Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a thin sac that lies between bone and soft tissue near certain joints. A healthy bursa allows smooth movement of soft tissue over bone. Inflammation can make it painful to move the nearby joint.
Bursitis may be caused by:
A blow to an area containing a bursa
Repetitive stress on the bursa
Infection in a bursa
Long periods of pressure on joint—leaning on elbows, sitting or kneeling on hard surfaces
Medical conditions that cause inflammation in joints such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout
If the stress is not relieved, bursitis can become a long-term condition.
Factors that increase your chance for bursitis include:
Repetitive motion activities, such as swimming, running, or tennis
A job that requires:
Repetitive motions such as hammering or painting
Long hours in one position such as a carpenter kneeling
A puncture or deep cut that involves bursa
The main symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain at the point of the hip. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. In the early stages, the pain is usually described as sharp and intense. Later, the pain may become more of an ache and spread across a larger area of the hip.
Typically, the pain is worse at night, when lying on the affected hip, and when getting up from a chair after being seated for a while. It also may get worse with prolonged walking, stair climbing, or squatting.
You will be asked about your symptoms and your physical activities. The painful area will be examined.
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with x-rays.
Your therapist will educate you on pain relieving techniques, such as ice and decreasing painful activities. This diagnosis often occurs from muscular tightness and weakness. Your therapist will educate and assist you on proper stretching and strengthening exercises of the back, hip, and knee. They may need to perform hands on, manual therapy techniques to further increase your joint flexibility. The final phase of rehab will involve strengthening during functional activities and education to prevent this injury from recurring again.
The following steps may help to prevent bursitis:
Do not overdo sports and other activities.
When doing a new activity, gradually increase the intensity and duration.
Make sure you perform activities correctly.
Wear properly fitting, protective pads if you play contact sports.
Use proper safety equipment at work.
Work with an ergonomic specialist to improve work related activities.
This content was created using EBSCO's Health Library
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
RCES:American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
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This content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library