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Aging & ArthritisExerciseHipPain

Hip Bursitis

I probably see four or five patients with this every day. It’s either the primary reason they come to see me, or they mention it at the end of the visit, as a scourge they’ve been bothered with for a long time. I’ve had it too…in both hips, and many women are going to get it. Ninety percent of the people who get it are women. It’s hard to get rid of. It’s very painful.

Sometimes doctors tend to kind of ignore it because it is simply hard to get rid of and because it’s not really a destructive process. We just hope it will go away! You’re not going to die from it. You’re not even going to get arthritis from it. But you’re going to suffer quite a lot, and in some cases, it’s going to consume your days and nights with pain.

First let me define it and make sure we’re all on the same page. Hip bursitis or greater trochanteric bursitis causes pain on the outside of your hip. It’s right over that large bump (the greater trochanter) on the lateral side of your hip. You can put your hand on it and it’s usually tender to touch. Most people think that place is “the hip” and they think they have arthritis of the hip. But your hip joint is actually deep in your groin area, and not around that bump on the outside of the hip. This pain usually doesn’t radiate down the leg. I say “usually,” because sometimes it can go down the outside of your leg, but it would not go past the knee.

So, if you’re a woman (usually over 40) with pain over that bump that sticks out at the side of your hip, and it’s painful to touch, or to sleep on, or to get in and out of chairs, or the car, and it doesn’t go down your leg and it’s not in your buttock or your groin, then it’s probably greater trochanteric bursitis, and so now we’re on the same page.

The rest of you listen in, because I want YOU to recognize it on the first day you have it. We’ve got this ridiculous, painful condition because our iliotibial band has to make a long excursion around that big bone that sticks out, mostly because we’re women and our hips are wider in order to have babies.

And if you’re like me (an orthopedic surgeon or a woman who has read this blog), then you know you’ve got it within about 2 days of its onset. But most people don’t realize what they’ve got until they’ve had it for 6 months. You think it’s just one of those things that will go away on its own, or that it’s arthritis and there’s nothing you can do about it. And you would be wrong. But no matter how long you’ve had it, this is what you need to do, and the sooner, the better.

  • Try to figure out why you have it, besides just being a woman. And trust me, some people have it for only that reason. And occasionally, men get it too. Did you get a new car that requires you to scoop your leg under the steering wheel in order to get in and out? Did you start a new exercise program? Running with some strange newfangled shoe? Did you develop an ingrown toenail which has caused you to limp? Are you alive and breathing, because seriously, I think that’s all it takes in some cases? Most of you are going to be unable to name a causative factor, especially if you’ve had it for a while. But if you can, then make changes. If it’s your car, sell it. Well, I guess you could try to raise the steering wheel or put your seat back further and then once you’re in, move it up. If it’s your ingrown toenail, get it well. If it’s a certain shoe, change it.

 

  • Once it’s dug in, it really doesn’t matter how you got it. Now you have to figure out how to keep it from hurting and you have to look at this situation like it’s a cut on your finger tip. You won’t get it well if you keep hitting it on things. If your hip is painful to sleep on it at night, then quit sleeping on it at night. Sleep on the other side. If it’s both hips, then you’re up the proverbial creek. Sleep on your back or your tummy. Put a pillow between your legs. Get a nice, thick memory foam mattress topper for your bed in order to cushion that hip.

 

 

  • Sit Like A Man. (S.L.A.M.) If it hurts to get in and out of a chair then figure out how you can do that without hurting it, just like you’d figure out how to type without using your cut finger. I found that when I got in and out of a chair more like a guy, my pain got better. In fact, suffering from hip bursitis is how I figured out my Sit Like A Man program. So how do you do that? Sit with your legs and feet in the 11:00 and 1:00 positions, and stand up without letting your knees come in. Just watch guys getting up from a chair and then watch how gals do it. Our knees always come together because they naturally tend to do that, but mostly because we’re taught to keep our legs together. This habit just increases the distance that tendon has to go and grinds it across that bump (the greater trochanter). Use the arms on the chair to help push yourself up. Remember, sitting lady-like is not natural for women. It’s a modern necessity, due to rising skirt hems. I promise that cave ladies sat around with their legs apart. Look at the picture above to assure yourself that even in the days before short skirts, women sat with their legs apart. Don’t you think Queen Victoria would have had her legs together, if it had been de rigueur for the times?

 

  • Stretching the iliotibial band can help, but sometimes it can cause more pain, so often when the condition is in a dire state (and believe me, sometimes it is), I don’t recommend stretching. Wait until it calms down first. Sure, there are gentle stretches and you can start doing them, but go easy at first.

Wall Stretch: Stand about a foot from the wall with the painful side toward the wall. Cross the bad leg over the outside leg and slowly lean into the wall. Extend your arm up the wall to support yourself. (picture)

Bed Stretch 1: Scoot to the edge of your bed and roll onto your side, with the painful side up.  Try not to fall off. Then slowly swing your top (painful) leg over the side of the bed and let it hang down. Try to keep your knee straight when you do it.  (picture)

Bed Stretch 2: In a face-up position bend your hip and knee and cross them over the other leg by pulling with the opposite arm.  (picture)

Bed Stretch 3: Get on your side (painful side up again). Move your bottom leg forward to get it out of the way of your upper leg. With your upper knee bent, slowly lower your leg to the bed.  (picture)

While doing these stretches, you should feel some tension across that hip. If it is too painful, then back off. Either lessen the amount you do it or stop altogether, until you have more control of your pain.

  • I call this next suggestion, “Squaring Up.” It basically means to square up your movement. I use this recommendation for many conditions, including low back and sacroiliac joint pain. It helps for knee and hip arthritis too. It means to stand up straight from a seated position. If you get up from a chair and need to go to your right, then face straight ahead and then stand up. Don’t twist from the seated position as you’re standing. When you get out of a car, if you’re able, swing your legs around, and then stand up. This diminishes stresses across your iliotibial band and therefore your greater trochanteric bursa.

 

  • Once greater trochanteric bursitis is in full bloom, you might want to add some anti-inflammatories to the equation. If you’re working on this on your own, then over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are what you can use. Aleve and Advil are useful for me, and as long as you have no medical reasons not to use them (liver, cardiac, or kidney disease, history of stomach ulcers), they will help. I would have to tell you here, that it’s wise to check with your doctor when you decide to use medications. But you can’t use medicines alone and expect to get well. You’ve got to address the mechanical issues as well.

If you go to your doctor for treatment, then you can get prescription level doses of NSAIDs, and they might recommend short courses of prednisone or even a cortisone injection. These are often very helpful and can even “cure” the condition, but don’t be surprised if it comes back. Unless you’ve addressed the causative or mechanical factors involved, this will often be the case. It’s for this reason that I usually don’t recommend an injection to my patients first thing.

  • There are some other causes of lateral hip pain. And between you and your doctor, you should make sure you don’t have one of them. Things such as herniated discs, chronic tears of the gluteal tendon, and piriformis syndrome, can cause lateral hip pain. The biggest difference between these conditions and hip bursitis, is that they are usually not tender directly over the lateral side of the hip, right on that prominent bone to the side. Sometimes, your doctor might order an MRI, to make sure you don’t have a chronic tear of your gluteal tendon. They might evaluate your back. It’s hard to diagnose piriformis syndrome with any test, so it’s often what we call, a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that everything else is ruled out. And sometimes, unfortunately, a patient might have all of the above. Sadly, for all of us fragile people, having one condition does not preclude you from having another.

 

  • When all else fails, you must resort to your wonderful brain to help you. And frankly, I’m not sure that you shouldn’t do this first. Be mindful. Think about, and appreciate the times that you are pain free, and try to reproduce those moments. If sitting on your couch with your legs spread wide apart, and a bowl of ice cream in your hand, is a period of painlessness, then do that more often. If getting up and down from your very low chair at work is painful, then figure out how to do it less and perhaps raise your chair.

 

And last, but not least, have peace with your pain. Greater trochanteric bursitis is a relatively benign, painful condition. In almost everyone, it eventually resolves. I never have seen an eighty-year-old woman who tells me she has had hip bursitis for 20 years.

254 comments
  1. Michael

    My hip began to bother me (about a week ago) as I was running on the treadmill at my athletic center. I am sixty (60) years old and have run off and on for decades. I am currently taking aspirin to relieve the pain and it seems to be helping. What should I do to accelerate the healing process?

    1. Barbara

      It’s impossible for me to tell you what to do for your hip in this blog. Most hip pain usually falls into three categories; bursitis, arthritis and pain related to back issues. I wouldn’t want you to stay on aspirin in order to be able to keep walking on the treadmill. I did a blog on hip bursitis. Please check it out and see if that is the pain you’re experiencing. But in all cases it’s best to find out why you have pain and treat it appropriately.

    2. Barbara

      Hard to say when I don’t know exactly what’s going on. And I can’t remember if I’ve answered this already, but hip pain is usually related to one of three problems: arthritis or other conditions of the hip joint, bursitis (http://drbarbarabergin.com/the-scourge-of-hip-bursitis/) or conditions related to the back and sciatica. Rest is always a good idea. But you probably should see your primary care doc or your local orthopod.

      1. Allison

        Omg, Barbara, this is exactly what I have. And the pain is awful. I am seeing my pcp next month. Thank you for posting this. I will bring this info to my pcp when I see her.

          1. Barbara

            S.,
            I don’t know where you live, but since I’m here in the U.S., have a happy Thanksgiving! And I’m not be facetious when I say “be thankful for and mindful of, moments of painlessness.”

      2. Annie Whitehouse

        Mine is as u say but with pain in lower back,bum,leg and in my groin.had xrays.had internal scan but still no answers.I often wake up crying.

        1. Barbara

          Annie,
          I’m sorry you’re having so much pain. It’s obviously not just simple hip bursitis (not to imply that hip bursitis is “simple,” because it’s definitely very painful), because even though hip bursitis is a very specific and painful condition, it is by definition…very specific…pain on the lateral side of the hip. So you’re likely suffering from something else, perhaps in addition to bursitis. It’s not uncommon for my patients to have hip bursitis + hip arthritis + sciatica! Such misery. Look, I can’t tell you what is wrong with your hip. We have to rely on your doctors (and because you referred to your butt as your bum, I’m assuming you’re living in Great Britain or some formerly or currently British colony) over there.
          Here’s some advice I can give you, and I often give it to my patients. In fact, I was recently interviewed for an article in Forbes.com, so I’m giving you the link to that article. Be mindful of the times when you do NOT have pain. Appreciate those moments, no matter how short they might be. Then keep trying to reproduce what you’re doing at the time you are pain-free. As you do this, those moments might begin increasing in their duration. Please don’t think I’m trying to minimize your pain, but sometimes we cannot find the root causes of pain, and sometimes, even when we do, we have no practical solutions for it. And taking narcotics for some chronic pain conditions is a certain road to dependence on them. This is likely followed by great misery.
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeenacho/2016/04/11/why-one-orthopedic-surgeon-is-prescribing-meditation-over-medication/#6f5a578745e8

        2. Marla

          Annie, I have the thing. Its unbearable and Ive had it for over 2 months. Was wondering if you have found anything more out about it…. I was told I had trochanteric hip bursitis.

          1. Barbara

            Unfortunately, greater trochanteric bursitis (if indeed, that is what you have), can be “unbearable” to some people. The fact is that it is a benign, painful condition, and honestly…quite bearable. Very few people get addicted to pain meds from it, or even need to take them. Most get better with the treatments and modifications I and my blog followers have written about. Again, I always have to give the disclaimer that I don’t know for a fact that you have greater trochanteric bursitis, but if you do, please SLAM, rest, modify any activities which contribute to your pain, get a 3″ memory foam mattress topper, and give it some time… Sorry…that is often a much needed modality. We are indeed in a hurry to get well. It took me about 9 months to get rid of my greater trochanteric hip bursitis. It stayed away for about 10 years and recently resurfaced its ugly head. I quickly went to work, trying to figure out why I got it again, and soon realized, that I was standing at a counter top in my office more often, leaning on it with my elbow and therefore standing with my hip cocked out to the side. This increased the tension across that bone and tendon. I stopped it immediately and within a week it was gone. Things like standing with the hip cocked, power walking and uphill walking (especially on treadmills), weird exercise programs, sitting ladylike, squatting and limping for any reason can be contributory.
            Again, please be sure you have greater trochanteric bursitis before acting on my recommendations. Of course, anything I have mentioned is beneficial in other ways as well!

          2. Lori Houck

            Hi my name is Lori I am 51and two months ago I had the worst pain in my left hip so so painful. Went to the doctors and they tell me it’s bursitis they gave me an injection right into the section the pain went away for 2 days and came back unbearable not sure what to do can anyone help me?

          3. Barbara

            Lori,
            If you indeed have bursitis, then everything you need to know from my perspective, is in my blog. Read all of the parts of the blog and read some of the comments and my responses. Also, please read my Sit Like A Man blog.

  2. Tarri

    I started having the pain on the outside of my hip just as you described about a month ago while training for a half marathon. I’ve been taking Anaprox for the last week or so, but was considering getting a cortizone shot as I really would like to continue running. Would that be a possibility?

    1. Barbara

      Sure. Cortisone injections can relieve the pain and sometimes even “cure” the bursitis. But don’t give up on the stretches and activity modifications I discuss in my blog. You’ll be less likely to have a recurrence.

      1. Joshua

        What do you mean by ‘cure’ the bursitis? I finally pulled the trigger today on a Cortizone shot for my aching hip and am already literally amazed by the relief. I do train often and am about to turn 45, but it wasn’t till the past 6 months that the pain became chronic. I was driving over the road for 10 hours a day many times 7 days a week for the past year. The only excercise I could really do for cardio was jog so I jogged too much. I really don’t understand how some people can jog everyday but I sure wish I could. If I jog more then 2 days in a row I can’t even barely walk for a couple days afterward. Just real achy, almost brittle feeling bones/joints in my lower body. My upper body is completely fine and ache free.

        1. Barbara

          Joshua,
          I can’t remember in what context I referred to the “cure” of hip bursitis, but in general I would say that hip bursitis can be cured. I have many patients who get relief after a single injection of cortisone or a month of sitting like a man. I don’t usually start with a shot though. I usually get my patients on a regimen of activity modifications, including my Sit Like A Man program. Sometimes I’ll use oral steroids or NSAIDs. Sometimes physical therapy. I reserve injections for a subsequent visit, because I’m more successful with a shot into a slightly less inflamed bursa, which is what I’ll get if we start other treatments first. Additionally, the reality is that some folks can’t tolerate that shot. I have many patients who can, and do! They come in once a year or every six months for one. But really, eventually in most, the bursitis just goes away. I rarely EVER have a patient who requires surgery for this. And in those with gluteal tendinosis or gluteal tears, there really is no good operation for it.
          By your name, it looks like you’re a guy. Therefore Sit Like A Man doesn’t apply, because you’re already sitting like one! Men usually don’t have the same issues as women. Often it’s just a tight iliotibial band. But I can’t say for sure since you’re not actually my patient. Hope the ‘cure’ lasts!
          The reason most people can’t run every day is because human beings are not inherently put together to run long distances. There are a few, but most of us can’t. We’re set up perfectly for walking, because we are by nature “hunter-gatherers.” Stop running and I’ll be you’ll feel a lot better. I can never give a shot which I can guarantee will eliminate pain and allow my patients to run indefinitely. Running is not that good for you. And that’s just my opinion…

          1. Mary

            ten years ago (I was 57) it began , and it has gotten worse little by little. Now it has taken away things I enjoy like gardening & general yard upkeep, or keeping house as I once did, dancing is out and I often sleep in a recliner rather than climb the stairs to be cuddled. It is robbing me of certain joys, & making it too painful to do far too many things! Now I often limp….I can’t begin walking when I stand from a seated position, & have been limping for a year or so, and my left side began hurting also which is alarming! My frame of mind is relative to my pain. There has to be something medically possible that would allow me to grow older without this pain. Therapy with elastic bands is painful & injections only helped the first time but the rest have failed to ease pain. Isn’t there another option I can consider?

          2. Barbara

            Mary,
            It’s rare for a person to suffer from greater trochanteric bursitis (GTB) for this long. It usually resolves in most patients (myself included). So, just like I have recommended to many of the other followers who have commented on my blog, maybe there should be more evaluation to make sure there is nothing else going on. Even still, many other conditions causing lateral hip pain, cannot be cured…only treated. But let’s make sure that’s all there is to it. Return to your docs.

            Assuming you have plain ol’ garden-variety GTB, which you probably don’t, then be sure you’re doing my S.L.A.M. program. Be sure you’re modifying activities which are painful. Consider injections if recommended by your doc. There is an operation for GTB, but it’s still not guaranteed to relieve your pain totally and forever! And as I said, that’s assuming it’s GTB. Be sure before ever considering anything operative. Your doc would be the one to help you with that process.

          3. Charlene farquhar

            Hi Barbara,
            Hip Bursitis is the worst! I use to work in retail, standing long hours on end on a hard floor. My pain started in my groin about 6mths ago, Dr said I must have strained a muscle? Then it got a little worse, then about 3 wks ago it started travelling down my leg, the last wk the pain has contributed to my whole leg down to my ankle! Its a deep dull throbbing pain , feels like its close in my bone. No matter what position I’m sleeping in its painful. I was diagnosed with hip bursitis after scans and x-ray. Panadole, neurofen don’t work, Dr. even prescribed me with Endone, that makes me drowsy but still in pain. I’m taking these prescribed inflammatory pills for the past 3 days, but now my lower back is really sore and tender. I’m hoping this doesn’t get worse. Is the injection in to the hip much more affective does anyone Know?

            Thanks
            Charlene

          4. Barbara

            Charlene,
            Remember, I can’t really speak in a professional way, to your specific problem but I’d have to say that offhand, your symptoms are not totally consistent with bursitis. Read my blog and recognize that bursitis causes almost exclusively, pain on the outside of the hip. Rarely does it radiate down the leg. It is not associated with groin pain. Now, if you’re over forty and you’ve had a hip MRI, it is very possible that the radiologist might have seen hip bursitis and documented it on your report. So indeed you probably DO have some element of bursitis. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing causing your pain. Groin pain, pain down to your ankle and low back pain are not due to hip bursitis. Hip bursitis is more likely the result of other mechanical issues which cause you to limp a little and stimulate that hip bursitis, which in a woman over forty…is just waiting to happen. You might keep searching for other hip or back causes of your pain. Again…I’m not there to examine you, so I can’t be certain. And it sounds like you have been searching. I’m sorry your endeavors have not lead to relief of your symptoms. Keep sitting like a man because that will definitely help your bursitis and it’s the right thing to do.
            I do give hip bursa injections to many patients. It helps in some, and in others it’s either very transient relief or no relief at all. If a hip bursa injection helps, in your case, it’s likely ONLY to help any lateral hip pain you have. It’s unlikely to help the other pains you have mentioned. Additionally, there are other sources of lateral hip pain: like gluteal tendonosis, which is also common in women over forty.

  3. Karen

    I’m a postpartum RN and when I’m at work, running up and down the halls for 12 hours I feel pretty good, however when I sit to chart, or try to get out of the car after my drive home, I can hardly move. I went to my doctor and she told me it was bilateral bursitis. I took steroids for a week and thought I was cured. I was so happy!! I didn’t have any pain, for that week. Now the steroids are done and the pain came back within a day.

    I’ve been stretching and taking Motrin or Aleve to help with inflammation and pain. My doctor says she doesn’t like to give cortisone injections nor does she like to drain the bursa. Barbara, do you think my bursitis will go away without those treatments?

    1. Barbara

      It’s not uncommon for those who suffer from greater trochanteric bursitis to have more pain after exercise or when they’re sitting down. It’s a common symptom of this ridiculous disorder. If you don’t get it better, in time you’ll probably start having pain when you exercise in addition to pain at rest.
      I usually don’t do shots as a first line of treatment because I want patients to follow my stretching and activity modification program. The anti-inflammatories and shots are an adjunct to that program. Most of that is outlined in my blog on “Hip Bursitis.”
      From my own personal experience, I was able to get rid of my hip bursitis with just activity modifications, stretching and using a memory foam mattress topper. Now it took about 6-9 months for this plan of action to work. My pain level was very similar to yours. I didn’t have pain with walking or exercising. Just while sitting, going from sitting to standing, or when driving after I had exercised.
      Frankly, when you’ve got a rip-roaring case of hip bursitis, sometimes you’ve just got to take a shot or take some steroid pills. It will just help get things better faster. I just always like to try to see if I can self treat adult repetitive strain disorders (RSDs) without shots. My theory of activity modifications has essentially worked on 100% of my RSDs: hip bursitis, shoulder impingement syndrome, posterior tibialis tendonitis, patellar malalignment and most recently tennis elbow (that’s about 80% well, and I’ve had it about 8 months). Most patients want fast-action treatment…so it’s hard to convince them of the need for activity modification and a slower course to wellness.

      1. Connie

        I need to know how you modified your activities so you you could finally get rid of trocanteric bursitis which I have in both hips . I was in a car accident a year ago , however I had previously been diagnosed with sacroiliac joint dysfunction and have L4 five and S1 herniated and bulging discs and that’s only my low back . I have tried shots , also a two-week course of prednisone and natural anti-inflammatories. I would love to know more about your cure.

        1. Barbara

          Connie,
          My recommendations to treat greater trochanteric bursitis are extensively described in my blog and in all of the posts to which I have responded in the past. And I would gladly review some of them right now for you. However, when you toss in a little SI dysfunction and a couple of herniated discs, all bets are off. My treatment is for simple greater trochanteric bursitis. Nothing else. You must follow a course of treatment recommended for you by your physician or chiropractor. As I have said in response to many previous comments on my blogs, once the condition becomes chronic or complicated by other concerns, it gets difficult for me to recommend treatments to folks I have not actually interviewed or examined. Hip bursitis in its simplest form, is one of those benign painful conditions which I can almost diagnose over the telephone.
          So sorry to hear about your other conditions. They can be complicated. Here are a few words of wisdom I often find myself telling my patients no matter what is wrong with them:
          1) Give your body TIME to heal. It needs the time. With very few exceptions, there are no quick treatments.
          2) Slow down. We’re always in such a hurry. We want to get places fast, eat fast, exercise fast. Remember that the human is a hunter gatherer, and we ran only to get away from something trying to kill us. If you walk for exercise, don’t speed walk. If you ride a bicycle, do it leisurely, not as if you’re in a race. If you’re walking across a parking lot, slow down and watch where you’re going. Don’t jump up from a chair if you’ve been sitting there for a long time. Give your body a chance to realize what you’re getting ready to do!
          3) Square up your movements. This is a new concept which I haven’t addresses on my blog, but I often give this advice, and someday I’ll blog on it. Let’s say you’re getting out of your chair and deciding to head out a door to your direct right. Stand up first, and THEN make the turn to your right toward the door. Don’t stand and twist at the same time. When you get out of your car, swing your legs around and THEN stand up. Don’t do it all in one motion. My patients with back pain and SI dysfunction ALL tell me this helps.

          Sorry I couldn’t be more specific for you. Best of luck with your pain and I hope you get better as soon as your body is ready.

    2. Carol

      I’m a diabetic and I can’t take steroid shots because it raise my blood sugar drastically but I’m taking gabopentin now for round.a year I fell at work and I’m in lots of pain iWork 40+hrs in Adeline and run constantly I’m on permanent disability for my hip bursitis but have to work the gabopentin does help the pain still hard to sleep at night it helps my shoulder ain’t too I have a total rotator cup tear also from my fall at work

  4. susan

    Hi there. I just had a total hip replacement on my right hip. I’m forty five years old, and I am recuperating quickly. Within days of getting home from the hospital I was already off the walker and on crutches. After a nice walk on my driveway I later developed excrutiating pain in my left hip (the non surgical leg). I spent two days back in the hospital. They took x rays and did an MRI and basically treated me with kid gloves. I was on morphine, which was the only thing that seems to touch the pain. They couldn’t figure out the cause. Honestly, I think it’s good old fashioned bursitis. Nothing showed up on the tests. Could I be right? This totally sucks! Also…..( and really my main question here)… when they do the total hip replacement on my left side (already scheduled for next month) will they see the bursa and will the hip implant surgery make it go away? By the way….I LOVE my new hip on the right side and it’s healing like gangbusters. I’ve been eager to get up and about.

