Pain on the side of your hip is more likely from tendinitis, tight muscles, or another condition. Hip bursitis — an inflammation between your thighbone and nearby tendons — is commonly diagnosed when patients have pain on the outer side of the hip.
Both injury and overuse can cause pain in the outer hip area. People use their hips constantly while walking, sitting, and moving throughout the day. As a result, hip pain is a common problem. While outer hip pain may sometimes go away on its own, other cases require the help of a medical professional.
Symptoms of bursitis of the hip
Symptoms include joint pain and tenderness. You may also see swelling and feel warmth around the affected area. The pain is often sharp in the first few days. It may be dull and achy later.
Apply ice to reduce swelling for the first 48 hours after symptoms occur. Apply dry or moist heat, such as a heating pad or taking a warm bath. Take an over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Sudden inability to move a joint. Excessive swelling, redness, bruising or a rash in the affected area. Sharp or shooting pain, especially when you exercise or exert yourself. A fever.
Hip bursitis will often get better on its own as long as it is not caused by an infection. To heal your hip bursitis, you will need to rest the affected joint and protect it from any further harm. Most patients feel better within a few weeks with proper treatment.
Diagnosis of hip bursitis
Your doctor might order imaging tests such as x-ray, MRIs, ultrasounds, or bone scans. Ultrasound and MRI specifically are used to confirm the diagnosis when the bursae are too deep for regular inspection.
You may have pain on the outside of the hip and the outer thigh. Iliopsoas bursitis or ischial bursitis: Sometimes, a bursa on the inside of the hip (the groin side) becomes inflamed, causing pain in the groin or upper buttock.
Walking is one of the best ways to relieve hip pain. But, if you find that despite a daily walk you are still experiencing it, there are other options available to you as well. If you've had a hip injury, ongoing physical therapy can help you immensely.
“The simplest way to understand the difference between hip bursitis and hip osteoarthritis is to understand where the pain is coming from,” says Dr. Sparling. “When you have hip osteoarthritis, the pain is coming from inside the joint. With hip bursitis, pain is coming from the outside.”
Hip pain often gets better on its own, and can be managed with rest and over-the-counter painkillers. See your GP if you have the symptoms listed below (under 'when to see your GP'). Some of the common causes of hip pain are outlined on this page.
More often than not, hip pain may not be related to your hips but could be traced to a pinched nerve in your lower back leading to pain going down the leg, commonly referred to as Sciatica. Though you might experience a sharp and shooting pain in the hip for many reasons, sciatica is one of the most common.
Pain occurring on the outside of the hip and upper thigh or outer buttock may be strained muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the hip area. Shooting pains that radiate into your legs can be a sign of lower back strain or a hernia.
Activities or positions that put pressure on the hip bursa, such as lying down, sitting in one position for a long time, or walking distances can irritate the bursa and cause more pain.
One of the primary reasons that massage is successful in the treatment of non-specific hip pain is that it can decrease the joint inflammation, speed up the healing time of strained muscular tissue and ligaments, relax muscles, and increase blood circulation.
Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce pain and inflammation. NSAIDs come in pills and also in a cream that you rub over the sore area. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can also help with pain.
Physical therapists can effectively treat hip bursitis. They work with people to reduce pain and irritation and help them get back to everyday activities. Physical therapists also address any related weakness in the hip, back, or lower extremity that may contribute to the condition.
Since prepatellar bursitis is quite superficial, topical NSAIDs such as diclofenac topical gel (Voltaren Gel) can be very effective, with minimal systemic side effects.
Physio is good for bursitis since a physiotherapist can help reduce pain and promote recovery of the affected bursa by using a combination of massage, dry needling, electrotherapy, acupuncture and rehab exercises.
This can include falling onto the hip, bumping the hip into an object, or lying on one side of the body for an extended period. Play or work activities that cause overuse or injury to the joint areas. Such activities might include running up stairs, climbing, or standing for long periods of time. Incorrect posture.
Overview. X ray is not often required in patients with bursitis. X ray may be used as a diagnostic measure to support a clinical diagnosis of bursitis. Joint x ray is generally reserved for patients with history of significant trauma.
Try sleeping on your back or, if you're a side sleeper, sleep on the side that doesn't hurt and put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned. Around your hip bone and other joints are small sacs filled with fluid that cushion the joint when it moves. These sacs are called bursae.