Hip bursitis can be very painful and difficult to live with, but we are here to help you ease the discomfort with a list of hip bursitis exercises. Read on to find out more.
In this article:
- What Is Hip Bursitis?
- What Causes Hip Bursitis?
- What Are the Symptoms of Hip Bursitis?
- How Doctors Diagnose Hip Bursitis
- Strengthening Exercises
- Stretching Exercises
- Other Remedies for Hip Bursitis
- How Can You Prevent Hip Bursitis?
11 Easy Home Hip Bursitis Exercises
What Is Hip Bursitis?
Hip bursitis, or greater trochanteric bursitis, occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed, resulting in lateral hip pain and swelling.
The bursa is a jelly-like liquid-filled sac that reduces the friction between moving tissue in your body. The irritation and inflammation of the sac may cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty in movement.
What Causes Hip Bursitis?
Bursitis, in general, is a non-infectious disease primarily caused by swelling of the greater trochanteric bursa. Injury and soft tissue trauma in the hip area are the common causes of the inflammation.
In rare cases, the hip bursa may swell when infected with bacteria. Risk factors for this condition may include activities which can cause fatigue to the hip area, such as going up and down the stairs.
What Are the Symptoms of Hip Bursitis?
The most common symptoms of this condition are greater trochanteric pain and tenderness in the thigh and outer hip. This makes it difficult to lie on the affected side, negatively affecting sleep.
You may also feel dull, burning pain on your thigh and outer hip, which can get worse when climbing up and down the stairs, exercising, and excessive walking. This can limit your range of motion.
In the early stages of the condition, you may feel sharp and intense pain and inflammation. Later in the stages, it may become like an ache and can spread across the larger parts of your hip.
How Doctors Diagnose Hip Bursitis
When you experience the symptoms of the condition and decided to visit a physician, the first thing they will do is conduct a physical examination. This can include checking the movements that may cause pain on the hip and asking how long you have the condition.
Your physician may also advise you to have an x-ray examination to check if there are other issues involved. You may also get an ultrasound test or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate your condition carefully.
Hip strengthening exercises for bursitis, specifically for your core and thighs, will allow these muscles to support your hips. Performing your normal routine will become less painful because your strengthened muscles are able to cushion the impact on the joints.
Important: Start slowly with each of these hip bursitis exercises and stop if you start feeling pain.
1. Side Plank
- Lie sideways with your shoulders, hips, and legs straight.
- Raise yourself up with your forearm and elbow under the shoulder.
- Raise your hips off the floor and balance yourself using your forearm and the outside of your foot.
- Hold this position for 15 seconds.
- Lower your hips slowly to the ground.
- Switch sides and repeat.
2. The Plank
- Lie on your stomach while raising yourself up with your forearms. Make sure your legs are both straight.
- Raise your hips off the floor and keep them in line with the shoulders.
- Use your toes and forearms to support yourself.
- Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat.
3. Hip Bridges
- Lie on your back and keep both feet flat on the floor with your legs bent.
- Bring your weight down to your heels to raise your hips up and make sure they are in line with the knees and shoulders. You’ll feel an upward driving motion from both your hamstring and glutes.
- Slowly sink your hips back down.
- Do 20 repetitions of 5 sets.
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CLAMSHELL exercise with MINI BAND This exercise is amazing b/c it targets your hip external rotators like the glute medius and piriformus. These musles are typically weak or deconditioned from a sedentary lifestyle or sitting at a desk. Strong hips are imperative for balance, core strength and lowering the risk of falling and injury. This exercise can benefit everyone athletes to seniors. #personaltrainer #correctiveexercise #truefitphilly #phillyfit #clamshellexercise #athletic #strength
- Lie sideways on the floor, making sure the uninjured side is the one touching the floor.
- Lay your head on a pillow.
- Keep your knees and feet together while bending your knees.
- Lift your top knee up while keeping both feet together. Make sure your hips do not roll back. The proper form of your legs should look like an opening clamshell.
- Hold your position for 6 seconds.
- Lower your knee slowly to its original position and take a 10-second rest.
- Repeat the steps 8-12 more times.
5. Side Lying Leg Raise
- Lie on your side (make sure it’s the uninjured one).
- Compress the front thigh muscle of your injured leg.
- Lift the leg up to 10 inches away from each other.
- Keep the leg steady and straight then, slowly lower it.
- Do two sets of 15 repetitions each.
6. Lying Leg Circles
- Lie on your back and extend your legs.