    1. Barbara

      Sorry you had to have your hip replaced at such a young age, but I’m glad it’s going well overall. If it weren’t for this left hip pain, it sounds like you’d be a very happy camper!

      Your situation is certainly unusual. While I’ve seen many folks get hip bursitis on the opposite side to a location where they’re having some kind of pain (almost like some kind of compensatory pain), it’s rare get it so bad that they had to go to the hospital. That being said, you just had a hip replacement and I’m sure there was concern that it had something to do with your right hip surgery. From my standpoint, that history makes it a little hard for me to confirm that it’s just “good old fashioned” hip bursitis. But just to be clear: hip bursitis is strictly pain on the very lateral side of the hip. It’s not in the groin or the buttock and it usually doesn’t radiate down the leg. So if we’re talking about the same pain, and indeed you have hip bursitis, then I can say that when they do the surgery, they will not necessarily be looking for your bursa and they probably won’t be able to see that there is a problem. And they probably won’t try to remove your bursa at the time of surgery. Usually when we’re doing total joint replacements, our objective is to get in and out of there with the least amount of exposure and trauma to surrounding tissues. Additional surgery and exposure just increases the potential for infection. But let me reassure you that if bursitis is the cause of the pain in your left hip, it will not affect the results of your pending left hip replacement, and it is likely to resolve spontaneously. The only reason I can think of for postponement of your surgery would be if your pain remains so severe that you continue to require the use of narcotics. Then they might want to get control of that ahead of time. I hope this helps and I wish you a happy recovery and good use of your new hips!

      1. susan

        Barbara, thank you for your response. I actually did get put on the narcotics and it does help the pain. It is the only thing that helps, in fact. In fact bursitis is worse than giving birth, I think, so I don’t feel too guilty for taking the drugs. But here is something interesting. I was also diagnosed with meralgia parasthetica, which you know about, I’m sure (for everyone else-this is a disturbance of the cutaneous femoral nerve which also causes exruciating pain, but in the groin and thigh.) I was given Gabapentin, an anti-seizure (anti-convulsant) med. This is definitely helping. I thought it might be helpful to mention this here to distinguish the conditions. I was told that I got this wsy by using my nonsurgical leg, which caused the bursitis, which in turn inflamed my nerve. Ugh! Talk about adding injury to…well…injury! Anyway, I feel most hopeful about what you said about surgery- that at least I can still have a successful left hip surgery. I did get clearance from both my primary and my surgeon, and they are both well aware of my situation and meds. So I want to say “thank you” for hearing your input as well and that I find what you said to me to be very encouraging.

    1. Barbara

      This is a different kind of problem and not really related to hip bursitis. I think it would be best if you sought the attention of a physician: your primary care doctor or an orthopedic surgeon.

  5. Mary

    I’ve had hip bursitis that has not gone away for the past 3 1/2 years now. The first year 1/2 I was getting treatment like anti inflammatory pill even getting the shots 3 different occasion. Nothing has worked, but I lost my job 2 years ago and I dont have any medical insurance. This has been the worst 3 1/2 painful years of my life. Is there anything else I can do at home besides taking Motrin which I’ve abused because of this pain. Please advise.

  6. Barbara

    First of all let me say sorry about your job and sorry about your hip. It’s unusual for hip bursitis to last this long. So I am a little suspicious that this could be something else.

    As a rule, pain in the front of the hip is usually due to arthritis and hip flexor tendonitis. Pain in the buttock or back of the hip is usually related to the back. Sciatic nerve irritation can cause buttock pain. The pain of bursitis is almost always located along the outside or lateral side of the hip, over that prominent bone. It’s usually tender right there and almost never anywhere else. So make sure that’s where you’re sore. Occasionally pain in that area, which lasts a long time, can be due to a torn gluteal tendon. That’s hard to identify and equally hard to treat.

    So other than to tell you what it might and might not be, there’s not much else I can do for you from afar.

    So let’s assume for now that you do have hip bursitis. There is one new suggestion I have found to be helpful in my patients with this condition. I haven’t added to my blog yet, but will soon. This might trigger me to do so, since I’m giving away my secret.

    I started thinking about how I rarely see men with hip bursitis. One of the reasons, and perhaps the main or even only reason, is that the male pelvis is more narrow and so the long tendon on the outside of the thigh (the iliotibial band) has a longer excursion in women, as it passes down the leg. But I am also considering the possibility that some of the problem is related to the way women move. We’re taught from a very young age, to sit with our legs together. So that movement becomes ingrained in our muscle memory and over the years it begins to take its toll on that tendon (and our knee cap as well).

    So now I tell my female patients with hip bursitis, and frankly I’d like to tell the world…to sit more like a guy, especially when it doesn’t matter. I’m not promoting wholesale leg spreading in all instances. I’m just suggesting that when it doesn’t matter…sit like guy: when you’re at home watching TV, sitting at your desk, on the john, when you’ve got pants on. Get the idea? Try that for a while, and make sure you’re following my suggestions in the rest of the hip bursitis blog.

    1. Mary

      Thank you for your reply, I just wanted to mention that the pain is on my hip and it runs down my leg which makes it feel very stiff. But the pain is worse on my buttock and my lower back as well, the pain is so bad my left I’ve been sleeping on my right side for the past 2 1/2 years and now I’m feeling the same pain on my right side. (oh boy) I think I might have to pay for a doctor’s visit

  7. Micky Weldon

    I may be having hip replacement in several months-due to hip displaysia and bone on bone etc, in the meantime I had cortisone shot to bursa which helped immensely with that soreness and not the hip part, how many hip bursa shots can i safely get and have hip replacement–I understand that you cannot have many–1 or 2 cortisone shots into hip socket–I had one that wore off after 10 days or so) but does that also apply to hip bursitis shots or can I have more than one and even prior to surgery?
    thanks for any information you can give me

    1. Barbara

      Hip joint injections and hip bursa injections are very different animals. In general orthopedic surgeons don’t do a lot of hip joint injections for the treatment of arthritis of the hip. This is simply because they’re hard to do and must be done with flouroscopy. This is real-time x-ray and in the case of your hip, dye must be injected first, just to make sure your doctor has the needle in the hip joint. It’s not like the knee, which is very easily accessible and is a joint with a large capacity. So every time you get a hip joint injection, you have to have to be scheduled in a flouroscopy suite, and have ongoing X-rays around your pelvis. You can’t just drop into your doc’s office and ask for a shot. Additionally the hip happens to be under some important nerves and blood vessels, so your doc has to be a little more cautious. Again, different than the knee in terms of the anatomy. So bottom line is we just don’t use cortisone in the hip like we do in the knee. I would not have a hip joint injection any time close to the planned surgery. Just gut it out and know that soon you will be getting relief from that very wonderful and most often highly successful operation!

      Hip bursa injections are completely different. The greater trochanteric bursa is easy to get to and there really is no downside to getting a shot there. I have many patients who come in 2 and 3 times a year to get their hip bursa injected. But as I have said in my blog, this is usually a self-limited condition. It gets better with time, stretching, activity modifications, anti-inflammatory medications, and occasional injections. I don’t think I’ve ever had any patients who continue to get injections year after year. I can’t recall an 80 year-old lady saying that she’s had hip bursitis for 20 years! And there’s more good news for you. It’s rare that a patient with hip arthritis and hip bursitis, continues to complain of bursitis pain after her total hip replacement. It’s hard to say why. It’s probably the improvement in the gait. It might be because of the period of rest demanded by the surgery. I used to think it was because we dug around in that bursa on the way down to the hip, but now with different approaches to the hip, we don’t dig around there as much so I think the improvement will be due to the fact that you’re not limping as much anymore.

      Okay, so all that being said, I wouldn’t put a bunch of cortisone in my system or my hip anytime close to a surgery. I don’t know that there is any data on cortisone prior to surgery, but it does lower your ability to respond to infection and before an operation, especially a total joint replacement, you need your immune system in tip top shape.

      So hang tight. Take a pain pill if you need to and wait for that surgery! Best to you.

  8. Robin

    I am an avid runner and I am training for a half marathon. I am pretty sure I have hip bursitis. Of course, I have to get in with my family doctor and then wait for a referral to a ortho (which can take a couple weeks). My question is…..Can I continue to run through the discomfort until I can get in with the doctors? I rested for 5 days (did swimming instead) but it hurt just the same when I started back. I was so disappointed. I have been running for 25 years and never had any issues – this is my first “injury” ever. I really just want a shot so I can get back out there. I have been taking prescription ibuprofen, doing special exercises, and icing my hip for the past week. My race is in a few weeks and I just need to know if I can keep training if the pain is bearable.

    1. Barbara

      What a disappointment! I know you must be really frustrated.
      The bottom line is that hip bursitis is a benign painful condition. No matter how painful it is, it’s not ruining anything. It’s not weakening a bone or destroying cartilage or causing ligaments to tear. So that means you can beat it up as long as you can tolerate it.
      That being said, my experience with the condition is that when you keep running, it can start to act like there’s a vice grip around your hip telling you to “Stop!” You keep going. It squeezes tighter. “No, stop now.” You walk a little and then try again. It squeezes tighter. “Guess you didn’t hear me when I said…stop now!” But that’s just my experience with it. And again, you won’t hurt anything by persevering. That’s not to say you won’t pay later for your efforts. So go for it if you can.
      And try hard to get in to see an orthopedic surgeon for a shot before the race!

  9. Robin

    Thanks so much for the quick response! I am baffled with this hip! I got up this morning to run (out of sheer desperation) and my hip did not hurt! It was hurting on yesterday’s run. I am so confused. I did recently start wearing new shoes (however, they are the EXACT same pair I always use, just new) and that is about the time the lateral right hip pain started. So, I put my old shoes back on today. But, I am thinking that is way too easy of a solution. I also ran a faster 10K race the day before the pain started. I assumed that was the main source of where it all started (faster pace and big hills).

    I have a doctor appt (family doctor) this afternoon. Now, i am so confused on what to do. I seriously have not had a pain free run in at least 10 days. And, then it happens on the day of my appt. Ha Ha!

    Any advice?

  10. Lori A.

    Dr. Bergin, after being an active 55 year old woman (doing 10 flights of stairs daily & walking) I apparently injured myself pretty bad. Woke up at 3am with excruciating pain (almost as bad as childbirth) starting at the hip and shooting all the way down my outer leg. Went straight to my MD and he diagnosed it as Tronchateric Bursitis. The pain subsided after 4 days but am still having pain and cannot exercise. I am going to have an injection this week and am wondering how LONG do you think this will last before the pain returns? Have a huge job coming up which entails lot’s of walking for a week.
    thank you!!!

    1. Barbara

      As you can see from my extensive coverage of this condition in my blog, as well as from all the comments, this condition is common and elusive. It can range in intensity from a mild ache to severe, disabling pain which can actually cause the hip to feel like it’s going to give out on you.
      I’m going to make the assumption that you’ve seen a qualified physician regarding your hip, that his diagnosis is correct, and we’re dealing with hip bursitis and not sciatica or gluteal tendonitis or cancer. If that is the case, then it’s reasonable to go ahead with an injection, especially in view of the intensity of your pain. As you can read in my blog, it’s not the only thing to do and it might not last, but it might give you the best chance of getting some quick pain relief.
      And in some cases an injection can alleviate the pain altogether. You might very well get relief during your trip. You could also ask your doc to consider giving you a script for a Medrol Dosepak, and provided there are no contraindications to your use of steroids, you could fill the script and take it with you. Then if the pain comes back in its full intensity, you could start taking it as directed. But talk to your physician about that.
      When you get back from your trip, consider doing some iliotibial band stretches, using a memory foam mattress topper and most importantly…sit like a man. Men don’t get this condition very often and I think it has to do with their more narrow pelvis, as well as the mechanics of their movement, especially when sitting, running and walking. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it!
      Good luck and I hope you get better!

  11. Kathy J

    Dr. Bergin,
    After reading all the posts above I thank you for all the helpful information.

    I have had arthritis in my hip for a few years and I’m now scheduled for a hip replacement in December. (Anterior approach)

    For the past 2-3 months I have had increasing pain down my leg and thought it might be bursitis. I absolutely can not sleep comfortably for more than an hour or two. I pace until I give sleeping another shot. I’ve tried every OTC pain medication, heat, ice, pillows….you name it. Nothing helps. This pain is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced.

    I’ve always worked out 4-5 times a week….walking, weights, aerobics, Zumba, etc. I’m afraid now to do anything.

    When laying down the pain comes in spasms. it travels down the side and back of my thigh and radiates down almost to my foot. Driving or even sitting in a car is painful. I don’t want to have a shot if it postpones my surgery.

    I read your take on the narrow pelvis and mine is indeed the smallest part of my body. Apple shape for me for sure.

    I was hoping that after the replacement ALL the pain would be gone, but I am so afraid that I’ll wake up with the same problem.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Barbara

      Kathy, this isn’t an uncommon complaint. With the shoulder and the hip, there is potential for many sources of pain in the same individual…and on the same extremity! The human body is often a puzzle.

      When I see a person who points to their hip as the area of pain, I first start thinking of the three most common causes of hip pain:
      1) hip arthritis: which usually causes groin pain and sometimes pain radiating down the front of the thigh,
      2) hip bursitis: which usually causes lateral hip pain and sometimes pain radiating down the side of the thigh, usually no further than the knee (the iliotibial band stops just below the knee)
      3) sciatica: which usually causes buttock pain which can radiate down the back and the side of the thigh and calf, all the way to the ankle and foot.

      Unfortunately, patients often have all three conditions causing their pain. We have to figure out which ones are causing the most pain, and then go for the kill! Getting rid of one will not in most cases, get rid of the other! Why would it, unless perhaps, the limp from the hip arthritis is irritating the back and the hip bursa. In that case, maybe once you had a total hip replacement, the other two pains would get better. One thing for sure, is that if you have arthritis in your hip which is bad enough to require total hip replacement, it will NOT get better with treatment of your back or your bursa. And of the three conditions, the only one which will have a predictable, beneficial outcome is your hip replacement! Treatment of spinal sources of leg pain and hip bursitis is protracted and unpredictable.

      It’s important for patients to understand this, and to make sure their major source of pain is not the back. And if it IS the back, it’s important for you to know exactly what pain will get better after surgery on your hip, and what pain won’t get better! It’s always frustrating for patients to have one of the surgeries and wake up with the other pain, especially if they thought every pain would be better!

      It’s up to your surgeon to help you figure that out. It sounds like you either have some bursitis or sciatica in addition to your hip arthritis. If it’s bursitis, this often does get better after hip replacement. Usually, the sciatica does not.

      Hope this helps clear things up for you.

  12. Fawn

    i’am a 27yr old female that was diagnosed 8 months ago with bursitis in the hip, It seems to come and go but when my hip hurts at its full peek. I cant seem to find anything to cure the pain, I often find myself crying from the pain!! I have sciatica pain , and ive fell down steps a lot in 5 yrs, and a week ago I fell into a metal heater in my basement I tripped over toys!, im tired of crying from pain and NSAIDs not helping acetaminophen don’t help either! I wanna take a chain saw and cut it off then hopefully !!!!!! no more pain!! :'(

    1. Barbara

      It’s unusual to see a 27 y/o with hip bursitis and considering your history of injury, I wonder if it’s something else. Occasionally tendons can get torn in the same area, causing pretty severe lateral and posterolateral hip pain.

      Please…no chainsaws. You lose a lot of blood that way…

      Seriously, it sounds like it’s time to see an orthopedic surgeon. Maybe time to get an MRI to make sure it’s not something else.

      The falling is also a serious problem. Young people usually don’t fall that much. You need to watch where you’re going, hold on to banisters and take some fall precautions. Check out my blog entry on fall prevention: http://drbarbarabergin.com/fall-prevention/

      Not knowing you as a patient, but hearing that you’ve fallen a lot, I would encourage you to see your primary care physician about that.

  13. Rosale

    I have had this latest bout with bursitis in my hip for almost 2 weeks now. I first had it about 2 years ago and then had it again this past summer. Both times I was given a prescription for an anti inflammatory. After a period of time it went away.
    I have been taking an anti inflammatory now for over a week. I manage to get by during the day but trying to sleep at night is almost impossible. I’ve found if I lay on the right side (bursitis is on the left) I am the most comfortable. However it’s very hard to sleep in one position all night without having pain in the shoulder etc. When sleeping on my back I’m ok as long as I don’t move and when I get up the pain is so bad I can hardly walk. Do you have any suggestions ?

    My doctor gave me a sheet with a series of stretches to do. These seem to help more than anything and I’m doing them several times a day.

    1. Barbara

      Rosale,
      Please check out the three blog entries and my responses to the comments for information on what to do about hip bursitis.
      Now, assuming that you actually do have bursitis, then let me just briefly address the bed issue. I think it’s in the blog as well, but it’s worth mentioning here because there are some important concepts pertaining to night time pain.
      Firstly, recognize that you spend the greatest amount of time in one position or one place when you’re in your bed every night. Think about that. I can’t think of any daytime job description in which a person would spend 6-8 hours in pretty much one spot. Maybe an astronaut. So my point here is that you should own the best quality mattress you can afford.
      But let’s assume for a moment that you have a plank of a mattress and you can’t afford to buy a new one. Then you can convert any mattress into a decent one by purchasing a 2-3 inch memory foam mattress topper. Now they can get pricey, but worst case scenario, you can even go buy a big cheap piece of egg crate mattress. This will cushion your hips very nicely. You should go get some kind of mattress topper as soon as possible.
      Sleep with a large pillow between your legs. This helps take the tension off your iliotibial band and the pressure off your bursa when you’re sleeping with your good side down.
      Last but not least…don’t be too impatient. This might take a while to get better…sometimes MONTHS! Follow my instructions for activity modifications and sit like a man.

  14. Matthew H.

    I guess I’m in the 10 percent/men who get this. I’m 43 and have been an avid hiker most of my life. My wife and I just purchased a house this year and I’ve been doing lots of work including heavy lifting. About a month ago I ran a bunch of steps by the beach with weight in my back pack and this pain started around the hip area. After searching the web…which takes a strong filter…I’ve narrowed it to the Greater Trochanter area. The pain is actually to the bottom and back of the Trochanter. Feels best in the morning but acts up throughout the day. I cant cross my legs while sitting anymore. I moved the steering wheel up as well which was causing some pain.

    I started taking Osteo Bi-Flex. Not sure if this will help.
    How do I distinguish between a tear and Bursitis?
    Thanks for any info you can give.

    1. Barbara

      Matthew,
      Darn you ten percenters! Just when we think we know everything, you walk through our door! Teasing aside, and assuming you have greater trochanteric bursitis, you still need to follow the recommendations put forth on my blog and following all the commentary afterward. But pay close attention to the activities which hurt you and figure out a way to modify them so they don’t hurt you over and over again. You mentioned two in your comment.
      You have pain when you cross your legs. Don’t cross your legs. Sit with them wide apart. That’s what I tell my female patients who suffer from hip bursitis…sit like a man. Slow down and square up your movements. Let’s say you’re going to get up from a chair and make a right turn. Don’t just jump up and turn toward the door. Stand first…with your legs apart, feet turned to 11:00 and 1:00. Make sure your hip isn’t hurting. And then make an easy turn.
      You mentioned the changes you made with the steering wheel. This is the right idea. Keep making modifications. Soon it will get down to only a couple of movements which cause you to experience pain. That could take months to affect improvement, but it will happen.
      You might consider an injection of cortisone…
      Osteo Bi-Flex will not help this condition.
      It’s often hard to distinguish between a degenerative gluteal tendon tear and bursitis. Unfortunately, some patients will be treated for bursitis for a while, before considering the possibility of some other source of the pain. Usually with gluteal tendon tears, the pain is not directly over the lateral side of the hip. It’s a little more posterior to the greater trochanter. An MRI would demonstrate the tear in most cases. If you don’t see improvement with my recommendations or if your pain isn’t directly on the lateral side of your hip, it might be time for a visit to your local orthopod.
      Hope this helps.

  15. Melissa

    Hi. I have had bursitis for about two and a half months now. I am an AIN and new management at work have created extreme working conditions. In the beginning every time I had some time off I felt I was improving but ever time I go back on the floor I end up in pain. I can’t see this cycle ever being broken. I’ve tried to use my annual leave so I can spend some time off the floor only to discover that new management didn’t change me over to permanent/part time as I am contracted to be with the last employer and a contract the new employer said they would continue, and therefore I have no annual leave accrued.I am trying hard not to use a work cover claim as it comes with long term consequences. I’ve tried two doctors for stress leave as the whole thing is depressing me terribly but have been denied both times. I’m writing a resume to try and get some medical reception work but feel terribly trapped and depressed as I want to help myself but can’t and feel like I am getting no help. I am scared that because I can’t get off the floor this condition will end up as a degenerative condition. Doctors seem to laugh this off but it’s not an uncommon conversation between AINs behind closed doors and indeed I already know two AINs who ended up having hip replacement surgery because their hips started off with tendonitis or bursitis and was never allowed to heal. What else can I possibly do? Is this going to happen to me? 🙁

    1. Barbara

      Melissa,
      It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now. Wish I could help with your problems at work, but since that’s not my bailiwick, I’ll have to stick with giving you some information regarding your hip pain.
      Firstly, let me say that from your email, it’s hard for me to figure out whether or not you’re suffering from bursitis, sciatica or arthritis.
      But let me say that hip bursitis is a benign painful condition, and though very painful while you have it, it is usually self-limited and does not have destructive tendencies. In other words, I have never seen an 80 year old woman tell me she has suffered with hip bursitis for the past 30 years. Most people have it for only a few months. Some for a couple of years. With stretching, anti-inflammatories, perhaps injections, and most importantly…the activity modifications I have mentioned on my blog and in all the subsequent commentary, most people eventually get better. Very few require surgery.
      Let me also say that hip bursitis does not lead to degenerative hip arthritis. It just doesn’t. They are not related in any way other than if you already have hip arthritis, the limp associated with the arthritis can result in hip bursitis. So rest assured that bursitis will not cause arthritis.
      Getting “off the floor” might not make much difference in your hip pain, no matter what the cause. If you have advanced arthritis in your hip, it might be difficult to do a job in which you stand all day, but the job itself wouldn’t cause the arthritis. Doctors are reluctant to attribute arthritis to these kinds of jobs simply because we see so many patients with advanced arthritic disease doing these very same jobs. Again, not knowing your specific situation, I cannot speak to whether or not you should make changes in your career in order to diminish your hip pain. Only you can make that decision.
      I think you should probably seek consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, focusing mainly on your pain and not on the job situation. You would be best served by just getting better.

  16. Debbie

    Barbara, I about a week ago, I was doing a “pretty fast walk” with my friend and about a 1/2 a mile into the walk, All of a sudden I got the horrible, sharp pain in my groin area and it seemed to seize me up. I tried to slowly walk it out and it just seemed to get worse. I turned around and hobbled back to work. When I got into the building and tried to sit down, there was even worse pain now in both legs in the groin area. I have never felt this pain before. I tried walking around and sitting and nothing seemed to ease the pain. After about 5 minutes of trying to move around, it seemed like things loosened up and I was able to move again. I took 4 motrin and within about 30 minutes I was able to walk around but very gingerly. I went to the doctors this past Monday and she said that it sounds like I have bursitis in my hips. She took x-rays just as a precaution and I was just informed that my hips are “normal” and to see an ortho to get further diagnosis. What does that mean? I thought ortho’s were “bone doctors” if my hip is normal, what is the ortho going to do? Is there anything else I can do to get rid of the pain? It isn’t as bad as it was a week ago, but if I don’t take the motrin, I still get sharp shooting pain in the groin area. Enough pain that it stops me in my steps and it takes a couple more painful steps to get going again. I also have a burning sensation in the same area.

