Bursitis is a pain that develops on the outside of the hip. A bursa is a thin fluid filled sack that helps reduce friction between your gluteal muscles and the femur bone, somewhat like a Teflon pad. Excessive or abnormal strain to the area can cause the bursa to swell and become painful. You may develop this as a result of increased training or weak hip muscles. Bursitis is more common among middle-aged ladies. The pain can often be felt by pressing your fingers behind the boney bump on the side of your hip.
- Strengthening of the gluteal muscles (especially the hip abductors) will bring you the best, long term results. Start with exercises where you are not weight bearing. A simple but very effective exercise is to lie on your side (painful side up) with your back and shoulder blades flush against the wall and top leg straight and against the wall – then lift 12 inches keeping the leg close to the wall and foot horizontal. You repeat this thirty times with a goal of eventually being able to do thirty times with a 5# ankle weight. As symptoms improve progress to standing gluteal exercise.
- Gluteal and hamstring stretching can help decrease tightness over the bursa. Hold the stretch for thirty seconds (if not too painful) and repeat three times, perform this routine twice times per day. See gluteal and hamstring stretches.
- Arch supports or orthotics (custom foot supports) may help reduce the strain on the bursa if your foot / knee rolls inward excessively as you run.
- Leg length differences may also affect this condition. Have a friend observe your pelvis to see if one side is higher than another. A physical therapist or chiropractor can also help you with this. If there is a difference in length try putting an arch support in the shoe of the shorter leg.
- An injection can provide quick relief, but be sure not to skip strengthening as symptoms improve.