lots of squats is also risky.
- Leg-Length Inequality: Believe it or not, a surprising number of people have one leg that’s slightly shorter than the other (over 1.5 cm). This can affect your gait and cause the same type of problems related to repetitive use and the development of bursitis.
- Arthritis: It is possible for bursitis to be a symptom of arthritis. The inflammation that comes with it can also extend into the bursa (a fluid-filled sac underneath your body’s tissue around joints), which is where these two conditions may be connected.
- Spine Diseases: Conditions like scoliosis can affect the movement pattern of the hips, causing bursitis.
- Prior Surgery: Like other spine diseases, prior surgeries such as implants or hip replacements can lead to gait and movement patterns that cause inflammation.
Best Hip Bursitis Exercises
Going to see a doctor is important in order to diagnose any conditions and find out the cause of your pain. It’s true that there are some exercises you can do to strengthen parts of your hips, but if you have specific issues, such as with the iliotibial band or the area around your pelvis, you may need a professional masseuse to help. Check out these daily moves that are simple to do and can protect the health of your hips. Most of these stretches only require the use of gravity.
Here are eight exercises you can do at home to help with your bursitis and exercise your whole body:
1. Glute Bridge
Reps: 10-12. Place your hands on the bar and hold for three seconds, then lower your body slowly to the floor.
This exercise will engage your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and pelvis. It will also open up the hips and flexors on the front of your body.
2. Fire Hydrant
Reps: 10-12 per side
Your piriformis muscle and pelvic joint play a role in hip mobility, making this exercise a good way to improve both of these. It can also be done by anyone, so it’s great for people of every body type.
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3. Resistance Band Butt Blaster
Equipment: Resistance on the band
Repetitions: 10-12 per leg
Avoid using this move for too long as you may end up with too much pressure on your hips.
4. Resistance Band Outer Thigh Press
Equipment: Resistance on the band
Repetitions: There are 16-20 total people playing. 8-10 plays per side, alternating.
Your abductors are considered the strongest and most important muscle group within the functional core. Though they are specifically targeted through an exercise like this to balance them out and improve performance, they will also help improve other areas of strength such as legs and core muscles.
5. Forearm Side Plank
Repetitions: Hold for three minutes on each side
Isometric moves are important for building strength and stability. One technique is the forearm side plank, which strengthens your obliques on the outer side.
6. Sleeping Pigeon Pose
Repetitions: Hold for 30 seconds on either side
This stretch targets the piriformis muscles, which are located on the inside of your thigh. It can also be a good iliotibial band stretch and activation for each side.
7. Seated Straddle Splits
Repetitions: Hold for 30 seconds to 60 seconds
Open your legs generously so that you can have a complete range of motion in your hips and the flexibility to do any activity with ease.
8. Yogi Squat Pose
Repetitions: Hold 30-60 seconds
This is a great position to also add to your IT band stretches and hip movements.
Hip Joint Anatomy and Its Functions
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the femur to the pelvis. The ball of the femur fits into a socket in the pelvis called the acetabulum. The hips are capable of more than 180 degrees of movement in all directions. Knee is a hinge joint that connects the tibia to the femur.
Unlike other joints, the knee can only bend in one direction, with a range of about 180 degrees. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the humerus to the scapula. The shoulder joint is capable of rotation and extension in all directions.