    What should I do??

    Thank you

    1. Barbara

      Debbie,
      I’m sorry you’re not getting better. It does sound like you need some help.
      Firstly, let me say that orthopedic surgeons take care of most musculoskeletal conditions and not just the bones. So we treat bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, sprains, strains and frankly just plain aches and pains. (Ha! I’m a poet and I don’t know it). Many of us work on the back and neck, and also treat conditions of nerves related to those structures. We don’t take care of conditions above the neck!
      Now when it comes to the groin, there are many things which can cause pain, including but not necessarily limited to conditions of the hip (arthritis, fractures and labral tears). One can have these conditions and even have normal X-rays! In fact most of the time, except in the case of advanced arthritis, the X-rays are normal. That’s a little disconcerting, isn’t it?
      But there are other conditions which can cause groin pain: hernias, hip flexor tendonitis and bursitis, stress fractures and even some spinal conditions.
      So groin pain can be complicated. That’s why I don’t have a blog on it!
      Take your doc’s recommendation and go see your local orthopod. Most groin conditions are things he/she can identify and treat!

  17. robyn

    Hi Barbara
    I am a 57 year old with scoliosis and have developed bursitis in the last last few months – I drive long distances. I’ve tried most of the uninvasive treatments (icing, stretching, physio, anti-inflammatories , acupuncture etc) but have resisted cortisone injections. I have had temporary relief but nothing had really helped.

    I worried that the cortisone will only provide temporary relief and have have various side effects and what I really need to do is find out how my scoliosis is affecting my bursitis.

    What would you recommend?

    1. Barbara

      Robyn, perhaps your scoliosis makes you a little more susceptible to hip bursitis. And maybe not. It might depend on the degree of curve you have. But nevertheless, the treatment is the same. You’ve got to stretch that IT band and modify or avoid activities which you identify as causing or aggravating this condition. Slow down when you’re getting in and out of chairs, and don’t get out of a chair, then immediately change directions. Stand up slowly and then turn another direction. Sit like a man. You can’t change the feminine mechanics of your hips which actually do make you more susceptible to this painful condition, but you can change the way you’ve been sitting and getting in and out of chairs all your life…like a lady. When appropriate, sit with your legs apart and get in and out of chairs with your legs apart…knees facing the 11:00 and 1:00 position. Observe men getting in and out of chairs. Imitate. You might consider getting a cortisone injection. It might help and it’s pretty low risk. If your doc gives a good shot, it might not hurt!

    1. Barbara

      Congrats Adam! You win the prize! Lucky you. You’re the one out of a hundred. Guys actually do get hip bursitis. Yes it could be something else, but if you’ve been reading my blogs on this subject, you probably have a good idea as to whether or not it’s hip bursitis. If it’s in your buttocks or groin, it’s not bursitis. If it’s at the side of your hip, over that prominent bone, then it’s probably bursitis. Since I can’t examine you, we can’t be 100% sure though. But there are a few guys who get it. Often they are kind of stiff guys with pretty poor iliotibial band flexibility. But same principles apply: modify painful activities, stretch, take NSAIDS if you are able to, and be prepared to give it time. If you’ve already been doing that, it might be time to see a physician…maybe try an injection.

  18. Pat

    I have been getting steroid shots about 3 x year. I also do water aerobics 6 x week. Is it OK to start up the aerobics after a shot right away, or wait? The aerobics seem pretty gentle but there are plenty of hip rotations. Will also do all the activity recommendations. Feel better already sitting like a man. Thanks so much

    1. Barbara

      Pat,
      Glad it feels better when you Sit Like A Man. I’m from Texas, so when I say that, I say it with a big drawl…kind of like Rose said “spit like a man” to Jack on the Titanic movie.
      Anyway, it’s okay to get back to exercising after the shots. No danger in that. You might take it easy for a while in order to simply give your hip a rest, but there’s no other reason than that.
      Good luck!

  19. adrianne

    I started working at a factory about a year Ina half ago about 4 months of being there it started hurting now its so bad I asked my Dr. He gave me diclofenac 75mg twice a day they worked great for about two weeks now dont seem like a all I went back an told my Dr. This he said that was all he could do for it is killing me I can’t just quit. My job can you give me any ideas on what to do to help ?? Thanks

    1. Barbara

      Adrianne,
      I thought I had already answered your comment, but this Word Press site is a little confusing and it looks as though I didn’t. Anyway, sorry about that. I’m sort of assuming you meant your hip was hurting, but since you didn’t clarify, I really can’t address it. I hope by now you are getting better. In general, it’s really hard for me to help people with complicated histories and complaints. But until I know what’s actually hurting you, I can’t help. If you’re better, than I’m glad of that. No need to respond.

  20. Julie Love

    Hi, great topic here! I hope I am not too late. I’m a 57 year old gal and this came on for the first time out of nowhere! I had been siting “indian style” on a hard floor going through family photos right before. It was non-stop for two days, it killed me to bear with on my right leg, especially the hard-wood stairs in my home. By the 3rd day, it was intermittent and on this 6th day I barely notice. I do weight bearing strength training (Super Slow protocol 2x/week) and I do a leg press and abductor exercise. I have not gone this week. Should I rest it longer or can I go back to pushing the weight with my legs now that it seems to be gone. Thank you so much, Julie

    1. Barbara

      Julie,
      Welcome to the sisterhood of those who have suffered from greater trochanteric bursitis (GTB), those who suffer it even now, and those who have yet to suffer. Say it like Galadriel in Lord of the Rings, and it sounds really frightening. Hell, it IS frightening. Let me tell you that catching it early is the best thing. It’s why I do this blog. I want everyone to catch these repetitive strain disorders early. Good thing about GTB is that it is benign. It won’t ruin your hip. You might think it will, but the hip will be fine.
      Anyway, you’re on the right track. Modify, modify, modify. If something hurts, don’t do it. Do not think you can “work through it.” Yes, slow down and control the exercise. Don’t let gravity or momentum move the weights. Leg presses and abductor machines make me a little nervous, but if they don’t hurt you during or after the exercise, they’re probably fine. I can really fine tune my program in order to avoid the offending exercises.

      Good luck and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

      *And needless to say, but I need to say it…if it’s not lateral hip pain, or if it’s back pain, or associated with numbness, or groin pain, it might be something other than GTB. If it comes back…you need to get it checked out by someone who can actually put their hands on the spot or make the actual diagnosis.

  21. Breanna

    Hello, I’m a 21 yr old female. Almost a year ago I developed iliotibial band syndrome from wearing a heavy backpack. My physical therapist says I have a tight IT band. Ive been working on it for a few months now and developed hip bursitis due to my tight IT band from not getting the proper PT I needed. As of now I am 5 months into not being able to stand/walk for more than 2 hours without having to sit from the pain.
    My question is do you think this is something that needs time to heal? Will it go away on it’s own eventually?
    Thank you!!

    1. Barbara

      It absolutely needs time to heal, provided your diagnosis is correct. Lateral hip pain. No numbness or tingling. No groin pain. Likely to be hip bursitis. Likely to take a long time to heal. Read my blog and read some of my responses to public inquiries on the blog. You’ll get an idea of what you need to do to promote hip bursa health. Be patient.

  22. Breanna

    Thank you so much for responding. Have you heard anything on acupuncture helping hip bursitis? I’m considering trying it out, it being one of the only things left for myself to try.. I do occasionally get some groin pain but it’s rare. I’ve been using a foam roller on my IT band and resting my bursa on top of it and that’s seemed to make my soreness go away. My days are pretty pain free but when it comes to my IT band/hip bursitis issue, the only time I am in pain is when I stand/walk for too long. Is there any sort of time estimate you are able to give something like this to heal? I know people who have had IT band syndrome who did not recover for a whole year. Being that I’m just about two months away from the one year anniversary of my injury, I hope that too will be the case for me. However I’m baffled when it comes to my bursitis.. I know it started after my IT band syndrome and because of my IT band syndrome, but if that is the case, I wonder if the bursitis will go away along with the IT band syndrome..

  23. Rach

    Hi,
    I have bursitis and it started in October after having to sit to do my studies. Before that I was doing the Insanity and Asylum workout programs and had been doing them for around 18months with no problems at all. For me it was sitting down that started the pain. Finally after suffering for nearly 2 months I decided to do something about it and went to a Chiropractor. He sent me to a physiotherapist for a cortisoid injection in my hip. After two weeks I went back to the chiro who started to dry needle and do deep tissue massage. Now we are onto cold laser to try to complete the healing.
    While the whole leg is feeling better of that there is no doubt but there is still hip pain and in the mean time I feel that I cannot exercise. It’s not even painful pain but annoying continuous drawn out pain that will simply not ease off. I am now trying foam rolling (obviously not directly onto the joint) and am about to start a program of light exercises to stretch the hip and strengthen the lower back and core.
    I hope that it is nearly over but I have a feeling that I have a few more sessions with the chiropractor yet and I have a sneaky suspicion that I will have to continue my studies standing up otherwise it will not go away.
    The moral of this little tale is that sitting is the new bad and is almost as bad for you as smoking.
    Good luck to anyone else with this horrible condition that you can find a treatment to help relieve the symptoms.

    1. Barbara

      Rach,
      While I believe having a sedentary job can cause some problems, in my practice I don’t often see a correlation between a sedentary lifestyle and greater trochanteric bursitis. If that were the case, I would see just as many men as women with the condition. I believe that in most cases, some correlation can be seen between some activity and the condition. It could be anything from a sport or an exercise, or a limp caused by knee pain, or a change in shoe wear or jogging surface. And sometimes it occurs spontaneously. Believe it or not, I have seen many cases following the initiation of an exercise programs such as those in which you were participating. I experienced it myself after switching from driving a truck with a high step up and large seats, to a smaller, low set car with small bucket seats. It took me several months to make the association, but once I switched back to driving my truck, the pain began to resolve. Recently I began to experience it again because I was leaning on a counter top at work. This time around it took only a couple of days for me to recognize what I was doing. I stopped the leaning and the pain resolved within days. What a relief. I do not live a sedentary lifestyle. I’m not saying that it can’t be caused by that, but I would prefer to seek other causes. Plus, it’s very hard to stop having a sedentary job, if that’s what you’re trained to do! Much easier to change jogging shoes, or alter a behavior. But if you’re sitting a lot, remember to sit like a man, get in and out of chairs like a man, and go up and down stairs the same way. You could try a standing desk. Many employers are providing those for their employees.
      You’re going through a lot of treatment modalities which may or may not result in improvement. I hope my expectation that most of the time greater trochanteric bursitis resolved spontaneously, plays out for you. Unfortunately I can’t predict when that will occur in your case.

  24. Rach

    Thank you Dr. Barbara for your swift response, and suggestions for sitting. I expected you to comment on the training programs that I was involved in as many people do get injured when they do such intense sport activities. However I am always one to go against the grain, and as such wanted to suggest that in my case and possibly in others that it is the sitting that has caused it as it is the only variable which has changed. Also sitting causes a multitude of other conditions (back problems, muscle wastage, weight gain to name but a few), some of which can be contributory factors to bursitis.
    No one can predict what is going to happen as you say, the main aim here was to give people some support and to suggest another perspective and possible alternative solutions for this condition.
    Be Well

    1. Barbara

      I appreciate your comments, and I’ll be the first to say that just about anything can cause this ridiculous condition! When we begin to experience pain related to repetitive activities, it’s always a good idea to quickly begin assessing the activities which seem to aggravate it, and start making changes as soon as you recognize what it is that makes it worse!

  25. Chris Noah-Cooper

    My PT gal said about seventy-five per cent of her bursitis patients are found to have either lower back or gluteus medius issues, not just bursitis. After being treated for bursitis for a few months now I am getting an evaluation for a possible gluteus medius tear, which would probably mean surgery. And thus the beat goes on …

    1. Barbara

      Chris,
      In my experience, the incidence of gluteus medius tendinopathy as a source of greater trochanteric pain, has not been that high. Rarely, when under the care of orthopedists are spinal sources of pain confused with bursitis or gluteal sources of pain. It’s relatively easy to differentiate these two conditions, however, it is incumbent upon us to make sure of that. When patients don’t respond at all to treatment directed toward GTB, then further workup and consideration of other sources of pain is warranted, especially before considering surgery. Frankly, I think I’d prefer to have a herniated disc to having recalcitrant GTB! There is one clear sign. If you are tender directly over the greater trochanter…then you have GTB. That doesn’t exclude other conditions, but people with sciatica and herniated discs are not tender over the greater trochanter…unless they are also plagued simultaneously with GTB! That’s not uncommon because once you start limping…for whatever reason…you are also likely to get GTB! Ughhh.

      Surgery for gluteal tendinopathy is not for everyone, and may not give predictable relief of the pain. I haven’t seen much success with that surgery in older women, and most surgeons are reluctant to do surgery for gluteal tendinopathy in older women. Frankly, and unfortunately that is the largest population of patients to suffer from this condition. And I couldn’t have said it better than you did. “The beat does go on,” because this condition is benign and won’t kill you. It usually, eventually resolves spontaneously, even though while you suffer from it, you might wish you were dead.

      I know you’ve already read my recommendation to sit like a man. One other thing. I would have to say that most (but not all) of the women who suffer from this disease are overweight. Obesity results in gait alterations; pushing the thighs apart and forcing a more wide based gait, increasing pronation in the foot, and thereby increasing the stresses to the gluteal tendon and the iliotibial band. Obesity is a complex issue and weight loss is not easy. Needless to say, I don’t know if this applies to you, but if a person were overweight, then weight loss would be an integral part of a program to diminish the propensity toward recalcitrant GTB.

  26. Cathy

    Do you have any information on bursitis and hot tubs? I have gone in a hot tub a few times after I have done some strenuous walking, so I can’t figure out if it is the walking or the hot tub that is the problem. Should hot tubs be avoided with hip bursitis?

  27. jyoti

    Hi

    I am having pain in outer side of my left thigh. Doctor told me it is burstitis pain. I have problem while walking, can’t sit cross legs and worst is limping while walking. Pain is very less when I take medicine. I took physiotherapy also for 15 days but no relief. Should I go for steriod?

    1. Barbara

      Jyoti,
      Join this club of gals with GTB (those who have had it, currently have it and those who are destined to suffer it someday)! Sorry…wish it were a book club. Of course you can try shots. Occasionally my patients get complete relief from them. But usually they only get partial relief or short term relief. Nonetheless, it’s probably worth a shot (pun intended). The good news about the injections, is that other than the transient discomfort of getting an injection, there really is no down side to taking them. The steroid goes into a bursa. Very little is absorbed systemically, and it can’t really have a detrimental effect. I’ve never seen anyone get worse as a result of these shots. I have many patients who come in several times for injections, because that’s all that works for them. Of course I’m going to counsel you to do the stretches and modify activities as I’ve mentioned on my blog. I’m going to encourage you to Sit Like A Man forever! But if you feel you’ve reached the end of your rope…try the shots.

  28. Judy Sturgess

    I’ve had a pain in left buttock for nine years. Feels like a red-hot piece of charcoal, increasing, decreasing in heat. For five years, doctor said it was my back. Two years ago an ortho surgeon said Trochanteric hip bursitis. While the lateral side does hurt some, the major pain is at the very top inside part of my leg whenever I lift, swivel, raise my leg. Occasionally the hip feels like it will give out, but doesn’t. I’ve had injections, PT (for this pain, but diagnosed as back), steroid pack (lasted two months), exercises. Doc said the pain is caused by iliopsoas bursitis. It has caused considerable pain and a drastic reduction of mobility and I want it GONE. Any ideas other than what your blog has recorded? .

    1. Barbara

      Judy,
      I’m sure you’re very frustrated with this. Unfortunately your history/description is a little too complicated for me to give you an answer to your problem. If you’ve read my blog and all my responses, then you know there’s probably not much more I can offer. I will say this, that buttock pain is not greater trochanteric pain. GTB is specifically a pain on the lateral side of the hip, overlying that prominent bone that protrudes on the outside of the hip. There are some more remote bursas surrounding the hip which can cause pain slightly posterior to the greater trochanter, but they’re equally difficult to treat. Further back in the buttock is the piriformis tendon, which can cause sciatic-like symptoms because of its proximity to that structure. But as you go on with your description, it starts sounding more like a pain in the groin. Perhaps I’m mistaken in my interpretation of your description. But one of your doctors diagnosed it as iliopsoas bursitis, and that’s also a condition which usually results in pain in the groin. Frankly, none of these conditions are easy to treat, and having them completely resolve is looking less and less likely.
      I’m assuming you’ve had an MRI or a bone scan to rule out stress fractures, etc.

      I really can’t give you any additional advice, other than to please, please sit like a man. All of these conditions, with the exception of sciatica related to a back condition, are almost exclusively conditions seen in women. You have to come to the conclusion that we must have some anatomical or mechanical predisposition to suffering these conditions. We can’t do anything about the way we’re put together, but we can do something about the way we move, and sitting like a man is my push for that “something.” I can’t tell you how many of my patients are doing this and gradually recovering from conditions such as greater trochanteric bursitis, piriformis syndrome, iliopsoas tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, and patellar malalignment. It’s not a panacea, but it’s just better for you to do this. Assuming you’re an adult, then you’ve been sitting lady-like for many years. It could take years to turn it around.
      Now, since I’m a licensed professional, I have to give you a disclaimer of sorts. You need to keep seeing the doctors who are treating you in your community, and follow their recommendations. My sit like a man program is just a suggestion, and is not meant to replace the recommendations of the doctors who are treating you. I wish I could be of more help to you.

      1. Judy Sturgess

        Thanks so much; I’m sure I was misdiagnosed nine years ago; same pain (in left buttock) then as now, but was said to be lower back problem. While the left Trochanter area is somewhat tender, the primary pain is in the left butt. The groin pain is separate, began just a year ago and is quite severe. When it began, I could hear a clicking sound immediately before the pain struck. I’m 74 and have been very active until this past year. Yes, I’ll sit like a man, be faithful to my exercises, and hope for the best. At my age, I don’t have time to lose! I truly appreciate your feedback.

  29. Pat

    Hello. Thank you for your suggestions. I’ve been on a five-prong plan, and I think its working. I drove a Honda del Sol for about 20 years, and I’m certain that is one of the reasons I have this ailment. A wonderful car but you have to “scoop” to get in, and the bottom of the door is about one foot from the street, or less, so you really have to put a lot of pressure on your body to get in and out several times a day. I’m selling the car and have bought a taller one.

    I also spent 15 years sitting at a desk, but not “like a man”. And I didn’t ever take five minute walks during my breaks! How stupid is that?

    I also have lost weight by cutting all my meals in half and making them very tasty, but most important, I cut dinner down to almost nothing! Two or three forkfuls. It’s not that difficult, and you don’t miss the food if you’re asleep.

    Finally, I gave up exercise – just for a while! I used to get a shot, then exercise the next day. I think the bursa get irritated and need a rest.

    I started this plan about three months ago. It’s so pleasant and peaceful! Taking it easy is really nice. I plan to go back to exercise in about two more months. Anyway, that’s my approach, and I feel like its working! I already walk much better, most of the time without limping! I think it takes a combination of habits to get the way we are, and a combination of different habits to wind it back to the way we were.

    1. Barbara

      Pat,
      This is excellent information. When I get back to blogging again, I’m going to do one on cars. That was an experience I had as well. I drove a small car during the week to save money, use less fuel and it was easier to park. I drove my truck on the weekends. I noticed that on the weekends my bursitis got better. Got rid of the car. It’s not just the height. It’s also the small bucket-like seats. They tend to roll the hips inward…putting more stress on the iliotibial band and therefore the greater trochanteric bursa.

      We should only walk a natural slow pace when we exercise. I tell my patients to walk at about the pace you would use to get across a parking lot. Fast and power walking result in more mechanical problems.

      You’re on the right track. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Dottie

    I feel fortunate to discover your blog. My problem began last Aug. I would have a slight jolt that went to my b you’re left thigh. It would be weak for about 5 minutes after. Certain twist I would do trekked it! Saw my doctor in Oct since I was on vacation. He thought sciatica. Physical therapy treatments 3 times a week 14 sessions. Hard heat and trends after exercises. Finished therapy with home exercises. Plan was 2 times a day. I was also doing these on days not going for Therapy. Exercises took at least 1-1.5 hours to complete. After 2 weeks of this everyday my left hip began hurting. I stopped the exercises. Sent to orthopedic surgeon. Had Xray then MRI because of persistent pain in hip and lateral side of my upper leg. MRI confirmed trochanteric bursitis. Exercises stopped. Another therapist group. Ultrasound and heat for 4 sessions then added 30 minutes pool exercises three times a week. Went for 23 sessions total. Therapist saw no great improvement. During this time I had total of 3 steroid shots left hip. Also right hip began and is still showing same symptoms! Therapist said might be some back issue. Presently not able to see primary doctor took April 8. Using heat and typical pain compounded cream. Helps a little. I’m 73. I do have osteoarthritis. I started out with a twinge of pain in August 2014 now debilitated , using a cane, take occasional Aspirin at night. Rarely an Ultram. I also use a cane when outside of my home. I would v rather deal with kidney stones than this problem. Any suggestions for my recovery? I know without a doubt the first therapy exercises with repetitive motions must have triggered this awful problem.

    1. Barbara

      Dottie,
      This is a lot of information, and I’m assuming you aren’t expecting a consultation from me, because I can’t do that. You’re too far away and it’s too complicated at this point. I can only make a few comments for your consideration. Firstly, it is rare to see GTB in someone your age. But when I have seen it, it is often a secondary problem to some other source of pain resulting in a gait disturbance. I’m sure your physician/orthopedic surgeon has investigated other possible sources including arthritis of the hip, and back problems. If you have osteoarthritis of your hip, sometimes a hip replacement takes care of that bursal pain. Needless to say, one would not have a hip replacement for “bursitis,” but if the bursitis was due to the arthritis, then that certainly would be an option. Same goes for the back, or even an ingrown toenail for that matter. As I’ve said in previous emails, even the slight gait alteration from an ingrown toenail can result in GTB in a woman!
      I’m becoming a broken record, but still…try to identify the activities which seem to trigger the pain…and if you can…stop doing them. A particular car seat contributed to mine, and I got rid of the car. The way I was standing in my office contributed to the pain, and I stopped the behavior. The pain got better. But if it’s coming from some other physical issue, you must address that first.

  31. Rosie

    Just want to share what has worked for me. I had 3 episodes of bursitis last year. Three episodes within about a 6 month time frame. I was in such pain I would have tried anything. The first time I had it the doctor prescribed an anti inflammatory that worked. It did take some time however. The next two times nothing worked and I was scheduled for a steroid injection but by that time the pain had gone away. Finally last fall when I saw my regular primary care provider, she saw on my chart that I had been to immediate care 3 times for this. She told me that I could go a long way to preventing this by doing some simple stretches specifically for bursitis. She gave me the printout and I do these stretches every day without fail… sometimes more than once. Knock on wood, but so far they have worked. Also she told me NO treadmill! She recommended swimming, yoga or pilates. I am able to walk outside with my dog without a problem.

    And Dr. Berlin, I try to sit like a man whenever I can and also got a new mattress. All of this has helped me a lot.