- Raise your left leg 3 inches high. Then, start to make small circles while you keep your entire leg straight.
- Do the previous step with your right leg.
- Do three sets of at least five rotations per leg for a grand total of 30 repetitions on each of the legs.
7. Clam Exercise
— Mike Reinold (@mikereinold) August 20, 2015
- Lie on the injured side while bending your knees and hips and securing your feet together.
- Raise your top leg slowly towards the ceiling and make sure your heels don’t touch each other.
- Hold it for two seconds and slowly lower your legs.
- Do two sets of 15 repetitions.
Doing stretching exercises for hip bursitis can help loosen up the different muscles of the hips to release tension and ease pain.
8. Gluteal Stretch
- Lay on your back with both of your knees bent.
- Place your injured ankle over the other leg’s knee.
- Grab the thigh of the uninjured leg and start pulling it to your chest.
- You should feel a stretch from your buttocks on your injured side and maybe outside of the hip.
- Hold the stretching position for 15-30 seconds and repeat two more times.
9. Standing Iliotibial Band Stretch
- Cross the uninjured leg in front of the injured leg.
- Bend down and try to reach for the inside of the back foot.
- Keep your knees straight.
- Keep the position for 15-30 seconds.
- Stand up and repeat two more times.
10. Side Leaning Iliotibial Band Stretch
- Stand sideways next to a wall and make sure your injured side is facing the wall.
- Touch the wall for support.
- Cross which leg is farther away from the wall over your other leg.
- Make sure the foot closer to the wall is flat on the ground.
- Lean the hips into the wall.
- Hold the position for 15-30 seconds and repeat two more times.
11. Hip Rotator Stretch
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FLEX FRIDAY: The 5th in a series of lower-body, post-workout static stretches – the gluteus maximus/piriformis/hip rotators. Key points: • starting from the 4th stretch (see previous post on the gluteus medius), reach around hamstring of opposite side being stretched and clasp both hands (or use a strap if you can't reach) • gently pull toward chest to increase stretch until it's uncomfortable, but not painful • keep sacrum (tailbone) on floor • keep shoulders & neck relaxed • hold for a minimum of 30 seconds • release slowly. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••#tpiworldgolffitnesssummit2018presenter #tpicertifiedgolffitnessinstructorlevel3 #titleistperformanceinstitute #mytpi #nsca #nationalstrengthandconditioningassociation #nscacertifiedpersonaltrainer #nscacpt #martialartist #fiftyplusyearsofmovement #bodaciousbabyboomer #babyboomer #upperwestsidenyc #upperwestside #uws #uppereastsidenyc #uppereastside #ues #postworkoutstretch #staticstretching #flexfriday #gluteusmaximus #piriformisstretch #hiprotatorstretch
- Lie down with your back on the ground and bend your knees. Make sure both feet are flat on the ground.
- Position the ankle, the one with the affected leg, on the opposite leg near the knee.
- Gently push your knee away using your hand until you can feel some stretching in your hip area.
- Hold it for about 30 seconds.
- Repeat the previous steps four times.
- Repeat the previous steps and gently pull your knee towards the opposite shoulder.
Other Remedies for Hip Bursitis
- Ice compresses or warm baths are common home remedies for bursitis and may help with the inflammation and reduce pain.
- Assistive devices such as crutches and canes may help you move around easier.
- Ask your doctor what activities could worsen your symptoms and avoid them.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and piroxicam for pain relief as prescribed.
- You can also eat anti-inflammatory foods to help lower inflammation levels in your body. These foods can include the following:
- Dark chocolate or cocoa
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Green tea
- Fatty fish
How Can You Prevent Hip Bursitis?
In most cases, you cannot prevent hip bursitis, but there are several preventive measures you can do to lower your risk of this condition.
- Maintain flexibility and strength of your hip muscles by regularly exercising, not the physical activity that puts too much stress on your hip area.
- Secure a fitting shoe insert if you have leg differences.
- Lose weight as much as possible to lift the strain and pressure on your hips.
- Avoid repetitive activities which can cause stress to your hips.
Planning to do those exercises in the morning? Check out these health hacks to start your day!
It is best to do these hip bursitis exercises four to five times a week to get the best results. Adding strength and flexibility to your leg and hip muscles may help with hip bursitis relief.
Make sure that you follow all of your doctor’s advice, including undergoing physical therapy, and go to all of the aftercare appointments. Call your doctor right away if you’re experiencing problems. Finally, keep a list of all the medicines you take.
Which of the hip bursitis exercises above do you prefer? Tell us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 10, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.