    1. Barbara

      Rosie,
      This is all very helpful. It takes patience and nothing complicated to get through this. It’s hard to accept sometimes. Sometimes our expectations are that everything can be cured…yesterday. What works for some might not work for another. I appreciate what your doctor had to say about treadmills! I’m going to blog on that sometime. I’ll say a little about it now. I have a treadmill and it’s my preferred form of exercise when I can’t go outside to walk. And trust me, even though in Texas we don’t get much bad winter weather or rain, sometimes it’s way too hot to exercise outdoors. Treadmills and stationary bikes are essential. But they’re not without their potential for contributing to injury. I’m not talking about taking a bad step and getting shot out the back end either! My patients are often driven to try to make the most of a 30 minute session, pushing the limits with speed and elevation. This is a recipe for repetitive strain disorders from the shoulder and elbow, down to the toenails. Remember firstly that treadmill walking is not natural walking. Then note that I’m not a big fan of power walking because of the stresses it puts on many areas of our bodies. I prefer a moderate paced walk on the first level of inclination. This is most similar to natural human walking, and least likely to result in injury. If you’re a walker, try to walk on a track or flat surface. I thank your docs for giving you good tips for this frustrating condition, and thank you for sharing, and giving me the reminder to talk about treadmill walking!

  32. Barbara Bergin

    Okay, you’ve challenged me to the limit of my expertise. I have a home exercise program handout for iliotibial band stretches which I give to my patients suffering from greater trochanteric bursitis. I have it in my Dropbox files, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to put it on this reply in WordPress. You can:
    1) go on the internet and look up iliotibial band stretches, or…
    2) tell me how to publish it on this reply form, or…
    3) wait until next week when I get someone at the office to tell me how to do it…ugh…this is soooo frustrating. Just when I think I’m really smart, I realize just how dumb I am. It’s probably something easy, involving two clicks…followed by someone smiling kindly at me and saying “if you need any more help, Dr. Bergin, just let me know…”

  33. Tracy M

    Dr. Bergin:

    Your advice has been a real eye-opener on a number of issues for me. I stumbled across your site “googling” about bursitis and read and learned about all kinds of stuff. Totally made an impact my perspective on the ailments I have had and how to be more proactive about preventing them now that I am getting older.

    Thank you for the time you have devoted to this blog. 😉

    1. Barbara

      Tracy,
      Glad you found my blog. I haven’t been as attentive to it as I should be. I plan to pick it back up in a couple of months. Just can’t devote the time I need to right now. I especially plan to resume my “RESPECT” blog series. I started it last year and have lots of other things we need to respect in order to save our bodies. Keep an eye out for those blogs. Hope you’re a subscriber. Get your friends to subscribe too. The more subscribers, the more the public gets to read. Thanks for the props.

  34. Dottie

    Thank you so much for your reply Dr. Bergin. No one had addressed my gait problem but I’ve volunteered that I had a hard fall landing on my right knee on cement patio years ago. Since then I cannot straighten the knee totally like my left one. I appreciate your answer. Sounds like I need that looked at. Podiatrist, ortho and therapist have not seemed concerned! Thinking I need a new pair of Asiacs 21 and a trip to Good Feet Store! Again thanks for the reply. The new mattress is definitely on my shopping list this next week! Now that some of the pain is subsiding and I can try out mattresses without hurting too badly! Bless you. Love your blog. And this isn’t a consult. My 43 years in anesthesia have been hard on my body. Nurses always sport a bad back as we age.

  35. Dottie

    My apologies for the typos in my original comment. I use my cellphone and it uses its brain to override mine! I am just down the road from you! Alamo and Riverwalk turf.
    Again thanks for getting me thinking along the right track. I am thinking suggested pain clinic can wait.

  36. Pat

    I stumbled on a carpet (big toe went under) about 10 years ago which resulted in a Morton’s Neuroma. It hurt so much! Went to podiatrists, but they mainly wanted to operate to take the damaged nerve in my foot out. I didn’t want to. I finally found a podiatrist who would give me alcohol shots in my foot to kill the nerve, so I did that. It helped, but it didn’t cure it. Still lots of pain and limping.

    Finally, I was diagnosed with Bursitis, but the doctors could not cure that either. They only gave me aspirin or some other painkiller. During the many hours of sitting by myself analyzing my situation, I realized there must be a connection between my limping (about five years by now) and the bursitis! But it’s difficult to get to this conclusion by yourself, since you don’t have any support. Friends would give me a blank stare whenever I mentioned “gait.” “That’s for animals, isn’t it?” they would say. Doctors would give me a little smile.

    I was always getting exercise during these years. Water aerobics, which isn’t even very strenuous. I was also getting steroid shots every two months, but they wouldn’t last, so I began to think possibly the exercise wasn’t a good idea at that time. That was about two months ago. I gave it up and take it easy now. Of course, I plan to pick up the exercise again in the future!

    I use one of those Egg callous remover things on the Neuroma, and it removes almost all of the callous that forms from time to time, which is what makes me limp. I read somewhere that the bursa sacs get infected or at least irritated when you exercise and it’s better to let them heal — but that’s just another theory.

  37. drbarbarabergin

    Personally and professionally, I think greater trochanteric bursitis is ALL about the gait…and about abnormalities in our gait. But the feminine gait, combined with the feminine habitus also makes us more susceptible to gait disturbances and therefore to the GTB. So you’re spot on with your assessment.
    EVERYTHING IN MODERATION, including exercise. Too much exercise, and especially too much of the wrong exercise, can cause all sorts of repetitive strain disorders…like GTB. So be gentle with your body when you resume exercising. Just FYI…I like moderate paced walking…with good shoes…on a flat surface.
    Regarding your foot, callouses are not always just a thickening of the skin on the bottom of the foot. They are often due to some underlying pathology, like a ruptured volar plate, resulting in a hammer toe like deformity. If it remains painful, you might get an orthopedic surgeon to take a look (maybe a foot and ankle specialist).

  38. Steve

    I am getting old, 66 years old, always been in good shape. Anyway my right hip started hurting a coupe of week ago, mostly while sleeping, after a couple of hours, I would roll over to left side, then it would hurt after a couple of hours. I walk a lot, and up and down stairs at work, and I mow. No pain with any of these activities, just pain while while sleeping. After a week or so, my left hip felt good.

    I have tried various web sites and done some of the exercises, never felt any pain. Last night I stumbled onto your site.

    I tried the Wall Stretch, couldn’t feel anything. Then I tried the Bed Stretch 1 and my and right hip felt tight, not really a pain and I held it for a long time. Did several reps and it was still very tight. My left hip felt good. I tried the other exercises, no pain or tightness in either hip. A couple hours later, just before going to bed, I tried the Bed Stretch 1 again. However this time there was no tightness. Tried it this morning early before work, again, no tightness or pain. Only worked half a day, when I got home, tried it again, again no tightness. Its almost like the one exercise released something.

    I am praying that this holds up. I will continue to do the stretch every day. It is so easy to do. It is weird to me that only this exercise seemed to work for me. I guess that is why you have different stretches, different ones must work different in different cases. I gave some people at work that were having hip pains, these stretches, I told them of the warnings you posted and to take it slow.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for posting these stretches. Like I said, the Bed Stretch 1, seemed to work very well for me, so far.

    1. Barbara

      Steve,
      It’s unusual for guys to get hip bursitis, so in a man I always try to be certain that “bursitis” is the correct diagnosis. I can’t do it by taking a history alone. Only by doing a physical exam. I want to make sure it’s not something else, like sciatica or a bone condition.
      I’m glad the stretches are helping you. Personally, when I have a pain, I always try conservative treatment first. I don’t jump to getting an X-ray first thing…unless something has been injured, is deformed or sticking out of my skin. That being said, I certainly can’t make a blanket protocol like that for treating my actual patients, and it goes double for those of you reading my blog. Common sense would have it however, that it’s unlikely a stretch would help a broken bone, an infection or a tumor.
      I’m glad they’re helping you. If the pain comes back, you should seek consultation with your primary care doc or a specialist. Always try to figure out what might have caused this in the first place. It’s often difficult with bursitis, because just living a long time can do it. But sometimes, if we pay attention, we can figure out some new activity, or some increase or change in an activity, which might have lead to the onset of symptoms. Then we can modify that activity and start the healing process.

      1. Steve

        Thanks, I had recently played some golf, after a 2 year absence, and I did have some lower back pain. I have always done ham string stretches every morning, since I had lower back pain years ago, for that, and it always seems to work. I added your exercise to my morning and evening stretch routine. It is a great stretch. I just never knew sciatica pains could be in the hip. I will go to doctor, if the pain comes back.

  39. Gale

    Hello Dr. Berlin,

    Thank you for this public service. I’m a 58 year old inactive female and I’m so far self-diagnosing a bout with hip bursitis. It has been going on for about 5 days now -although the pain comes on only at bedtime and almost instantly upon climbing in bed. It started as is sharp pain when shifting position, but now as the week is progressing it seems to be spreading and somewhat throbbing pain? In the morning, very hard and painful to stand up. Pain seems deep within and it doesn’t hurt to touch the outside hip area, although it seems kind of numb and the pain radiates into mostly the buttock.

    I think I had bouts of this about a year ago too but not as bad. At the time I wondered if it could be triggered by getting in and out of my PT Cruiser while going to multiple garage sales for a morning into afternoon. Could it be as simple as that? This time around, A couple days before this bout, I had an all-day garage sale spree.

    Also, I took a fall on an icy sidewalk about a month ago, but as near as I can remember (funny how fast those things happen!) I landed mostly on my knee on the opposite side of my current hip problem.

    Should I try my regular MD first or go directly to a specialist? I have a high deductible health plan so Il. Have to pay out of pocket for a while.

    Thank you!

    1. Barbara

      Gale,
      This doesn’t sound like straight-up hip bursitis, and yes, I do recommend you see someone about it. Parts of your history and symptoms can certainly be consistent with bursitis, but it can also be consistent with sciatica, an issue related to your back. The fact that you’re not directly tender over the outside of your hip (over the greater trochanter) speaks to the probability that it’s not bursitis. However sometimes I have patients who say they’re not tender, but when I press that area, they automatically say that reproduces their pain. Nevertheless I think you should first see your primary care physician, unless he or she prefers that you see specialists for more specific complaints. If that is the case, then you should see an orthopedic surgeon (they don’t just do surgery on everything), or a physiatrist.
      Changes is activities, inactivity, aging, the way you get in and out of cars, as well as many other things, can result in hip bursitis and sciatica.

      1. Gale

        Thank you Dr. Bergin for your reply and insights.

        Miraculously (and I do thank God), my hip pain was totally gone this morning. Quite the contrast from yesterday when I was planning on buying a walker or cane or something to have by my bed in the morning to help me get up! I also took Ibuprofen yesterday after my sister told me Tylenol wouldn’t do it. Guess I just don’t know very much about pain meds 😉

        I think I will still go to the Doctor as you suggested just so she can take a look at things. Again, I really appreciate your input.

        Thanks.

        Gale

  40. Chris Noah-Cooper

    Thought I did have hip bursitis, but this contention dispelled by recent MRI – absolutely is a labral tear inside my right hip joint. Other muscle/tendon tears associated with my ridiculous accident long since healed. The pain has been persistent and debilitating. Surgery scheduled for June 9. I pray for a rapid, uneventful recovery; it’s been quite enough.

    I certainly do appreciate your remarks and helpfulness. You provide a wonderful, heartfelt service. Wish there were more doctors like you.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  41. Margaret Tuohy

    Hi Dr Bergen

    What a relief to come across your website, I’m 77, have had TB For 5 months but only went to see my GP three weeks ago (didn’t want to be a nuisance, how silly!). I was referred for physiotherapy and have just had a cortisone injection but have not had much relief from it. However, it has been only 5 day so I’ll give it a further two weeks and in the meantime will do the exercises you recommend. And I will sit like a man! – what a revelation that was, I had never given any thought to how from childhood girls are told it is ‘feminine’ to keep their legs together, what a sense of freedom! Thank you for making me realise that TB is manageable, I was beginning to despair. Margaret (London)

    1. Barbara

      Margaret,
      Hello across the pond. I’m a major Anglophile and British naval history buff. We call my study the Boat Room; complete with antique etchings of Nelson at Trafalgar and an English bosun’s whistle. Oops, I don’t want to scare off any Frogs who might be reading my blog. So glad my blog is getting out there, and hopefully I’m helping ladies around the world recover from and have some peace with their greater trochanteric bursitis.
      Hope you’re reading other parts of my blog. Check out the series on Fall Prevention. Those of us over 60 are at risk for wrist, shoulder and hip fractures if we hit the turf.

      1. Margaret Tuohy

        Hi Dr Bergen

        A quick update. It is now a month since I received the cortisone injection, and I’m delighted to say that my hip pain has gone! However, It took about two-and-a-half to three weeks before I began to notice an improvement, and during that time I made sure not to do anything that might aggravate the hip (not that I could’ve!). I am doing the exercises recommended by the physio.

        I’m aware that it may recur, ???? but for the moment I’m just wallowing in the sensation of being pain-free.

        Thanks for your great site. Margaret (London)

        1. Barbara

          Margaret,
          Enjoy your pain-free status, but in your bliss, don’t forget the program: modify activities, stretch and sit-like-a-man. Often the problem with cortisone injections is that people forget the basic principles and go back to business-as-usual. Then the shot “wears off” and you’re back to having pain again. Especially continue to sit like a man. And speaking of sitting like a man: or “manspreading,” as they call it in NYC. This has become a problem on overcrowded subways. Men sitting with legs akimbo is intimidating and it takes up extra space in subways. In those instances I guess I would have to discourage sitting like a man…even for gals.

  42. Donna Amis Davis

    Dear Dr. Bergen,

    Wow! Thank you so much for this site. I was awake in the early morning hours this morning, couldn’t sleep because of the pain in my hips when laying on my side, and then achy back from laying on my back. Decided to google ‘best mattress for hip bursitis’ and landed here. I’ve been reading your posts on the subject and now am working through your back and forth comments and I’ve learned so much!

    I’ve had this condition for maybe a year and a half now, and it gets better and worse again. I’m 61 and have wide hip bones. I already have the memory foam mattress topper. So now that I’ve read about activity modification, I maybe can narrow down what exacerbates the pain. Yesterday our family went to a wonderful outdoor concert in our local park. So much fun! BUT I was sitting in a very low beach chair, part of the time with my big four-year-old granddaughter on my lap, bouncing her to the music. That probably really strained that iliotibial band. Still feeling the hip pain today – usually it is just at night laying on my side.

    Again, thank you. I will be trying your exercise recommendations next.

    1. Barbara

      Donna,
      Thanks so much for reading my blog and for really taking it all in! Yes, yes, yes on the activity modifications and on paying attention to what hurts. I got some throw away magazine the other day. There was an article in it about being-in-the-moment with your pain. At first I thought “blah, blah, blah,” and I was just going to toss it, but I read on and it spoke to me a little. Some of it kind of sounded like meditation, but the in-the-moment thing made some sense. Appreciate the moments when you are pain free. These are the things you can do! But then when you are in pain, think about what you’re doing. Why is it hurting? Is there a pattern? Is it a pattern you can alter or break?
      The article talked about how we tend to agonize over the pain of the past and worry about the pain of the future. There is an old Chinese proverb (Lao Tzu) about this:
      “If you are depressed you are living in the past.
      If you are anxious you are living in the future.
      If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

      And it kind of applies to pain as well. So in your case, as you recognized that sitting in that type of chair was uncomfortable, you can now eliminate a pain generator from your life. You don’t NEED to sit in that type of chair, and in fact when you sit in something down low like that, you are kind of dragging your ITB across that greater trochanter. And then to add insult to injury, you have to do a squat to get out of the doggone thing!
      I think you’re on track to wellness. Hang in there, and thanks for reading my blog! I hope you’ll pass it on!

  43. Amanda

    Hi Dr Bergen,

    I have had pain down the outside of both of my thighs for almost a year. It seems to start a little below my hip and run all the way down to my knee. I’ve been to a primary care doctor and a neurologist who haven’t been able to find anything wrong. I’ve had 2 kids in the last 2.5 years and i’m not pregnant with my third. Both doctors have told me hormonal changes, lifting kids, and stress/anxiety. The pain is all the time, usually making my legs feel tired and weak. Sometimes i have twitching, especially after working out. I usually walk or use the elliptical 5-6 days a week. I also do squats and lunges. The pain seems to be worse at night making it sometimes impossible for me to not move my legs. The only thing that helps is massaging the area or using a foam roller. The foam roller works at first but seems to leave me tender the next day. The pain also doesn’t go away when i’m resting. Walking sometimes seems to be better. Although my doctors have said it doesn’t seem to be anything to be concerned about the pain has become really consuming. Any insight into what this could be. After numerous hours googling i suspected hip bursitis or illateral band syndrome.
    Thank you

    1. Barbara

      Amanda,
      I’m sorry you’re having this kind of pain. I really can’t help you much with it because it’s pretty complicated and too hard to analyze over the internet. My eyes honed in on one thing though…the squats. If you’ve read some of my comments and my blog, you know I’m ANTI-SQUATS. They’re bad for your knees, so I would start out by stopping the squats. I won’t go wrong telling you that. Now whether or not that’s going to help your leg pain, I can’t say. Best to you on trying to find out what’s going on.

  44. Stephanie

    I am here, another person with hip bursitis. My story begins about four years ago. yes, on and off for four years. For the first year or two I neglected getting treatment for it, due to anxiety about going to the doctor and the cost of physical therapy, and that it would come and go. Then I went to the doctor and at least I got a diagnosis, a tight Iliotibial band from running, and I went to physical therapy. At first physical therapy seemed to make pain worse but I stuck with it for a few months and it did seem to make me stronger so I hoped that the pain would go and the pain seemed to be moving, over to the muscles I was working out, and away from my hip but I am not sure. I also have pain in my butt, the physical therapist would put pressure on my piriformus I think where it was tender to try to massage it out. anyway, I sort of stopped going due to financial concerns but planned to continue the exercises. I did not always continue them. My pain is on and off, like I have to be careful never to sleep on my left side. it is sometimes a burden. thanks for your blog for us out here dealing with this.

  45. Susie

    Hello Dr. Bergin,

    Thank you for this website! I googled lateral hip pain and followed many crumbs on a trail that led me here. I appreciate that you take the time to answer everyone’s questions.

    I have had an acute onset of lateral hip pain on my left hip in May. I’m pretty sure I know exactly how I did it (in yoga class, pushing myself too far on a hip exercise that I knew was beyond my capabilities). I have been to a few doctors. The first took xrays and said that my hip conformation predisposes me to impingement and sent me to PT. PT helped a bit but I gave up on my physical activity of riding horses for the duration and once I was done with PT and went back to riding, my hip pain returned.

    I went to a different ortho who is a hip specialist and he said he didn’t see anything in my xrays that look indicative of a skeletal problem (other than the hip angles) and did various movement tests to see what he could come up with. He suggested an IA hip injection to rule in or out the hip as the cause of my pain (I have chronic back pain but no hip pain like this until now). I considered it but declined because my gut tells me that the problem isn’t in the joint.

    I went for back xrays last week (chronic back pain – different doctor) and the result was an old compression fracture at T12. But again, my gut is telling me that this isn’t referred pain from my back – this is an acute onset and unique “injury.”

    When I don’t ride, my hip doesn’t really hurt that much. When I do ride, it hurts a lot. I think I had a hard time giving the second (hip) doctor an accurate description of my pain because I had stopped riding so didn’t feel so bad at the moment. Yesterday I rode and I am in a lot of pain today. I sent the doctor’s office an email to let them know my pain is lateral and doesn’t feel like it is in the joint.

    I have a couple of questions:

    1) Do you see a lot of riders with this pain? Will I be able to get back in the saddle? Do you suggest any specific exercises for riders? How long should I not ride for while I recuperate?

    2) The PT thought it would help if I could improve my gluteal strength and get my glutes to fire appropriately. I have since started seeing a personal trainer. With this type of bursitis, is it okay to do glute-strengthening exercises and abduction exercises? As a rider, my adductors are probably disproportionately stronger than my abductors.

    The pain is such that I have a hard time sleeping (hence my email at almost midnight). Sitting hurts, crossing my legs hurts, lying on my left side hurts, using that leg while riding hurts. Pretty much it hurts!

    If it will get better with rest and appropriate exercises and an injection, then I will put riding on hold for a few months. I generally try to tough it out, but that doesn’t seem to be doing me any good with this issue!

    Thank you!

    1. Barbara

      Susie,
      I do like to try to answer many of these comments regarding hip bursitis, but frankly if it gets too complicated, I just can’t do it. I’ll give it a brief try.
      1) Don’t see many riders with it, and in fact I am a competitive rider. Hip abduction actually relaxes the iliotibial band, so it seems that this bodes well for riders. If it truly is greater trochanteric bursitis, then ITB stretches, and my Sit Like A Man program should help. In time it will get better. 99% of the cases of hip bursitis, in my experience, eventually resolve. Hang in there if its GTB. Gotta make sure of that diagnosis though.
      2) Eccentric gluteal strengthening is one effective exercise regimen for hip bursitis and gluteal tendonitis. In my experience, there aren’t many exercise programs which work. Activity modifications, Sit Like A Man, and occasional cortisone injections are the most effective. When I had it, I modified everything that hurt (including the sale of a car I associated with increase pain), and sat like a man. It took about 9 months for it to go away.
      Again…make SURE it’s greater trochanteric bursitis.

  46. Jacqui Cunningham

    In 2012 I was diagnosed with greater trochanteric bursitis on my right hip. I was given a cortisone injection which seemed to help immediately. However is also suffering from severe back pain and being treated for a prolapse however it was finally diagnosed some seven months later as a cyst in my spine which was removed some eight months later. Recently I’ve had the same hip pain in my right hip and again bursitis was diagnosed. By this time my husband had put me onto his health care and I was seen very quickly. However after the MRI out turns out I don’t have a bursitis in either hip and the consultant has no idea what is causing the pain. I’m having physio but at the moment even that’s not helping. Any ideas what else may be causing the pain that all the GPs and consultants initially think is bursitis?

    1. Barbara

      Jacqui,
      I could swear I had already answered your comment, but it looks like I didn’t. I probably did a Word document, and then forgot to post it. Anyway, sorry about that. I rarely order MRIs to document the presence or absence of GTB. That’s because I often see false positives (MRIs that show hip bursitis in people who have no pain), and false negatives (normal MRIs in people with classic lateral hip pain and tenderness). So if you have lateral hip pain, as I have described on my blog and you’re tender right over that bone on the outside of your hip, then you have bursitis. That doesn’t mean you don’t have something else. In other words, having hip bursitis doesn’t mean you can’t have hip arthritis (groin pain and anterior thigh pain), or sciatica (buttock and posterior thigh pain) too. The only other common condition to cause lateral hip pain is gluteal tendonitis. But that usually will show up on an MRI. I have a lot of female patients with generalized lateral hip pain ABOVE the greater trochanter, like in the area of the gluteal and tensor fascia lata muscles https://www.google.com/search?q=gluteal+muscles&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=955&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMItLOggunKxwIVAc6ACh2QGwSU#imgrc=2W7MbQqmkUmP7M%3A. Check out that picture to see where I’m talking about. It’s hard to figure out why women have pain there, but they do with regularity. I usually order physical therapy for it, but often it doesn’t do much good. Hope you don’t have that pain. No shots or pills for that. It’s straight up some kind of mechanical pain and hard to eradicate.

  47. Emily

    Hi there, I’m 26 and gave both to my second on in Dec 2013 and in April I was diagnosed with bilateral trochanteric bursitis ? it was an awful pain, I ended up on slow release morphine tablets and oramorph. I struggled standing up and walking. It was bearable when I woke up in the morning and then by 3-4pm it became unbearable. I work in a job where i have to be able to defend myself, I couldn’t do that and I couldn’t climb my stairs to get my wee boy. It was the most depressing situation I’ve ever been in. ? I then got steroid injections as an emergency measure to relieve some of he pain. It worked abs it’s been great since, but in the last 3 or 4 days I’ve been feeling an awful lot of pain in both my hips again and I’m worrying, not sleeping at night with how sore it is. I don’t know if I can handle the same pain as last time. Any advice is great fully received thank you x

    1. Barbara

      Emily,
      That was a curious typo, and certainly had me mystified…until I got your correction! Now that made sense. I will have to refer you to my many comments, so hopefully you can glean something from them. I’ve pretty much told everything I know about greater trochanteric bursitis on my blog and in my comments. All that being said, I would encourage you to continue to seek additional information regarding the cause of your pain, should it come back in its’ previous intensity. It is so rare to require high level narcotics in the treatment of simple bursitis. Please, please stay off those medications. They do nothing for the condition. They only block the pain in your head. I’m glad you got better after the last injections. If it truly is bursitis, as I’ve said many times before, there is really no downside to the occasional cortisone injection for treatment of this disorder. But again, I encourage you to consider other sources of pain, such as the spine, when the level of pain is severe enough to require those strong narcotics. Take care. I’m hoping you get better.

  48. Ana Carreira

    Good morning,

    I’ve had bursitis for 1 1/2 now and it’s on both hips. I just had cortisone injections on both sides recently. It’ s been about 4 days since the injections and I cannot sleep on my sides. Will I be able to sleep on my sides. Is this normal or is the healing process going to take a little longer?

    Looking forward to your response.
    Kind regards,

    1. Barbara

      Ana,
      If the inability to sleep on your sides has developed SINCE the injections, I’m sure that will get better soon. I’m a little delayed on responding to your comment, so it might be better already. However, if that pain has been there since you developed greater trochanteric bursitis (GTB), then hopefully in time, it will resolve. If the injections work, it will resolve.
      That being said, shots don’t always work. And sometimes they only work temporarily. Let’s say your pain gets better, but then comes back in a month. Then I’d go back to your doctor and get another shot. I might do that a few more times, if it continues to help, hoping that eventually you will beat that bursitis into submission!
      Now, I wouldn’t rely solely on those shots. In my experience, they only work temporarily in the majority of cases. I have a few patients in whom the shots result in complete resolution of the pain! I love that. It’s a helluva lot easier than trying to modify activities that result in pain, and trying to force yourself to sit like a man. But that’s usually what works for my patients. If you’ve read any of my blog and these comments you know that you must identify the activities which result in pain, and change how you do them…or eliminate them. If you TRULY have GTB, you also need to remember that it is a benign, painful condition…so you can also live with it. NEVER take narcotic pain pills for it!
      So when I say “truly,” I mean that you must be sure you have GTB, and not some other source of lateral hip pain like sciatica or a stress fracture or some other more obscure condition. Since I can’t examine you, I have to assume that you have bursitis, because you tell me you do. But if it doesn’t get better over time and you’ve tried the shots, anti-inflammatories, stretches, P.T. or my recommendations, then you need to make sure there’s nothing else going on.
      Thanks for following my blog. I hope this helps you.

  49. Ana Carreira

    Good morning,

    I’ve had bursitis for 1 1/2 years now and it’s on both hips. I just had cortisone injections on both sides recently. It’ s been about 4 days since the injections and I cannot sleep on my sides. Will I be able to sleep on my sides. Is this normal or is the healing process going to take a little longer?

    Looking forward to your response.
    Kind regards,

  50. Norma Jean Moliterno

    I definitely have this and I would just like to know how long it will take to get rid of it. Also, do the cortisone injections work because my doctor has not tried that yet?

    1. Barbara

      Norma Jean,

      If you “definitely have this,” I’m sooo sorry. But it’s not the end of the world. As you can see from my previous comments and from the blog, this is a benign, painful condition which will get better in time…on its own. I’ve never seen an 80 year old who says she’s had it for 20 years. So it will eventually go away. The problem is waiting it out, because it hurts like hell, and there’s no way to know if it will go away in a week or in two years. How’s that for a time guesstimate?

      Most of us don’t want to find out how long it takes (it took me 6 months), so we seek alternatives to waiting. That includes shots. I can never guarantee that a shot will “cure” my patients of this disorder. It usually helps, but often the pain comes back, and so patients come back for shots again. This is why I never just give them shots. I always add a program of stretches, activity modifications and Sit Like A Man (S.L.A.M.). In my opinion, this program works best. Shots are an adjunct, not the main treatment. Many patients come to me saying they got a shot and it worked, so they want me to give them a shot. My response is that if “it worked,” then why are they asking for another? Of course, if they were my patients to start with, they would be simply asking for another one as an adjunct to what I was already recommending.

      So read the blog and a bunch of my responses to comments. This is particularly important to understanding the ACTIVITY MODIFICATIONS. You must modify activities which reproduce the pain, as much as possible, to make this go away. A cut on your finger will not heal if you keep beating up your finger.

      Some patients tolerate the shots better than others. They are more likely to come back and get them again. And there’s really no downside to getting them, unless you have diabetes. But I don’t have to use much cortisone and patients with diabetes rarely report problems with their sugar afterward. Nonetheless, if you have diabetes which is hard to control, better check with your primary care doc or endocrinologist before taking these shots.
      So…if you’re headed to your local orthopod’s office to get a shot, here’s a quick tip. Put a pillow between your legs. It takes the tension off the iliotibial band and makes it easier and more certain to get the liquid in the bursa.

      Best…

  51. Susan

    Thank you for this blog post. Absolutely confirmed what I suspected; bursitis. I had a hip replacement at age 37 due to debilitating arthritis, and was left with a fairly large leg length discrepancy of 3/4″. I’m now 48, recently became very active again… I was up to an hour of swimming almost daily over the summer (but lots of breaststroke which I’ve now learned can stress hips hips) and have lost 20 pounds, but the Summer ended and I went back to work as an aide at a school where I am on my feet for 2+ hours. I noticed I had slight pain on the outer ball of my hip when I press and couldn’t sleep comfortably on that side, then about 8 days ago I woke up and said “hey my hip hurts!” But it didn’t feel like the hip pain I had prior to my surgery so I was doubting it was coming from my replacement. The pain goes down my leg only a little bit, enough to be slightly achy, but it’s on the outside of my thigh and that ball spot on my hip is sore. I’ve changed my shoes to more supportive ones with a sturdy heel lift (from a somewhat compressed lifted flip flop) and cut my swimming to 30 minutes 3-4x a week. I take Tylenol and Advil (I’ve had an ulcer so Advil is used sparingly). I also saw somewhere that women with thyroid disease are more likely to get hip bursitis, and I can check that off too. So I am apparently a prime candidate for it. How annoying! It feels better than it has the last week so I am hopeful it will continue to progress in this manner!

    1. Barbara

      Susan,
      I’m glad you’re reading my blog, because I think my recommendations will help you if you have hip bursitis. Remember to start sitting like a man (S.L.A.M.) as much as possible. You’ve trained yourself to sit like a lady for many years! So you have to retrain your body to do what’s best for it.

  52. Adam Lucas

    Thank you for you blog. I am a 48 y.o. very active male with pain localized to my deep trochanteric bursa for almost 4 months. It has progressively gotten worse over time. I have had two cortisone injections that provided relief for a few days only.

    In your blog you have suggested activity modification. For me it is challenging to determine which activities aggravate my GTB because they don’t hurt at the time I am doing it. I enjoy the elliptical machine, biking, water running, swimming while I am doing it but I usually feel pain at night or later that day. Assuming that I do have GTB are there any cardio exercises that are safe to do?

    Secondly I wanted to know if you have seen any empirical evidence about the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating GTB. I understand the idea of acupuncture is to increase blood flow to the area, but it is expensive and the three sessions I have had didn’t result in a lasting improvement.

    1. Barbara

      Adam,

      It’s relatively rare to see men with hip bursitis. Have you seen someone for this? Had an MRI? I just want to be certain that it IS bursitis. Gluteal tendon tears can mimic hip bursitis. Sometimes stress fractures can too. Please make sure that you’re sure it’s GTB.

      One thing I want everyone to understand is that there is NO exercise which is particularly “good” for certain musculoskeletal disorders. We really don’t “treat” conditions with any form of aerobic exercise. Is aerobic exercise “good for you?” Of course, but it’s not one of the things we recommend to treat a disorder. In general, rest is better. And if you can’t figure out exactly what is aggravating your hip pain, then I’d take a rest from exercise in general.That’s right. I’m saying it. Take a rest. Hey, walking is what humans do naturally. But no fast walking. If you were a caveman, and you stopped walking, the rest of your buddies would leave you behind as food for the saber toothed tiger. So you better be able to keep up with the tribe. If you break your femur, and you absolutely can’t walk…then you’re a saber tooth tiger full meal deal. So no matter what, you can, and should do a little walking. Slow walking. No speed walking. The caveman only speeds up if he’s running FROM something that’s trying to kill him, or running TO something he’s trying to kill. So for right now, no running, cycling, swimming, unless it’s something which causes no pain WHILE or AFTER you’re doing it. Obviously exercising is not helping anything. It’s probably making it worse. Time to slow down.

      I couldn’t really speak to absolute evidence that acupuncture works. I have some patients who report that it helps and others who claim it’s a waste of time and money. Your response is an indication to not use it anymore. Sorry. Wish there was real evidence that it was effective.

      Sorry to tell you this, but four months is not an unreasonable time to suffer from GTB. Give it a little more time.

  53. Janna

    I traveled a lot this summer – 15 hrs straight driving. Started getting a quick sharp, intense pain in my right hip on the outside. Would happen when I was standing or sitting or laying down. Only happened once every few weeks. Month by month noticed it more and more. The other day, continuous pain every few minutes while sitting and laying. Finally went to a Chiropractor/Physical therapist and they said I have bursitis. They massaged, worked, stretch around the area. Now my entire hip and back and left hip and back hurt. More of a continuous dull pain all around hip, buttocks and lower back. Is this normal to get irritated by working the area before it gets better? Should I give it more time or go get a shot? I am just afraid I have let this get so bad that it’s going to take forever to get rid of the inflammation. I am 42 and fairly active. I exercise on and off at times. Lots of walking in the woods. Any advice would be appreciated!

    1. Barbara

      Janna,
      Once again, assuming you are suffering from greater trochanteric bursitis, I have no further recommendations than the ones I have reviewed extensively in the blog and in my many responses to other comments from literally, around the world. The fact that both a chiropractor and a therapist have told you, you have bursitis, gives me more confidence that this is so. Therefore, my recommendations regarding activity modifications, stretches and Sit Like A Man, hold fast and remain the mainstay of treating this frustrating, benign, but painful condition.

      I’m not a big fan of aggressive massage and use of those rollers. This is a mechanical condition, and responds to a mechanical approach to the problem: modifying the activities and positions which aggravate it, and sitting, getting out of chairs, and even standing like a dude (the Mr. Clean stance).

      Remember that the onset of GTB can be secondary to other problems causing a change in your gait. Even an ingrown toenail can result in GTB! So make sure there’s nothing else going on. It’s possible that your back problem is causing the GTB, and not the reverse.

      Hang in there. As I’ve said before, in my personal and professional experience, this eventually gets better. I’ve never seen an 80 year old woman who says she’s had it for the past 30 years of her life. I have seen 80 year olds who have knee pain and rotator cuff disease for 30 years. But not hip bursitis.

  54. ivy

    I was wondering I have chronic back pain but the last three weeks the outside of my hip feels like there is a bruise almost but when I touch rub or press where the pain is I don’t feel any pain only pain felt is when I stretch to the left a lil farther than normal and when I stretch out my legs while sitting on the couch no trouble when sleeping stiff and painful after sitting for long periods could this be what u are talking about and what recommendations would u have for me thanks

    1. Barbara

      Ivy,
      The lateral hip pain might be typical for bursitis, but the back pain usually is not. I really have nothing else to offer, other than the recommendations I have given for previous readers. Please read through my blog and through many of my responses to other queries. But as I said before, the association with back pain means there might be another problem. Don’t assume bursitis. You should visit with your primary care doctor, or an orthopedic surgeon.

  55. Aiza Ali

    Hi.
    Just searching google for Trochanteric brusitis treatment and came across your article. My mother started having the pain in her right leg about 4 months ago. It started bearable and then it got severe. We tried to do to all that is possible(hot/cold therapy, meds, excerising, massage) to relief the pain and the outcome was that the pain travelled from right to left leg, mainly hip lower back and upper thigh area where the upper thigh hurt the most.
    She has to admit to hospital because because the pain getting worst with everyday, there doctor diagnosed that she has trochanteric brusitis. He injected her and given her anti inflammatory meds(Celebex,Naproxen,Paracetamol) and told us to wait for about two weeks. One week has almost been past but she still is in severe pain especially in her left upper thigh and lower back. The pain is growing on her and she cant even walk on her own and cries with pain. Can you please tell anything that could help in the betterment of her condition?!
    Regards.

    1. Barbara

      Aiza,
      I’m sorry to hear about your mom, but this really doesn’t sound like greater trochanteric bursitis. I rarely if ever have the need to hospitalize someone for hip bursitis. It almost sounds like sciatica. GTB is usually very isolated to the lateral side of the hip. I hate to let you down, but this goes way beyond the scope of my ability to help you out. I wish you the best. Please continue to follow the recommendations of your physicians.

  56. Katarina

    Hi Barbara, first of all, thank you for such great article and for taking the time to reply to everyone. I think i may have hip bursitis. About 3 months ago I decided to start foam rolling exercises and also visited physio about issues with my feet (trying to wean out of orthotics after 8 years ). To cut long story short, I started doing the exercises he gave me and also started foam rolling. I’m pretty sure I have hip bursitis from the symptoms you have described and I think it’s due to foam rolling too hard and too often. My hips, groin and sometimes (not so much nowadays ), the lower back hurts. Right now, my groin feels strained and my hips are sore and tender to touch. My question is – I’ve had this now for about 5 weeks. It has got better but some days I feel nothing (as though i don’t have a problem at all) and other days, like today, it hurts. It seems to come and go and I can’t work out why. Needless to say, I stopped foam rolling ages ago. Is this typical of hip bursitis? Does it come and go and will it ever completely heal? Right now, I’m at loss and don’t know whether I should visit my GP. I’ve been icing, resting and taking Ibuprofens. Thanks so much for your time. Kind regards, Katarina

    1. Barbara

      Katarina,
      Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you are reading my RESPECT Series.
      Let me first say that great trochanteric bursitis (GTB) can be associated with other conditions. It’s more likely to be the result of abnormal mechanical movement due to other pains or activities. But my blog on GTB is in no way a means to evaluated or recommend treatment for any of these other conditions. The other pains you are suffering in your back and groin, are not the result of your bursitis. If you’ve read my blog and other comments regarding my blog, you will have the understanding that GTB, in and of itself, is a benign, painful condition. Low back pain, groin pain and hip joint pain are not necessarily benign conditions and must be evaluated and treated accordingly. So from that point of view, I DO recommend you seek professional help at this time.

      Now in a general sense, I’m not a big fan of foam rolling. It hurts, and it often hurts my patients and bruises them, and it often doesn’t work. That’s just my opinion, and it’s based on many years of experience, both personal and professional.

      If your GTB is secondary to a hip or back problem, then you have to address those problems before the GTB will resolve.

      But even in the most benign situations, in which you have plain, old, ordinary GTB, and there are no predisposing causes, then it still (as in my own personal case) can take many months to resolve. So in answer to your question: yes, this can be typical of GTB.

      I didn’t see you write anything about sitting like a man! You must start doing this. I’m pretty sure it will help you and it’s the right thing to do, no matter what.

  57. S

    Hi Barbara,
    Thanks a lot for putting this blog. It is very informative.

    A quick summary of case: Left ischial tuberosity pain only while sitting on hard surface. I am 33 years old, male and an IT consultant. No other health issues.

    1. Pain started 3 years back. Initially had right side lateral hip pain that resolved within a week but this left ischial pain continued. Had MRI of pelvic, x ray of SI joint and 3 phase bone scan and bloodwork – all normal. Doctor suspected probable ischial bursitis and thought it would go away eventually. Had low level laser doozen of physio – did not help much with this ischial pain.

    2)1 year back I started having low back spasm. Lumbar & hip MRI was done again. Mild posterior disc bulge at L4-L5 and L5-S1 was found. Nothing abnormal was seen in ischial tuberosity area. Neurologist suggested low back exercises. This improved the back condition but left ischial pain continued.
    3) Current condition: In perfect health but still with left ischial buttock pain when sitting. There is a tender point and a kind of knot near ischial tuberosity which is painful with pressure. There is no pain while sleeping /walking or even with any exercise. Ultrasound imaging of tender point shows no abnormality but suggests some inflammation / probable bursitis with a question mark.
    No pain while sitting on soft / cushioned surface, but pain flares when sitting on hard surface. If I avoid hard surface – no pain!
    My questions are:
    1) Is it really bursitis? Will it show on any scan / ultrasound?
    2) Any thoughts why I had bursitis at the first place? Was it due to lumbar disc bulges?
    4) If I avoid sitting on any hard surface, pain goes away and stays away for days/weeks. But if I sit on hard surface, it just comes back. How can I get rid of this? Any recommendations?

    I had low level laser, ultrasound and tons of physio. I do all back exercises, take healthy diet, take vitamin d /calcium supplement etc.

    1. Barbara

      S,
      Ugh…ischial bursitis. I’m not sure which is worse: greater trochanteric bursitis or ischial bursitis. Both are equally frustrating for patients to have and for doctors to treat.

      So look, I can’t examine you and I’m not your doctor, so I can’t be sure you have ischial bursitis. I firstly have to say that you must continue to seek consultation and treatment with your own doc. But just assuming that you or someone like you actually has pure ischial bursitis, then what I am about to tell you is the mainstay, in my opinion, for treatment of this condition.

      1) Have patience. It will take a long time for this to go away.
      2) Get 5…not just 1…donut pillows. Then put them all over your home, in your car and at your desk. Put one where you eat. Put one where you watch TV. Put one in the driver’s seat of your car, on your office desk chair, your home desk chair. And then carry one around with you. You must pad this area and keep it from resting or bumping into hard surfaces. Think of it as a bruise, and every time you sit somewhere and it hurts, you have just re-injured it. You must be as consistent with this regimen as possible. That’s the bottom (no pun intended) line.
      3) Occasionally these will respond to cortisone injections. Some orthopedic surgeons do these. So do PM&R and pain management doctors.
      4) Be certain in your mind that it’s not something else (hamstring tendonitis, cancer, whatever…). It looks like you have, and so you must take some level of peace in the apparently extensive work up you have had up to this point. And with that peace, you must…
      5) Have patience.

      Go to the drugstore right now and buy 5 donut pillows.

  58. Lollie

    Barbara, I had hip arthroscopy a year and half ago. ever since I havie not been able to sleep on that side. I went back to my surgeon and did mri and he said hip joint looked good and mentioned I had compensatory pain and his physical therapist thought I should ckeck out my back which I did. I had some issues when test came back but not severe. However, got injections and now pain is worse around hip area and I have sciatica every time I stand. The worse pain though is in middle of my buttock. I wanted to ask you if one can have hip bursitis and piriformis syndrome at same time? When I wake in morning it feels like my whole side of hip is locked and someone kicked me in buttock. I barely walk to bathroom. My leg will not bend down. It is so painful. I am waiting now to see a doctor who specializes in piriformis syndrome. I probably too should go back to my hip surgeon. If I rest on floor with legs up over stool it tends to relieve some of pain. I am taking neurotin and robaxin and Celebrex and lately tramadol and tylenol 3.in the mix. The most relief I get is from the tylenol 3. I worry about taking all these meds. I am 62 and am very active. I’m or was a yoga teacher but can’t do anything now but a few poses and my physical therapy which is not helping. Anyway I think I had a question in this somewhere. Thank you for you time.

    1. Barbara

      Lollie,
      There are many questions in there! But sadly, none to which I can give you a simple answer.

      1) Yes, you can have piriformis syndrome and greater trochanteric bursitis at the same time, but I’m not convinced that it’s that simple for you. You probably have some element of sciatica, and that’s not easy to treat in anyone. I have many patients with your problems, most of whom are women. It is not uncommon to see a woman with fairly global hip pain. Groin pain is most likely the result of a hip joint or hip flexor tendon problem. Lateral hip pain is most likely due to bursitis, and finally, buttock pain is most likely related in some way to the back or piriformis syndrome. When these symptoms present simultaneously, it is almost impossible to get a good answer and therefore, treatment, quickly and easily.

      2) Let me first say that I don’t know you or your hip, so I can’t speak to your problem in anything other than general terms. Conditions which require hip arthroscopy are complicated, and incompletely understood at this time. And we certainly don’t yet know the long term sequelae of hip arthroscopy. In other words, in the long run, does it help to scope hips? I send many patients like yourself to my partner who does hip arthroscopy. They tend to do well initially, but we haven’t been doing them long enough to know those eventual outcomes. At your age, these conditions are often degenerative, and therefore associated with the eventual development of arthritis, regardless of whether or not you have hip arthroscopy. I don’t think you can assume that your hip joint problems are completely “cured.” “Treated,” yes, but not necessarily “cured.”

      3) Thank you for sharing the medications you are taking with me, and therefore my readership. It gives me an opportunity to discuss the use of narcotics. I would tell everyone to be wary of the use of narcotics like Tylenol #3. These are dangerous, addictive medications. Once you go down that rabbit hole, it is hard to step back and evaluate any pain in a purely objective way. Even a treatment which might result in some improvement, will be hard to assess when a patient is taking narcotics. Please read my very first blog on this subject.

      http://drbarbarabergin.com/my-thoughts-on-pain-pills/

      Specifically regarding your situation, it is hard for me to make any assessment or recommendation. I ALWAYS recommend that all women try to Sit Like A Man. It is a good practice, and cannot be considered harmful in any way. It is mechanically better for your lower extremity in general. Just try it.

      You must continue to seek treatment from your doctors, and ask them to help you diminish the use of your pain medications.

  59. S

    Hi Dr.Barbara, many thanks for the quick response. I take your advice. Even from my experience, it is only resting and protecting the area helps keeping the pain away.

    On a different note, I was wondering with so much advancement in medical science, why there is not an easy solution to this problem. I have noticed over internet that similar problems keep on lingering for years. Is efficacy of cortisones injection high in such cases? If yes, I will request my doctor for a shot. In UK, I have been asked to wait as these conditions eventually go away.
    Apart from resting and protection (using donut cushion), is there anything else I can do to expedite healing? any other medication /herbs/creams you recommend? Any diet tips – high anti inflammatory, low gluten etc. you recommend?
    I still have high spirits but I just want to get rid of this conditions anyhow.
    Any insights much appreciated.

    Many thanks for your time. Best Regards.S

    1. Barbara

      S.,
      Ha! You can feel MY frustration too! With all the advances in medical science, and in science/technology in general, why don’t we have a cure for cancer? For arthritis? Obesity? The answer to that question is multi-factorial and complicated? And frankly, our choices for treatment have actually become more limited, now that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories have been shown to be associated with so many side effects. I don’t think there will be many advances from this point on. It is so expensive and risky to do research. And even if a new medication or treatment modality was developed, patients and insurance companies can’t afford to pay for them! And the government certainly won’t. So where is the incentive for new research and development? Don’t get me started.

      I have nothing else up my sleeve for you. Many are trying platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments for this kind of thing. Again…identified by insurance companies and our governments, as experimental, it’s likely not covered and so you have to pay cash for a treatment which may not work for you. Still it’s something you could try. I have nothing else up my sleeve.

      But I’m not convinced you have tried the donut pillows long or consistently enough… So please get started on that. Be patient. Time is your friend. We have a tendency to want rapid cures, like surgeries or pills. But in many cases, our body just needs time to heal. Give it that chance.

      1. S

        Hi Dr. Barbara, thanks again for your comments. I understand it takes significant effort and money for R&D to happen for a new drug and in some cases, when its for rare problems the funding is not always easy (although few regulations are giving some tax subsidies for such drugs to promote research). Its just that this bursitis condition is awfully frustrating and never heals easily.

        I will keep up your advice and would couple it with icing, stretching, yoga and whatever is helping. When I see my doc next, I will check with him about PRP as well.

        I shall keep you posted how I am doing for the next couple of weeks / months.
        Wishing all readers here, good health and peace to enjoy pain free life.

        Regards, S

  60. Louise

    Hi Dr Barbara
    I was a fit and active 28 year old girl until I developed severe Spd/ pelvic girdle and hip burscitis during my pregnancy. I was pretty much disabled for the last 3 months of pregnancy and had to be induced early because of the pain I was in. I was told that I fell into the extreme and more unusual category because of the severity of the condition in a first pregnancy. My baby is now 9 months old and unfortunately I am still really struggling with the burscitis especially because it is in both hips. I can’t lie on either side which is resulting in me having pressure sores starting to develop on my heels. The pain stops me from walking any distance, sitting comfortably, driving, I can’t exercise apart from basic physio ones, can’t sit on the floor with my baby and struggle carrying bathing and lifting her. This is now affecting my mental health as I’m stuck in a vicious circle. I am taking diclofenac, Co codomal, trazadone. I’ve had steroid injections which haven’t helped at all and now I’ve been given gabapentine to see if we can get pain managed. Is there anything else you could suggest and have you heard any positives regarding gabapentine for this?
    Regards
    Louise

    1. Barbara

      Louise,
      You have a very unusual history and response to treatment. I’m sorry you are in so much pain. Unfortunately, I am unable to effectively address your problem…all the way across the pond! I can only recommend that you read some of the other responses to comments and see if there is something which helps you. Please always Sit Like A Man and stand like Mr. Clean (legs slightly apart and feet slightly rotated outward). This is not a treatment, as much as it is a recommendation for all women.
      Be mindful of times when you are not in pain. Appreciate those moments and try to reproduce them as much as possible.
      Please pad your bed as much as possible. It’s not the only solution but I think everyone should do this as much as they can. Our bodies are angular and hard in many places. We live a long time, so unlike our ancestors, we have to put up with this construct for many years. If we only live 20 years, we don’t have to suffer much. Read my blog called “Feather Your Nest.” http://drbarbarabergin.com/feather-your-nest-part-1/

      I don’t use gabapentin much. It’s not because I don’t think it helps. It’s just a medication for which I rarely have use. Many of my patients with chronic pain issues are taking it. I really can’t address its use in your situation. Remember to trust in your physician’s advise. It is he or she who actually knows your history, has examined you and can offer specific treatment. I can only speak in generalities. I hope what I have said can help you and other patients reading these responses.

      I hope you will have joy with your child. Sometimes in caring for others, we indirectly take care of ourselves.

  61. Gloria

    Hi Barbara
    2 years ago I had a left knee replacement. I immediately began to feel pain on my outer hip even in hospital but was told things are moved around during the op etc. it never really went away but I was more concerned with my knee recovery. After 13 months I complained about my knee recovery and complained that my leg set was affecting my hip. After XRay it appears I am a candidate for a hip replacement which I have scheduled for 2 months time. I had a cortisone injection in my groin area which worked do there is no doubt I need a replacement it seems. But my worry is that the pain for which I take mega medication because I want to work:) is on my outer hip not my groin although that hurts a bit sometimes. I suspect a bursa although no doctor has suggested it. My question is, if it is a bursa, will the hip replacement get rid of my sharp outer hip pain. It also goes down my outside leg, still hurts my knee(referred pain I’m told) and without timely medication I am sometimes annoyed with discomfort in the middle of my heel. Thanks in anticipation.

    1. Barbara

      Gloria,
      Very good question. As I’ve said in other blogs and comment responses, it takes as little as an ingrown toenail to set off GTB in a woman. So certainly knee and hip arthritis can do just that. It takes a long time to recover from either one. So it would be a while before you might notice that your bursitis has resolved. To be honest, I don’t have many patients who continue to complain of hip bursitis after knee and hip replacements. But there is no way a surgeon can guarantee relief of secondary symptoms. Frankly, a surgeon can’t even “guarantee” a good result!

      The more important question is whether or not your total joint replacement is indicated for treatment of your pain. The classic pain associated with hip arthritis is groin pain and sometimes pain radiating down the front of your thigh, even as far as to the knee. That doesn’t mean you can’t also have GTB pain. If your X-rays demonstrate arthritis of your hip, you have groin or anterior thigh pain, and you have failed a course of conservative treatment for your arthritis, then a total hip replacement is certainly an option for you. If you had a cortisone injection into your hip joint (as opposed to your hip bursa) and it relieved your hip pain, then it might be considered an option to alleviate your “hip pain.” But a surgeon could never guarantee complete relief of all hip pain (whether that be groin or lateral or buttock), by offering a total hip replacement. Bottom line: no 100% guarantees on anything! The expected outcome of a total hip replacement would be to relieve your actual hip joint (groin/anterior thigh)pain. It might not be expected to relieve your bursitic pain. However, the surgery might relieve that pain as well. But in general, one would not do a total hip replacement simply to treat hip bursitis. Other factors must be taken into consideration. I hope that explains it.

      As I’ve said on many of my comments. Unless you are my patient…in which case I should be seeing you in my office, and not answering emails here on my blog…then I am answering only in generalities. I cannot examine you and cannot be certain of the exact nature of your symptoms. In this specific case, I do appreciate the opportunity to discuss hip pain and total joint replacement expectations with my readership. Your question allows me to do this.

      My recommendation is that you seek the attention of an orthopedic surgeon you trust, and follow his or her recommendations. Total joint replacement is an elective operation. That means it is one you choose to have, based on your symptoms, studies, and response to treatments. In the final analysis, it is always your decision to have or not have the operation! Your surgeon should address whether or not the surgery is indicated, and what your expectations should be, in terms of relief of your pain.

  62. Shellie Estes

    Hi Barbara:

    I was diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis a month ago; I began having discomfort in my right hip three months ago. I am a 55-year-old fairly fit woman and was doing a beginner yoga class three days a week and walking three miles a day three times a week. Now both of these activities seem to aggravate my hip pain and I have not done either in over a month. I am on Naproxen and had had a cortisone shot the beginning of November. The Naproxen helps some. The cortisone shot did not. My question is about the yoga and walking. . . should I start doing them again even though they cause some discomfort or wait for the pain to go away? I just found your blog (THANK YOU) and am going to start doing the stretching exercises you recommend. Thanks so much.

    1. Barbara

      Yes. Start doing the stretches. But more importantly…Sit Like A Man. Look around at some of my comments. I got better by doing this. Subscribe to my blog, so you’ll get the Sit Like A Man blog when I finally get around to publishing it. But in the mean time, look at how men sit…and imitate. Left foot pointed slightly to the 11:00 position, right foot pointed to the 1:00 position. Knees apart and relaxed. Unless you have a dress on, this is how you should sit. And this is how you should maintain your leg position when you get in and out of chairs. I also tell women to stand like Mr. Clean. Google Mr. Clean and look at pictures of him standing. You don’t have to fold your arms in front of you. But don’t stand around with your hips cocked to one side or the other. Stand with your legs straight, feet turned slightly outward. Try this for a month and see if it makes a difference.
      Remember: You’re not my patient, and I haven’t examined you, so I can’t be sure you have bursitis. Always rely on the recommendations and opinions of your doctor.

  63. C. CLARK

    I was diagnosed with hip bursitis some 6 months ago. Although I have struggling with it for almost 11 months. It seems to be particularly painful when I have been sitting for over an hour. Yesterday had to spend 5 hours in a car and by the time I got home I could hardly walk without great pain in my right hip. When I lie flat in bed for a while it seems to ease. I have been doing all my physio exercises regularly but not sure whether these are helping yet.

    1. Barbara

      I know you’ve read my blog on this, but please read a bunch of the comments under Hip Bursitis 1, 2 and 3. Look for what I’ve said about Sit Like A Man. And watch for a blog specifically focusing on that in the near future. I’ve reviewed hip bursitis and my recommendations for dealing with it so much with so many readers, there’s just not much more to say. You will find something in there that will help you, as it has many others. Thanks so much for reading my blog.

  64. Joan

    Mine is not in my hip but my thigh,why do people keep saying its in my hip? It hurts from my groin down to my knee.in the from. And on the outside of my thigh. My question is should I stand on it 8 hours a day?

    1. Barbara

      Joan,
      I’ve been having computer problems, and I know I’ve tried to answer your comment a few times. So I hope I’m not pestering you with multiple responses.
      I’m glad you asked your question, and someday I’m going to do a blog specifically on this subject. Just getting some practice in on this response! So from an anatomical standpoint, your hip is under your groin. When orthopedists describe “hip” pain, we point to the groin. Sometimes hip pain radiates down the front of the thigh because of the proximity of some nerves which cross close to the hip joint. So when the hip is inflamed, those nerves get irritated and cause pain to radiate down the thigh, sometimes even to the knee.
      My patients often point to the lateral aspect of their hip when describing “hip” pain. It common for folks to think that big bump at the side of the hip is the hip joint. But it’s not. It’s the greater trochanter. That’s the bone associated with hip bursitis, a benign, painful condition, about which I have written this blog entry! I’m often relieved to have patients who come to see me with “hip” pain, point to the lateral side of their hip, rather than the groin, because groin pain (or actual hip pain) is not always benign. It is usually associated with conditions like hip arthritis, hip avascular necrosis and labral tears, all of which are complicated conditions which can result in the need for operations.
      So that’s the long answer to your question. If you’re seeing orthopedic surgeons and you describe anterior thigh pain, they are often going to consider conditions of the hip itself.
      As to whether or not you should stand on it for 8 hours a day…I can’t really answer that question, not knowing exactly what is wrong with your leg. And even if I did know, it would be hard for me to answer that from afar.
      I hope I’ve given you a better understanding of your symptoms and where they might be coming from.

  65. Kelly

    A week ago I started to experience low back pain hat radiated down my legs. I have a very mild curvature in my spine – S shaped but only 5%. I went to the chiro and have had three adjustments this week. Now my hips hurt horribly. I can’t tell if the chiro made it worse or if I’m developing something in my hips. They hurt down the sides and radiates to my thighs mostly when I’m sitting. If I stand or walk the pain is less. If I lay or sit the pain is worse.

    I don’t know if I should go back to the chiro and wait it out or go see my GP. And I’m on vacation so I can’t go this week :(. Just trying to enjoy while I deal with horrible pain 🙁

    1. Barbara

      Kelly,
      I was having trouble with my computer yesterday, and I don’t know if I’ve answered you ten times already, or not at all. So here’s one last try. Unfortunately, it’s not anything newsworthy. What I tried to reply to you yesterday was that your problem is a little too complicated and very specific to you. It’s not something I can really assess for you on my blog. It doesn’t lend itself to generalizations which can benefit all my readers.
      I can’t examine you and have no history or X-rays. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong by returning to your primary care doc for further evaluation and treatment.
      I wish you the best in your recovery.

  66. Kay sexton

    Barbara,
    I didnot think bursitis could last so long, I’ve had pain in my right leg that has notgone away for 5 years, it has started causing me to be depressed, I tried walking in a mall for christmas and almost couldn’t get back to my car, my pain is down both outside legs, my right leg in the front has a tingling sensation and is numb now, I’ve been to an orthopedic doctor who wanted to operate wirh a rod and 2 screws, I opted for a second opinion,a neurosurgeon, ,recommended a Shot in my spine which I got 3 months ago, xrays show no gel between 4th and 5th vertebrae, my back pain is not bad, but constant leg pain this long is really getting old, my leg pain has been diagnosed as bursitis, I’m so tired of being in pain, I’m 67 and danced on a regular basis, and use to walk 2 miles 3 times a week, I can’t even walk my dog half a block without awful outer leg pain, any suggestions, my quality of life has gone downhill tremendously the last 2 years, I take ibuprofen but nothing takes away the pain, it aches in both legs at night sometimes, I am miserable, I didn’t think bursitis could last this long, any suggestions I would appreciate, I am not on any pain med s, thank you

    1. Barbara

      Kay,
      I’m sorry you’re having so much pain, and I also want to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Having computer problems. But here’s the rub: your condition is way to complex for me to make any assessments over the internet. Needless to say, since I can’t examine you and see your x-rays, it makes it impossible and unprofessional for me to speak specifically about your condition. My suggestion is that you continue to seek additional professional help. Return to your primary care doc, your orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. Or seek another opinion. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialists are also very helpful with these kinds of conditions. I’m so sorry I can’t be of further help to you.

  67. Elaine

    Dear Barbara…I haven’t been diagnosed yet but I am sure after reading all of info you have provided…I can now relax a little..I actually see my doctor tomorrow…I was happy to read the tips on sitting and standing…I have to say I went horseback riding while in Mexico in Nov. and my pain was diminish for awhile but I was trying to do so much during the Xmas holiday and now I am suffering again…lesson learned!! Thank you again

  68. Karen

    Dear Barbara, I had a nasty fall last Saturday. Went to ER and Dr took x-rays, told me I had bursitis in my right hip sent me home on crutches because I could not put no pressure on my hip at all. Well still after 6 days pain meds. anti inflammatory,ice everything possible I am still excruciating pain. I can’t sleep,eat because the pain is making me sick. I have read some of your blogs and tryed S.L.A.M that makes my back hurt. Would any kind of creams help at all like bengay or something like that? I’m at my wits ends I can’t handle this pain. Hope you can help!

    1. Barbara

      Karen,
      There are a lot of reasons why your hip could still be hurting. It would be remiss of me to recommend any specific treatment, since I can’t look at your hip or your X-rays. In general, bursitis is not the result of an acute injury. It would be more likely that you are suffering from a contusion or maybe even a hematoma. But the ER doc had eyes-on, so I have to defer to him/her. A hip contusion or hematoma could take a long time to heal, and could get worse. I recommend you follow up with your primary care doc, or an orthopedic surgeon. ER visits are for emergencies. They take X-rays and make sure you haven’t broken something. It’s not for the purpose of long term treatment, in my opinion. Now if you get home and the pain is worse than you expected, well then, you might have to head back to the ER. But if you can get into see your primary care doc or your trusty orthopedic surgeon, that would be a better alternative to going back to the ER.
      In general salves and creams don’t work that great for acute problems. You can try them. They can’t hurt you.
      I wouldn’t expect SLAM to work for an acute injury. And the fact that it makes your back hurt is a little confounding. Please go see a doc as soon as you can.

    2. Barbara

      Lately, I’m having all sorts of problems answering these comments on my computer. I feel like I’ve already answered your comment, so I guess you’ll have to bare with another response if I did.
      It’s rare that greater trochanteric bursitis is excruciating, to the point where patients can’t eat or sleep or they get physically sick. It concerns me that there might be something else going on. I really can’t say any more than that, since I can’t examine you or see your X-rays. Remember, emergency rooms are for emergencies. They’re not there to play a significant role in your long term care. They take X-rays, examine you, and maybe do some other tests or lab work to make sure you haven’t broken something or you don’t have an infection. At this point you need to see your own doc, an orthopedic surgeon or a PM&R specialist.
      I don’t use a lot of salves or creams, especially on large areas like the hip. Ben Gay is a pretty benign, and relatively inexpensive salve to try, but I can’t suggest it as a definitive treatment. But it might feel good. Please seek additional medical help on this.

  69. Louise Botea

    Hi. I can handle pain.. I mean, I had two children with natural birth.. But not this bursa pain.. I had 3 days in a row pain and anti inflamatory injections.. I walk with a limp, gets upset if I have to clime over something. If I sit its ok, but oh boy, I can not lie down.. I am crying as I write this, because its hurting like hell. Dr wants to do a sonar tomorrow to rule out arthiritis. But as I am reading through all the mail..I know .. I got the same thing. I am 52 years.. Always lived a active life ( do game capturing) and now this!!?

    1. Barbara

      Louise,
      I hate it when you can’t sleep! Just the fact that the pain is so severe, would make me want to study it further if I was your doc. So bare with him/her, and let them do the studies. You might have gluteal tendinosis, which basically means a chronic tear of the gluteal tendon, another condition common to women.
      Just last night, I got some weird, acute pain below my knee. It actually caused me to limp! Of course I immediately knew it was pes anserinus bursitis (welcome to my world of knowing whatever it is that’s hurting me). I instantly began trying to find leg positions which eliminated the pain. I was able to decrease it. I did some stretching, and this morning it’s gone! I was truly amazed.
      Live in the now. If you can find a position in which it doesn’t hurt, try to get there more often.
      Follow throw with your doctor.
      Hope you get better soon.

  70. amy

    Oh Barb also have been doing stretches but will be seeking a more extensive exercise program including those from you. Many thanks again. Brisbane Australia.

    1. Barbara

      Amy,
      Wow! Can’t believe my blog is going all the way to Australia! That makes me so happy!
      Don’t forget to Sit Like A Man. I’ll soon be putting out a blog about it, so please watch for it!
      And tell everyone over there to read my blog!
      Thanks!

  71. Ana

    Hi Barb,

    I’ve been experiencing pain on my hips for over 2 years now….can’t sleep on them..toss and turn… on anti-inflammatory meds.

    I have had xrays and MRI and cortisone injections. They did not help.

    The pain is now in my buttocks. It burns when sitting down. I’m doing physio and going to chiropractor but no relief.

    I have done another xray and awaiting my MRI for lower lumbar of the spine and hip.

    I don’t know what to do anymore…..frustrated.

    1. Barbara

      Ana,
      This certainly doesn’t sound like a straight-up case of bursitis. I agree with your doctor’s decision to investigate further. This could be stemming from your back. That being said, women suffer from all sorts of buttock and hip pain which can be difficult to analyze and treat. Burning in the buttocks can be discogenic (herniated discs and related conditions). Or it can come from an irritation of your sciatic nerve a little further down (piriformis syndrome). But this can be difficult to diagnose and is sometimes a diagnosis of exclusion. This means we’ve ruled out all the bad stuff, and it looks like you could have piriformis syndrome or gluteal tendonits. Now obviously, I can’t sit here and tell you what’s wrong with you from my home in Austin, Texas. I can say I’ve had many female patients with burning in the back of their thighs when they sit. And sometimes, we just can’t figure it out.
      I can say without a doubt that you should be sitting like a man, and if there is any question regarding the back as a source of your pain, you should score a copy of Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie, read it and do what it says. No one can go wrong with that. I can also say without a doubt that most women’s feet do not touch the ground when they sit. This puts a lot of pressure on the back of your thighs and can actually cause burning!
      And sometimes there’s just no answer to this problem…sorry.
      But you need to follow your doctor’s direction. Only your doc has talked to you, examined you and seen your X-rays and MRI.

  72. Megan

    I am 26, i;ve been living with this since i was 16. My days and nights are consumed with pain. I’ve gained weight because of this and i know that doesn’t help but when you can barely stand or sit and the pain is so bad it makes you nausea you don’t want to eat. Lately i feel like i want to chop my own leg off.. Doctors say the pain is only going to get worse and it will get to th point i will no longer be able to walk. I keep a study supply of painkillers on hand and take extra care not to trip or fall.. when i do fall I know i will feel twice as much pain. About a month a go i feel and ever since i have had no days off from the extreme amount of agony. At least before i would have a few hours maybe even days without feeling it.

    1. Barbara

      Megan,
      Your situation is very concerning, and unfortunately too complex for me to deal with over my blog. Your symptoms indicate something much more complex than greater trochanteric bursitis. Rarely do patients with GTB require pain medications. Nor does it ever result in the inability to walk. Please continue to seek consultation from your local specialists: orthopedic surgeons or physiatrists. Your primary care physician might not feel comfortable prescribing these medications or treating your condition because of its complexity.
      I’m sorry you’re in so much pain.

  73. Caroline

    Hi, I have pain in my hip that goes down the side and front of my leg to my knee. Have been taking Advil daily for 2 months now along with Heat and Ice to the area. I try stretches but it hurts to much. I had been in a boot cast for 2 1/2 months. At what point should I go back to my Dr. and request an x-ray be done to confirm what is causing the pain?

    1. Barbara

      It’s okay to ask your doctor to get an X-ray any time you want to. Now whether or not he/she agrees to it is another thing because your pain might be coming from some other place, like your back. So the direction he/she takes with regard to the evaluation of your pain depends on many things. I wouldn’t and couldn’t second guess your doc. It sounds like it could be hip, but the cast boot throws me for a little loop. Not sure where that comes in. Sometimes using a cast boot can alter your gait. Often in women, any kind of a limp can cause greater trochanteric bursitis. But since you’re not improving on the Advil, heat and ice, I would say a follow up appointment is in order. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

  74. Joe

    Hi Barbara question, I was suffering from severe sciatica for 6 months and walked with a very bad limp in excruciating pain. I had a diskectomy October 6th 2015 comma ever since then I’ve been told that I have bursitis. Are there any permanent resolution to this problem my surgeon and my general doctor has suggested steroid shots but I believe that’s just a temporary resolution correct? Do you have any help for me?

    1. Barbara

      Joe,
      Back issues and bursitis are commonly associated, and it’s hard to know which comes first, “the chicken or the egg” as we say. If you have read my series of blogs on hip bursitis, and even some of my replies to comments after each blog, then you will know everything I have to offer in the way of treatment recommendations for bursitis. I will say however, that hip bursitis is a complex disorder and generally might not be simple bursitis. It is often associated with gluteal tendonitis/tendinosis which can be difficult to identify and treat. Therapy can be beneficial, especially if the correct diagnosis is known and addressed. Steroid injections can help as well. It’s critical to modify activities which are painful, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly in my blogs. But please continue to address this issue with your physician, because it’s only he/she who can lay hands on you and know exactly what is going on.

  75. Lee

    Hi, I have DDD, RA, Adhesive Arachnoiditis , Sciatica. I also have some AI type issues one of which impacts my liver that I take immunosuppressive chemotherapy for. Am 62 and have suffered with this hip pain for 6 weeks now. Upon visiting my doctor I didn’t want an injection because of my Arachnoiditis at the Cauda Equina. Last time I got one it worsened. There is always the chance my other problems are causal. So it’s always a wait and see routine but the pain is too much when added to my usual pain. Would oral steroids help?

    1. Barbara

      Lee,
      I really can’t answer that question for you specifically. Sure, steroids (like a shot or a short course of prednisone) could be beneficial, but not everyone can take them, so I couldn’t advise you on that. Hip bursitis has an inflammatory component which can respond to steroids/cortisone. You would need to talk to your physician regarding its appropriateness for you. You’re situation seems complicated and so it’s hard to judge whether or not it could help you. It never hurts to Sit Like A Man, and I think you should start doing it. But keep working through your problems with your doc. Good luck. Sorry you’re having so much difficulty right now.

  76. Bonnie

    Hi Barbara,

    I found you by scouring through any and all remedies and information to get rid of this debilitating and painful condition. I am a 58 year old moderately active woman who will now be Sitting like a Man, whenever possible 🙂 I was a treadmill runner and likely this is my reason for the onset of the hip bursitis, about 18 months ago. Once diagnosed (about a year ago) I have had 2 cortisone shots (last June and Sept) and decided to start PT as the next treatment. I’ve been to 7 sessions and I feel no better than when I went in. I still experience pain and discomfort when I use the stairs (like 5 steps), have to walk more than 15 minutes, getting up from sitting and sometimes while sleeping. Lately, I have used the pillow between my knees while sleeping and that has helped. I have not taken any pills or used any ice or heat therapy. I decided to quit PT today, so I am looking for the next logical treatment. I was thinking about getting another cortisone shot (so that i can move pain free) and then begin an in-home regiment of exercises, ice therapy and when possible, SLAM. I can’t believe this has held me back from normal living for this long. I want an aggressive approach to beating this.Your thoughts?

    1. Barbara

      Bonnie,
      Having experienced hip bursitis (or associated conditions such as gluteal tendonitis or tears), I totally understand your frustration. Assuming you have hip bursitis (or associated conditions), please SLAM whenever you can! Hey, that’s the first time I’ve ever said that rhyme. Think I’ll keep using it. But seriously, that’s what actually got rid of mine. Being a shot phobe and probably also not wanting to expose my hip to any of my partners, I just was determined to get rid of it without shots, surgery or pills! I had already done it with several other repetitive strain disorders, so I figured I could do it with this one. And I did. Took about 9 months of persistence. Persistence with S.L.A.M. Persistence with modifying every activity that hurt me (like sitting in my little Fiesta…ultimately just getting rid of it and using only my truck). Persistence with standing like a man (Mr. Clean stance…no jutting/cocking my hip out to the side). And finally, one day I went to bed and realized I hadn’t had hip pain that day. So I can only tell you what works for me and my patients. And trust me it’s a lot of patience. Now I have many patients who come in for injections, some repeatedly. I have not had a single patient require surgery in probably 6-7 years, and I see a ton of folks with hip bursitis. But it was only about that same amount of time that I started sitting like a man, and ultimately teaching my patients to do it. So I honestly believe it works. It’s the only thing that makes sense. So sit like a man, not just when possible, but all the time! Get in and out of chairs like a man, every single time. Alter anything you identify as causing the pain. Be “mindful” of your pain. Notice when it doesn’t hurt…and reproduce that. Notice when it hurts, and try not to do whatever that is. Sure you can keep taking NSAIDS according to your doc’s recommendations. You can keep taking shots, because they don’t do any harm and if they help, it’s fine to do that occasionally. P.T. only works if they understand the condition, and the mechanical issues associated with your condition. If they don’t, it can make you worse. And of course, there is surgery. I want to stay out of the operating room as much as I possibly can, so that’s what I want for my patients too. But there is an operation for straight-up hip bursitis. But there’s really not one for degenerative gluteal tendon tears. So that’s all. There’s nothing else. No more tricks up my sleeve. You gotta S.L.A.M. no matter what. Sound like a broken record? But I do hope this helps. Thanks for reading my blog.

  77. Kassann

    A year ago, I began having trouble walking, shortly after the calf aches and burning buttocks began. All of this has remained constant and consistent throughout the year. I have osteoarthritic knees, which are not painful. I actually have no pain anywhere, just aches and a burning sensation. I have had many, many blood tests, X-rays of neck, back, spine, lower back, and cat scans. I have doctored constantly for a year without much success.
    I have recently seen a Mayo orthopedist and rheumatologist. Yesterday the latter determined with certainty that I have bursitis in both hips. I was given steroid shots in both hips.
    I have a question……this whole walking situation came on within a month I would say. All the symptoms are bilateral. Can hip bursitis come on rather suddenly, bilaterally and cause calf aches and buttocks burning?
    After the rheumatologist I went to see the dr. overseeing my Mayo physical. She wants me to try aggressive PT, which I agree with, but I am unsettled with the diagnosis. I am also doing acupuncture and will begin with a chiro soon. Thank-you

    1. Barbara

      Kassann,
      It sounds like your condition might be a little more complicated that straight-up hip bursitis. Of course, it goes without saying…but I’m gonna say it…I’m not your doc and I don’t have access to your medical records, so I can’t really give you specific advice. But the bottom line is that hip bursitis, as you have read on my blog, is pretty isolated to the lateral aspect of the hip, where that large bone is that sticks to the side. That doesn’t mean hip bursitis is always an isolated problem. It most often isn’t. It can be associated with other conditions in the same area (gluteal tendonits/tendonosis, piriformis syndrome and sciatica, iliotibial band syndrome). It can also be due to other conditions which might cause you to limp a little, even an ingrown toenail can trigger hip bursitis in women! If you limp for some other reason, there’s a chance you will develop hip bursitis. It’s important to note that hip bursitis, in and of itself, usually is NOT responsible for pain radiating down the leg. It can be associated with a little bit of iliotibial band syndrome which can radiate down the lateral thigh and to the lateral aspect of the femur where the bone flares out and presses against the ITB. But it is not responsible for any pain which goes below the knee. I would certainly think of other sources of pain, such as sciatica. Sounds like you’ve had a tremendous work up, which probably has included an MRI of the back. Can’t really tell you what to do at this point. Trust your doc to treat you and evaluate your pain in time.
      Hip bursitis can most definitely come on suddenly, but it would not be responsible for calf aches. Might be associated with buttock burning, but I would consider an evaluation of your back and consider gluteal tendon disease.

  78. Sherry

    I had my husband drive up to the pharmacy (he’s a physician) order Prednisone for me and day 2 I can already walk as if I’m not 90 when I stand up!

    1. Barbara

      Love, love, love prednisone…until you begin to experience the side effects. A short course of prednisone (like a Medrol Dosepak or its equivalent), is pretty benign. You won’t experience the side effects of long-term use of prednisone like you will if you have to take it indefinitely: folks with rheumatoid arthritis or renal transplant patients. But with a short course, the worst you might experience would be some flushing in your face and some alertness. It can also elevate blood sugar, so diabetics beware. I always counsel my patients that anti-inflammatories (steroids or NSAIDs) are only a small part of treating a condition. In and of themselves, they are not likely to permanently eliminate your condition, so you must persevere with the methods you are using to modify the mechanical problem which caused the pain in the first place. The medications are an adjunct to the therapies.

  79. Melissa

    wow am i glad i found this site. I’ve been to two different doctors, have had two rounds of cortisone shots, physical therapy and am now drinking something that looks like what the creature from the black lagoon swims in. I have bursitis in both hips. Little arthritis in the right one . The pain extends down the outside of the leg to just at or slightly above the knee. both sides. I do regular exercises that I learned from physical therapy and they do help some. The goop I am drinking has anti inflammatory properties (pineapple, kale, tumeric, cinnamon, protein powder, tart cheery juice. I’ve been at this now for over 18 months. Please tell me something will help this. I do not want to have any more cortisone shots since they help but only for about three months.

    1. Barbara

      Melissa,
      I’m glad you found my blog as well. If you truly have bursitis, then it will likely eventually resolve on its own. As you can read from my blog on this subject, and from other comments and my responses, this is a relatively benign, but painful condition. You’ve tried all the standard treatments for this condition. Unless there is something else going on, like gluteal tendonosis or piriformis syndrome, then you must try my Sit Like A Man program. Please check out my blog on that. It should be the first blog on the site at this time. I keep it there because right now I’m promoting this concept all over the place, so I want the word to get out. It’s was helped me cure mine and it has helped many of my patients.

  80. Tonia

    8 weeks ago, I woke up with pain in my right hip out of the blue. No trauma or injury but it hurt. Bad! The pain is the worst when I extend my leg outward, cross my legs, sit Indian style or pivot right. Basically anything that moves that joint hurts. It’s a stabbing awful pain that stops me in my tracks. I had an xray 3 weeks ago that my Dr. thought looked as if my hip socket was shallow and there was inflammation around the cartilage but the radiologist read it as normal. I was put on Meloxicam and return to my Dr next week. It hasn’t improved at all and I’m stumped. I’m 30 years old and healthy otherwise. What could cause this pain?

    1. Barbara

      Tonia,
      I really can’t help you with such a specific question. I can’t examine you. And I can’t see your X-rays. So sorry. You’re going to have to rely on your doctor’s recommendations in this case. Thanks for reading my blog. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  81. Michelle

    I am a 58 year old woman that has worked 6 days a week for almost 7 years now at a job that I have to stand the whole time. Have 2 five minute breaks during a 7-8 hour period (standing). On Holiday’s such as Valentines, Mother’s Day and Christmas I am standing 12-15 hours. I also have to lift bins that weigh on the average of 40 lbs when filled. For at least one year now I’ve been experiencing a pain that seems to start at the top of my right thigh extending to my right hip or visa versa. Lifting my leg to get into the car is painful. Sometimes it will go away after a couple of hours but then at night in bed the pain comes back where it is concentrated in my hip and seems to run down my leg. It does seem to be getting worse and more frequent. Difficult lying on the right side and even when I try laying on the left side I can still feel pain on the right side but not as bad. Is it possible that my job has caused this to happen and what is your thought on using anti-inflammatory juicing to help instead of drugs? Recommendations?

    1. Barbara

      Michelle,
      That’s a lot of information, and as you can well imagine, I cannot help you with your specific complaints. Sounds much more complicated than bursitis, but I can’t be certain. So to speak in generalities, and as I’ve said many times before on my blog and in response to other comments: groin pain and pain radiating down the front of the thigh is usually related to the hip joint itself. Lateral hip pain (pain over the side of that prominent bone at the side of the hip and radiating down the outside of the thigh, is often related to bursitis and iliotibial band syndrome. And finally, buttock pain is more likely related to issues pertaining to the back and the sciatic nerve. None of these generalities are 100% spot on 100% of the time.

      Standing all day, while not ideal, can sometimes lead to hip and back problems, but is probably not a workers’ compensable issue if you have arthritis of your hip. You’ll really have to take this up with your HR department. Or if your employer has an occupational nurse or physician, that would be a good place to start.

      Don’t really have much to say about anti-inflammatory juicing. No proof that juicing is an effective way to reduce inflammation. I’m not a huge fan of juicing in general. I bought a juicer and really hated to see all that great fiber go down the disposal. Mechanical conditions need to have the mechanical part of the problem addressed by some form of therapy, whether that be exercise, stretching or strengthening. Anti-inflammatory meds can be an adjunct to that treatment regimen, but I try to stay away from medications as a long term solution. Too many side effects.

      Sorry I can’t specifically answer your questions regarding your specific condition. Seek professional help from someone who can put “hands on,” and maybe get other appropriate studies.

      1. Michelle

        Hello Barbara, I work for a very small company (independent franchise) that doesn’t have an occ nurse or Dr. and HR is the owner. 🙂 I just got insurance so I went for the physical and have been having a number of routine tests. When I told her about areas that are hurting she immediately said osteoarthritis.and told me to take Advil a couple times a day and Glucosamine. She said if this doesn’t help then we’ll follow up with PT and then go from there if necessary. No further tests have been done or scheduled in relationship to this…at least yet. I read your blog and your explanation of hip bursitis sounds more like what I’m experiencing. I wrote for basically a second opinion and to ask what your thoughts were on juicing for joint pain. I’m not even thinking Workers Comp but am concerned that because of the work I do that it will exacerbate the condition to the point I will have to quit. Thank you for taking your time to reply.

        1. Barbara

          No official comments on juicing. No proof it works. No proof that glucosamine works either. With juicing, you’re throwing away all the good fiber! Eat plenty of “whole” foods.
          Regarding your symptoms. I’ve commented extensively on the various types of hip pain. It’s important to know whether or not you have hip bursitis or hip arthritis. There’s nothing you can do about hip arthritis, except to wait it out and have a total hip replacement when the pain is intolerable. Hip bursitis, on the other hand is definitely treatable and definitely curable. So get a second opinion if, from reading my blog, you think your pain is on the outside of your hip. If you do laborious work, it can make your arthritis feel worse, although it is not likely to cause hip arthritis. Hip bursitis, while it can get worse, will not destroy your bones or joints if you overdo it. It will just hurt more. Get another opinion if you’re in doubt.

  82. Maddi

    im 14 and i had to run the mile at school, i had rolled my ankle the weekend before but it got better so i figured it would be okay. right after i got off the track i felt a huge stabbing pain in my lower right back. also (dont know if this is related) but when i lift up anything too heavy i feel a stabbing pain in my right shoulder blade…

    1. Barbara

      I’m sorry Maddi, but there’s no way…all the way from Austin, Texas, that I can tell you what’s going on with your back and shoulder. You need to let your parents know and see your primary care doctor about it. Sorry… 🙂

  83. Krissy

    My husband is 31 and he has a hip that is hurting him and he is not very active outside of wk. Ito his right hip only.He works at a factory so he definitely does repetitive motions. He says is feels like a knot on the outside of hip, which he claims is bone cancer. Lol. I just officially heard him complain about his hip in a non comical way which made me check online. I know u said it is rare in men but since he hasn’t been injured or done any running or sports could it still be bursitis? We were sleeping when he complained and I took notice.

    1. Barbara

      Krissy,
      There’s really no way I can help you with such a specific question regarding your hubby’s health and pain. While hip bursitis is more common in women, it does occasionally occur in men as well. And it can bother people at night, but that doesn’t exclude other causes of hip pain…including cancer! I recommend you take him to see his primary care physician or your favorite orthopod! Sorry I can’t help on this one.

  84. Karen

    Thank you for this great info. I’m 58 and my left hip began hurting almost 3 months ago which I believe was caused by limping from a stress fracture on my right foot. I’m just not sure if it’s bursitis…the pain is high on hip at iliac crest area and only hurts when I first get up and start walking. After several steps the pain goes away. I can also feel some tenderness when I lay on that side or when I stretch a certain way. Foot has healed and walking normal but hip pain still there. Not sure if I should be stretching it or resting it.

    1. Barbara

      Karen,
      I’m seeing SO MANY women with stress fractures in their feet! It’s like some kind of epidemic. I have some theories on why, but nothing concrete. Bottom line: anything goes when you have a stress fractures. In other words, when you limp, you get all sorts of compensatory aches and pains, from stress fractures in the foot, all the way up to back issues. Obviously, I can’t tell you in this format, what’s going on with your hip. It sounds like repetitive strain but I can’t be sure. Back off on any exercise that hurts for now. You really need to see your own doc.

  85. Teresa

    After six months of pretty acute pain (especially at night), I went to the ortho doctor. He diagnosed hip bursitis and gave me a cortisone shot. It’s been seven weeks and I have much less hip pain at night but it is still bothersome during normal daily activities. I have not been able to return to simple exercise like walking or biking, things this 59-year-old woman enjoyed very much! Most distressing for me are the HORRIFIC leg and foot cramps I now experience every night! I’ve researched this and see they are a side-effect of cortisone shots. I take no medications and suffer no known allergies (except cortisone, I guess). Any idea on if/when this will subside? Any experience with this side effect? By the way, I’m enjoying SLAM! Many thanks.

    1. Barbara

      Teresa,
      Sorry you’re experiencing cramps. I have to be honest with you and tell you that I have never had a patient complain of cramps after a cortisone injection. I just went and quickly scanned the internet to see if I had missed some of the known side effects of ingesting steroids. There are many serious side effects from the long term use of oral, IV or IM injections of corticosteroids, but cramping isn’t one of the main ones. Cramps are certainly not a common side effect of injections. However, I do see lots and lots of patients who experience cramps. My husband and I have suffered greatly from cramps. Sometimes I have had cramps in my legs which literally make me fly out of bed in order to stretch the muscle which is beginning to cramp.
      My husband (a kidney specialist) and I have searched the literature for a remedy for cramps. We have found none, but have our own remedy. Your email has reminded me to blog on it, and I will. So watch for my next blog. I’ll probably finish it this weekend and post it. You will have your cure.
      Needless to say, I have to remind you to see your regular doc to make sure there are no other causes for your cramps. Suffice it to say that cramps are, in most instances, a disorder of aging, and I’m wondering if it’s not just coincidental to your injections. Sometimes the activities which might be related to the development of your bursitis or due to the gait abnormalities associated with your bursitis, might be responsible for the sudden development of cramps.
      Watch for my blog!

  86. Stephen

    Hello, I am a 24 year old male who is fairly healthy and physically active and have recently started having very bad pain in my hip area, which after doing a lot of research I believe is hip bursitis. Before you write me off because i’m young and male let me give you a little background. In 2012 I broke my right tibia very badly (compound fracture) and it took me about a year or two to get back to walking normally. During this time I had hip pain here and there but nothing like this so I just wrote it off. The strange thing is that the hip pain is in my left leg, the opposite leg of the one I broke which makes me think maybe I am overcompensating with my left side. I recently started working at Subway and this is when what I believe is hip bursitis really took hold. It started after a few shifts and has been about a month and it is still there every time I work, but if I have a few days off it goes away only to return when I start working again. I have tried switching footwear, stretches, medication, anything i can think of but nothing has worked. Due to the nature of the job I am constantly moving sideways to make subs which is to my left side and constantly making tiny movements back and forth which I believe may be a key contributor to this. I really want to keep this job but I cannot live like this and the pain only gets bad when I am working. I have tried your SLAM program as well as doing yoga and stretches which all help until I get back to working and then the pain returns. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I just want to talk to someone about this since everyone I talk to has either never heard of it or just thinks it will go away on its own. Thanks for your time

    1. Barbara

      Stephen,
      I would never write you off because you’re a young guy. Occasionally I see men with hip bursitis. Anytime you compensate for another problem, even an ingrown toenail, you can get other, compensatory aches and pains, even all the way up to the back. That being said, I would be remiss to pass this off as hip bursitis. You could have a stress fracture. You could have injured that side in your original accident. It’s not uncommon to miss minor injuries when we are faced with major trauma. Sometimes we don’t see the forest for the trees. We’re all busy taking care of your bad leg fracture, and occasionally a more minor injury is overlooked. I’m afraid you’re going to have to see an orthopedic surgeon. This is much more than I can deal with over a blog. The blog is more for general advice, and not for specific diagnosis. I’m sure you can appreciate that.

      Nonetheless, these kinds of pains can be very frustrating and it’s sometimes hard for patients to get the answers they need. If you haven’t seen an orthopedic surgeon, then now is the time to do that. Patients are often afraid to get advice from orthopedic surgeons, because they think all we do is surgery, but the majority of our patients are people just like you. They are folks with musculoskeletal pain who just need evaluation and advice or reassurance. It is certainly possible that you have something wrong with your hip that really can’t be “cured,” and activity modifications (yes, even changing jobs) are in order. Go find out what’s wrong with you.

      1. Stephen

        Thanks for the quick reply I really appreciate it. The only reason I have been thinking it was hip bursitis is that it is the only thing I could really find that sounds like the symptoms that I have. I also know that you cant diagnose anything was more just looking to talk to someone who has experience in this field as so far this is probably the most comprehensive information I have found on the subject so thank you for putting all this information together. I will definitely take your advice and look into seeing an orthopedic surgeon, I was hoping I could get rid of it on my own but that doesn’t seem to be the case and the pain is getting to be to much to handle on a daily basis so switching jobs may be in order. Just really depresses me as I just got this job and I actually like it the hours work very well with my schedule so i’m really hoping it doesn’t come to that but my health is definitely more important. Thanks again for your advice, I will look into what you suggested.

        1. Barbara

          You’re welcome. Please go see an orthopedic surgeon or a primary care doc before you quit your job! You will either find out what’s wrong, or at least be reassured that it’s nothing dangerous. Sometimes just knowing what it is or isn’t gives you peace of mind! Pain consumes a lot of mental energy, especially if we don’t know what it’s coming from. I wish you the best.

  87. jeannine

    I’m 44 my hip pain started 3 years ago. I started feeling it as I slept. It was a sharp pain like a stabbing one. I am a waitress all my life 10-12 hour shifts. Heavy tray lifting to feed parties. First doctors visit gave me an x-Ray. Nothing. Then I was working and the pain stopped me in my tracks and I let out a high pitched scream that I couldn’t control. My boss said go back to doctors. I went to my primary doctor. We talked for over an hour. She sent me to orthopedic hip doctors went to get mri. I had bursitis. I continued to work and therapy,physical. Nothing helped. If anything it go worse. At work I started to limp. I was really frustrated and worried about making it worse and the customers were watching me the whole time get worse. They would know I was in pain with out me saying a word. Then then pain would be so bad that tears would run down my face without me trying. Went to primary doctor again. She sent me to another hip doctor. He sent me to back doctors got mri of lower back. It said I have degenerativea arthritis in my lower back,bulging discs stenosis, scoliosis. Now I go to rheumatologist. She gives me shot in my hip. Nothing. She said it looks like a tunnel in my hip. I couldn’t keep working cause I started walking slower and slower,and my back started to bother me. Now I’m just going crazy. Would you think that the back is the cause of my hip bursitis or who would I talk to now. I’m lost in pain and sitting at home with two kids to support and I’m stuck. Not sure what to do from here. Any idea? Thank u for ur blog it is really helpful.

    1. Barbara

      Jeannine,
      I know exactly what you’re talking about. When I had hip bursitis it reached a point where my hip would actually give out on me due to the pain. That’s when I started my Sit Like A Man program and it started on its way to wellness. If you actually have bursitis (and right now the picture is less clear because of intervening issues for you), then SLAMing, getting in and out of chairs with the knees slightly spread, and standing with legs straight and not cocking the hip out to the side, should help. But it won’t happen overnight. Degenerative disc disease is not associated with direct tenderness over the lateral side of your hip. That’s hip bursitis. Back issues can cause pain to radiate down your leg though, so the picture can get confusing.
      It’s hard for me to get a handle on your overall condition. Keep in mind that just because you have hip bursitis, that doesn’t mean you can’t also suffer from back problems. Sorry. Back problems can cause hip bursitis and hip bursitis can lead to back problems. And the two can exist separately from each other! Not what you wanted to hear I’m sure. I see women with your exact complaints and conditions every day! It’s a common set of complaints. You have to continue to evaluate and treat both conditions. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  88. Ciara

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m 15 years old and I’ve been diagnosed with severe trochanteric bursitis in both hips. It causes me excruciating pain, and as I’m a very active person it affects my day to day life immensely. I’m a teen, and I can’t help but feel that I should be able to do the things I want, as everyone should, and my body should be in peak condition, so I’m desperate to get this sorted. I’ve tried many physiotherapists, had 5 corticosteroid injections (2 in my left hip and 3 in my right), none of which have made the slightest bit of difference. I am currently undergoing another round of physio, with the recent suggestion of a course of steroid injections (because my others were spread out over a year). Nothing seems to be working and I’m at a loss of what to do – is there any thing else you would suggest? I do the RICE thing, but again it makes no difference. What would you do next if you were me?

    1. Barbara

      Ciara,
      I’m so sorry you are suffering with hip pain at such a young age. While I do see young women with hip bursitis, it’s unusual. Sometimes they suffer from what we call “snapping hip syndrome.” I’m not totally comfortable with accepting a diagnosis of straight up hip bursitis at your age, especially in view of your failure to improve with standard conservative treatment efforts. Obviously, I’m not your doc. I haven’t examined you or looked at X-rays of your hips. But I do believe an MRI might be in order. Perhaps there is some underlying condition precipitating your condition or preventing you from getting better. Stress fractures and issues with the hip labrum, are not uncommon in younger patients. You might ask your doctor about an MRI to rule out other pathology. Just a suggestion. Can’t hurt!

      1. Ciara

        Thankyou, and thanks for replying so quickly.
        My hip does ‘snap’ or click when moved, however doctors have brushed on the topic but not really gone any further with it.
        I’m hypermobile, which I forgot to mention, so I don’t know if that would affect anything?
        My original specialist had raised the option of an MRI, however he said it was quite invasive and since I was 13/14 at the time he decided it wasn’t worth it, as he didn’t think there was a need to go down the path of another injury seeing as he’d already diagnosed me. I’m nearly 16 now and I don’t mind having an invasive scan as long as it may help, so if you think that’s a good option I will definitely look into it – thankyou again so much!

        1. Barbara

          Right, so ligamentous hyperlaxity is associated with snapping hip syndrome in young women. That’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it usually resolves spontaneously…sometime in the future. I rarely, if ever, have seen an adult woman with snapping hip syndrome. Bad news is…it will probably have to resolve on its own. It’s not likely to resolve with shots, stretching, etc.
          Try to be more mindful of your symptoms: when is it more likely to occur? Are there activities which aggravate it? When does it feel better? You might start to recognize patterns, and avoid the things that make it worse and try to reproduce the activities/positions which make it better…and do that more often. I know that sounds mundane, and like…duh! But more often than not, my patients don’t pay attention to that, until I remind them to do so.
          But have some peace with the fact that, if you actually do have bursitis and snapping hip syndrome…it WILL get better.
          Get confirmation with your doc, that there is nothing else going on. Sometimes I order an MRI when a patient has a condition for a long time and gets frustrated with their progress. It’s just a way of ruling things in or out. It sounds like you might benefit from that knowledge. Talk to your doc about it.

  89. Shell w

    I have quite a few issues I’ve sacroliitis fibromyalga benign joint hypomobility pain, I’ve had pelvic scans and Mris and us, I’ve been told I’ve got greater trochantric bursaes on both thighs, had steroid injection into left side to no avail, I can’t touch down the sides of my thighs can’t sleep on either side my cat feels like 20 stone if she attempts to lye on my sides, I’m on slow release morphine n cocodamol for pain killers. Any information would help. TIA.

    1. Barbara

      You do have a lot of problems. So sorry you’re having to take narcotics for pain relief. This is way beyond my ability to help. You must continue to follow your pain management doctor’s recommendations. Perhaps get another opinion if you feel you are not making progress. You can certainly try to Sit Like A Man, because this can’t hurt you and it might be slightly beneficial if you truly suffer in part from greater trochanteric bursitis. But SLAMming will have no effect on fibromyalgia and “joint hypermobility.” And as I mentioned in my blog, a 3″ memory foam mattress topper can help relieve some of that hip bursitis pain. Frankly, we could all benefit from that. We have some hard places on our bodies which need a little padding while we lie, sometimes for hours, in one spot!

  90. Pam

    Dear Dr.Barbara –
    THANK YOU for this blog! I’ve been a bursitis sufferer for over 2 years now – chronic pain pretty much all the time, nights are almost unbearable for me, etc…. After 4 cortisone injections and still having to rely on narcodic pain control, I’m ready to do something different to take my life back! I had resisted physical therapy because of my terrible insurance and work schedule, but am now at the point where I’d do just about anything to rid my body of this pain and get a good night of sleep! I would like to say that, although bursitis itself may be a benign condition, the effects could cause some really life-altering, unhealthy and in some cases, devastating issues for sufferers:

    1) Dependence (at best) and addiction (at worst) on narcodic pain medication

    2) Uncomfortable and potentially serious side effects of the gut from large doses of anti-inflammatory medications

    3) Long-term lack of sleep

    4) Lack of physical activity

    Yesterday I received a scheduling phone call from the physical therapist I’ll be working with, and she suggested a few things for me start doing right away; stop crossing my legs when I sit, ice the area before bed, sleep with a pillow between my legs. I followed her advice and last night had the best night of pain-free, drug-free, sleep that I can remember. It was astounding. I’m used to dreading bedtime because I know what’s in store for me…lying awake and gritting my teeth in pain, (when I do get to sleep it’s not unusual to wake up crying…it breaks my poor husband’s heart…).

    I want to point out that I’ve cruised the internet countless times looking for information about why the pain is so much worse at night – and your blog is the first to explain about the iliotibial band and putting pressure on it when lying down. Thank you! I wish my own doctor, after countless visits, could have told me that!

    The point of my posting is this – fellow sufferers – subscribe to this blog! I have to wonder how different my experience would have been if I had been told right away to make a few simple changes in my lifestyle and habits instead of given a shot, an RX for painkillers and sent on my way. Perhaps this sounds a bit peevish, but I kind of feel like it’s another “middle aged lady” situation like, say, menopause, that many doctors just don’t take the time to learn more about because they are “benign” conditions.

    1. Barbara

      Pam,
      Thanks for sharing with me and my readers. You are spot on in terms of the secondary problems, even with a “benign” condition like bursitis. I see it all too often, and I’m sorry if I sounded dismissive when I made those comments about the benign nature of the disorder.
      You are also spot on regarding the reasons why these preemptive strikes are not often recommended by docs. I do, deep down inside, believe that some conditions of older women are to some degree, ignored by my masculine colleagues. Not always…but sometimes… The mainstay of treatment is often some simple degree of rest and activity modifications. It takes time though, and often patients push us to do more: medications, P.T., surgery…
      So your P.T. showed you the right way, and you may very well be on your way to wellness. One other thing: Stand Like A Man too. I call it the Mr. Clean stance. Legs slightly spread and NO COCKING THE HIP. Women often stand with the hip cocked to the side. I recently experienced a resurgence of my hip bursitis, after a dozen years of being pain free! I was shocked and dismayed, but this time, immediately went to figuring out why. And I soon had my answer. I had a recent bought of diverticulitis which had caused a lot of abdominal pain. I found myself leaning on my desk at work to take the pressure off my sore tummy. That caused me to cock my hip out to the side. Boom! I stopped doing that and within a week my hip pain was gone. No more hip cocking. Mr. Clean stance all the way.

  91. Alfred Angel Dreger

    Hello Barbara,
    During my PT following labral tear repair on my right hip, I suffered an injury. My PT consisted of the heavy use of a stationary bicycle along with many repetitive motion exercises. I developed a severe case of greater trochanter hip bursitis in my right hip. This woman was very visible over the greater trochanter and the pain centered around that area. Imagine a flattened teepee, the point being the bursa and the sides are the surrounding muscle tissue. Below the bursa, the IT band was not only tight but the pain running down my leg was due to the fact that that IT band was pulling up the muscle with it. Above the bursa, the pain fanned out from the IT band/ muscle as it was attached to the hip area. Because it is excruciating deformation it also pulled the muscles to the left and right of the bursa so tight that depending upon swelling could feel that the pain was also in the groin. Think of a rubber band around the hip and pulling it taut from where the bursa is severely swollen. I also believe due to the special condition of heavy swelling it also restricted blood flow. I also noticed depend upon the amount of visual swelling, my right foot will feel swollen or tingling or numb. I would receive temporary relief from all of the above when receiving a cortisone injection in the hip bursa. I found a doctor that performed bursectumy and IT band release. Two weeks after the surgery I was walking without pain without any tightness running down my leg from the IT band, no more foot and groin issue. Unfortunately I was instructed on my first day of pt to perform baby squats and on my second day after a few minutes on a recumbent bike I received another injury. My buttocks behind the greater trochanter swelled up immensely. My doctor stated that he did not know how to continue and I was abandoned by him. Now after 6 months the swelling has not gone down and I’m having difficulties finding another doctor. My right buttocks seems to be disfigured as it pulled towards the greater trochanter. I believe this could be either my gluteus medius bursa or detached muscle or tendon tear or a bad hematoma. It’s very unfortunate but since I’ve been relying on my left leg so much now 3 days ago my left leg has failed me. I have all the conditions noted earlier for greater trochanteric bursitis in my left leg. The swelling is visible heavy use of ice will not bring it down and even that familiar foot numbness is present. This is a new percentage injury it’s very tender over the trochanter and you can feel the abnormality. I feel desperate. My condition now is an unknown abnormality in my right buttocks greater trochanter bursitis in my left hip. I live in Florida but I’m going to travel anywhere at this point I need help desperate I’m 39 yearold male married with a 12 year old daughter that I haven’t been able to go outside and play in over 2 years I need help bad. I cannot sit I calmly stand for maybe 5 minutes at a time and limited to the laying on my stomach my elbows are worn
    I have much fear in God. I’m so tired

    1. Barbara

      Alfred,
      I’m so sorry to hear of your trials with this hip. Unfortunately your condition is very specific and very complicated. It’s not something on which I would feel comfortable giving you professional recommendations, other than to suggest that you find another physician (either an orthopedic surgeon or a physiatrist) to take over your care. Very sorry not to be of much help.

  92. Joanne

    Hi;

    I never had pain in my right hip until I slept on my right side for two nights not moving at all. We had just got a new pug puppy that wanted to snuggle by my neck so I didn’t move at all for two nights. The third morning when I got up out of bed, I felt it. I honestly thought it would go away. It never did. 3.5 years later I got to the point I needed to do something. I went to a sports doctor who diagnosed me with greater trochanteric bursitis gave me a cortisone shot which worked wonder for two weeks. So now I’ve been in physiotherapy since April. I want to give this physio a good try before going back to the sports dr. I think it is working. I do exercises every night recommended by the physiotherapist. At physio they do ultrasound on the hip for 5 mins, electronic pulses using 4 patches on that area for 15mins and functional dry needling in that area and surrounding area for 15mins. I think it’s the dry needling that is helping it. Regular acupuncture did it worse. But I’ve been also thinking of getting a memory foam mattress for the bed. I try not to sleep on my right hip. I’ve discovered that when it’s feeling better, I’m wearing certain footware and when it’s feeling worse, I’ve taking notice of what footwear I have on. I do a lot of walking a day with my job. I do realize that it’s going to take time to get this better and hopefully one day it will be gone. I have read that one time, the sac was removed. Have you heard of this and would that make it worse not having the fluid sac removed?

    1. Barbara

      Joanne,
      Despite the fact that you seem to be doing all the right things, it’s disappointing to hear that your pain has persisted this long! Since the injection helped, even if only temporarily, we can feel comfortable with the diagnosis of great trochanteric bursitis. If it was something else, the shot would likely not have helped that much.
      Getting a memory foam mattress topper would help. It certainly helped me and it’s helped a bunch of my patients.
      Keep up with your exercises, but don’t overdo it, and certainly don’t do a bunch of exercises that hurt.
      Acupuncture and dry needling are both good ideas when we’re comfortable with the diagnosis of GTB. But if you don’t feel significant relief, then don’t bother.
      No power walking. When you are walking, do it at a leisurely pace, remembering that slow and fast walking burn the same number of calories. Fast walking just gets in done in a little less time, but trust me, the benefits don’t outweigh the risks.
      Please get started on my Sit Like A Man program and keep doing it for the rest of your life, because it’s the right thing to do! I’m optimistic that you will get better.

  93. Joan Haresign

    I have hip bursitis in my right side. I have been reading your posts and mine is pain on the side, but I also have pain that goes around my hip to the front of my thigh and proceeds down the front inside of thigh. It hurts like the dickens to bend over to pick something up off floor. It feels like the muscle in the thigh is being strechted to its limit, and beleive me, it hurts awful. I went to my PC this past friday, he gave me a steroid shot, it so far hasn’t seem to work. It felt a tad bit better for a while, but today it is bad. I have to go back this friday to see him. I am on other meds, that limit what I can take, I can’t take steroid pills, bleeding ulcer, on blood thinner, and have AFIB. So what do I do? I want to go on a cruise but am afraid I won’t be able to do the walking. Any suggestions I can use or maybe give my Dr.

    1. Barbara

      It would be remiss for me to try to guess at your specific condition, since I can’t examine you or see your X-rays. However, generally speaking, hip bursitis pain is isolated to the lateral, or outside of the hip. It does not wrap around the front. So it’s reasonable for your doc to give a try at treating the hip bursitis, but there could be something else going on. You could have hip arthritis or some form of tendonitis. Perhaps your doc’s plan is to further evaluate if you fail to respond to that shot. All that being said, you’re in a little bit of a pickle, as are many. You can’t use a NSAIDs to treat your pain. We’re using less and less of those anyway, simply because of the potential for side effects like kidney, liver, stomach and heart damage, which can be related to use of NSAIDs. But for many, just being able to use them occasionally is of benefit. Steroids can also be of benefit to many, but you can’t take those either. Injections aren’t effective for all musculoskeletal conditions, so we might be limited there too. That leaves activity modifications, physical therapy and then non-traditional treatments such as acupuncture. But you need to find out exactly what is going on. If you have hip arthritis, and you are older, a treatment option could be total joint replacement. But I certainly can’t give you any tips for your cruise. You don’t have many options, no matter what is wrong. But one of the beauties of cruising, is that you don’t actually have to do a lot of walking if you don’t want to! Sit back and enjoy the scenery, the library and the food!

  94. Kathy

    I am a 54 year old white female and have had sever pain in my left hip since my mid 30’s. It began when I was in the Navy. I had x-rays, MRI, therapy including ultrasound treatments. I was never given a diagnosis. I just had to deal with it. It continued even after I retired from the Navy and went to work for DHS.

    The pain has recently gotten much worse and now affects my sleep. I cannot lay on my left side for very long. I limp when standing up from most positions. When the pain is bad, while walking, I have to “push/put pressure” on it with my hand to get a small amount of relief.

    I am starting to become very anxious over the constant pain at this point and have no idea if I will ever have a diagnosis or any change in my situation. It REALLY hurts now.

    I will say that I have had a skiing accident when I was 32. I tore my maniscus, left knee, it was successfully repaired. I was also told that I had Ehlers Danlos (spell check ?) along with my little sister and possibly my dad. I have flat feet, rubbery joints, I am also hyper flexible. I could take my legs and wrap them around my neck and turn over like a spider and walk. I could also interlace my fingers and bring my arms up and over my head like I’m jump ropping, never releasing my fingers, so I am truly unsure of what is going on with my body and why I have such pain. Does anything I have described to you, even without medical records, sound like something you have heard of in the past or can give any advice on to me. I’m truly baffled as to what to do next, but I NEED some relief.

    Thank you so much for your time and I hope to hear from you if you have time to respond.

    Sincerely,

    Kathy

    1. Barbara

      Kathy,
      I really can’t specifically comment on your case. It’s much too complicated. I have many patients with pain which cannot be diagnosed. Their pain is therefore hard to treat. A past history of trauma and Ehlers Danlos syndrome is significant, but may or may not contribute to your current complaints. Patients with ligamentous laxity (and certainly EDS is an extreme variation of that) can be more likely to have some form of snapping hip syndrome, in which the iliotibial band is more lax across the greater trochanter, even to the point of snapping across that prominent bone. It is more commonly seen in teenagers, but I couldn’t say that it couldn’t occur in an adult with EDS. Unfortunately, I really can’t give you any specific advice at this point, other than to refer you back to your physicians. If you haven’t seen a physiatrist, you might consider getting a consultation with one.

  95. Stephanie V

    Dr. Barbara,

    I appreciate you and your time and responses to people. I believe I have developed this condition this week, it’s horrible! Do you have exercises you recommend or recommend use of a foam roller?

    Thank you!!

    1. Barbara

      Basically what you’ve read on my blog and my responses is the program. You can try iliotibial band stretches, but sometimes they actually hurt, so be cautious with that. Again, I’m not totally certain you have hip bursitis. I’m responding based on your statements indicating that you do. If you’re not sure, then get confirmation from a doc. If you have that already, then follow their guidance, but check out what I’ve written on the subject. There really aren’t a lot of exercises which actually “help” hip bursitis. It’s a little more about resting it and avoidance of activities, positions, exercises which hurt it.

  96. Susan

    This is what I was diagnosed with and at first I took anti-inflammatories and sent for rehab which I could not afford. That was July 2016. Then in late August I seen another Dr and he gave me an injection in each hip. I got relief for about a month an half. I went back for another set of injections (which hurt really bad) but that one hasn’t lasted as long. So I have to go back for another set. The pain is awful. It starts at the ball and goes down my leg to mid femur area and feels like someone knuckle punched my thigh on the side. It’s a deep down pain constantly throbbing. I was prescribed a muscle relaxer but try not to take it but some nights like tonight it’s really bad. I believe the injury that caused this was December 2015 when a horse trampled me and she stomped my hips even tho I was balled up in a ball. I hurt for a long time before I finally broke down and asked for a referral to an orthopedic Dr. It is so painful I can’t hardly stand it. Just wanted to share with what I have been thru.

    1. Barbara

      Sorry to hear you’re in pain. Whilst most women with hip bursitis don’t site trauma as the causative factor for their hip bursitis, anything that causes a limp can certainly result in this scourge. Though I can’t be certain that you have hip bursitis, the fact that a physician diagnosed it and you got better (even if temporarily) following injections, speaks to the probability that it is indeed what you have. Nonetheless, continue to make sure that this is the problem and seek appropriate treatment. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you do have hip bursitis. Then I would tell you it can take a long time to get better. It took almost a year for me to get rid of my hip bursitis when I had it. That was partly because it took me several months to finally discover the sit like a man concept for myself!

  97. Samantha

    I am a 23 year old female and I was diagnosed with bursitis in both of my hips when I was only a teenager. I have been through physical therapy and that didn’t help what’s so ever. If anything it made me more sore and stiff. I recently went to stand up and my right hip popped. Sending a shooting pain up my leg everytime I put weight on it. Could I maybe just have twiked it wrong or could this just be my condition getting worse? I have a doctor’s appointment in two days but was hoping to get some insite.

    1. Barbara

      Samantha,
      Younger patients will often have a condition related to hip bursitis called snapping hip syndrome. This usually resolves as patients get older. I see you have an appointment for a follow up with your doctor. Hopefully they will have some other ideas on how to help you.

    2. Barbara

      Samantha,
      I can’t recall if I’ve already responded to your comment, and I certainly can’t find where I did, so I’ll try again. It’s unusual, although not heard of, for young women to experience hip bursitis. It’s more common to have snapping hip syndrome…which results in a popping on the side of the hip. It is sometimes, but not always painful. Some young gals can do it on demand, and in fact I recall being able to do that when I was a teen. It’s just the tendon snapping over the hump of a bone called the greater trochanter. So even though anatomically, it IS related to greater trochanteric bursitis, the cause is less related. It’s usually due to some level of soft tissue laxity or flexibility, which allows that tendon to snap over the bone. Sure there are other things which could explain your pain, but I’m at a loss to think of what they might be and I’m glad you had an appointment to see a doctor. I would be curious to know what they thought was wrong with your hip. If you do have snapping hip syndrome, they might recommend PT. Rest assured it will eventually resolve. I’ve never seen a 60-year-old with snapping hip syndrome. It never hurts to Sit Like A Man…no matter what the diagnosis!

  98. Debbie

    I have had hip bursitis in both hips for years. I feel like My hips are stiff with very little give when I walk. My balance is not good and I fall often. Going up and down stairs is a struggle. Even stepping up on a curb or stepping down requires me to hold onto something. Getting up off the floor is super hard unless it’s carpet or I have a piece of furniture to pull myself up on. Can you help?

    1. Barbara

      Debbie,
      Usually hip bursitis does not cause this much disability. It’s usually just a painful condition. I would certainly try to see your physician again, to be sure that you don’t have something other than hip bursitis. It can certainly be painful to go up and down stairs. Any movement can be painful, but it usually doesn’t cause problems with balance and falling down. Keep searching for the cause of that condition.

  99. Heaven

    So…. my hip pain started during pregnancy. I’m 27. I thought the pain was just due to everything expanding during pregnancy but I’m almost 4 months postpartum. Sleeping is almost impossible. The pain shifts. Sometimes it’s one side and sometimes it’s the other. It goes down into my thighs sometimes. Getting into my car can be painful sometimes. It kind of locks up as I’m getting my legs in. My aunt suggested i see a chiropractor but i can’t afford that. I don’t know what to do. I really need my sleep.

    1. Barbara

      I really can’t help you very specifically. My blog is meant to try to help you see if the complaints you have match the ones I describe in my discourse on hip bursitis, or to help those who have been diagnosed with hip bursitis. I can’t tell you what’s wrong with your hips. You must seek counselling from a professional: a primary care doc, orthopedic surgeon or physiatrist, and yes, even a chiropractor could help you too. If the symptoms you have don’t really match up to those which I describe on the blog, then you might not have bursitis. And if you try to do the things I recommend, like modify painful behaviors and sit like a man, and it doesn’t help one iota, then you likely don’t have bursitis. And still my recommendation is that you seek professional help.

  100. Jenny Tresidder

    Dear Barbara,
    I came across your site as I was trawling the internet for info on hip bursitis. I have been diagnosed with trochanter hip bursitis and went for my first cortisone injection 3 weeks ago. I am also on Meloxicam anti inflammatory tablets. While the pain disappeared in the first day after the injection and I felt like a normal human being again, it now seems to have returned with a vengeance and my hip is really painful. My question really is this – how long will this take to heal and how many injections are usually required to clear the inflammation?
    The other question I have is – does ones groin have anything to do with bursistis? I have had a problem with my groin (on the same side as the bursitis) for almost 3 years now and according to my orthopedicsurgeon the 2 are not related! Would anything show up on an MRI for my groin?
    Thank you very much for your time in replying
    Kind regards,
    Jenny

    1. Barbara

      Jenny,
      Glad you found my blog. There’s lots of good stuff on it, so please subscribe!
      What you’re experiencing is not uncommon. Injections can sometimes work right away…some patients even walking out of the office with less pain (that’s the local anesthetic working). Later on the cortisone kicks in. But sometimes patients DO experience more pain after the injection. That can be due to irritation of the iliotibial band (the tendon which crosses over the greater trochanter), or perhaps the needle might have stuck into the bone a little. Some of my patients do experience pain afterward. It may still lead to improvement in a few days. It might not. These injections are not always successful. However, if you get any relief…even a day’s worth, I’d consider trying it again. I have many patients who come in every 4-6 months for hip bursitis injections until the pain finally goes away. If you can tolerate the injections, it’s certainly an option.

      Now to your question regarding groin pain. What your doc says is absolutely right. Groin pain is not related to the lateral hip pain causes by bursitis. There are many possibilities there and it will be up to you and your doc to figure that out. Potential musculoskeletal causes of groin pain are hip arthritis, avascular necrosis of the hip, hip stress fractures, labral tears and hip flexor tendonitis. That’s a short list, so be sure to follow up with your doc if that groin pain doesn’t resolve.

      Hope you get better!

  101. Eileen

    After a fall hitting my hip first, I have had 5 years of pain in back, hip,groin and calf. Seen several surgeons to no avail, one says one thing another says another. Diagnosed with herniated bulging disc with meniscal tear, part of spine broken off and stuck in a nerve root. Micro surgery last year, successfully, but still have the pain (acute) in my hip,groin and calf.
    Had several injections in both spine and hip none worked apart from the last one (7 weeks of bliss.) Second injection was very recent and in agony since. I have acute tronchial bursitis in my right hip, confirmed with MRI . Have you any suggestions as to how this can be addressed as the pain is not going away. Would you recommend I see an Ortho surgeon, I am a 65 year old who was very active until my fall.
    I have regular physio using a green band and do my exercises every day. Where do I go from here.? I already use your slam technique, I discovered it by accident sitting on the sofa with my legs akimbo and it does help.
    Thank you for your site, its informative and does help.

    1. Barbara

      Eileen,
      Sorry you’re having so much pain. You give a very complicated history and it’s something which requires “hands on” assistance. I DO recommend that you see an orthopedic surgeon. It never hurts to keep sitting like a man, but I think your problem goes a little beyond the scope of that simple solution.

      1. Eileen

        Thank you for your reply Barbara. What do you mean by hands on assistance. I thought that’s what I was getting….After contacting the radiology department today they say my hip will settle down in a few days and to take pain killers. My tendons are inflamed at the back of my hip, apparently, along with the bursitis that I have had for ages.
        Maybe now is the time is to push for sorting me out once and for all as there is obviously a problem somewhere, I just don’t know where to go from here. Do I need a new hip, if so just give me one…. Rotation is good on my hip and I do have wear and tear but not significantly. Is there an actual cure for this as its been five years of being moved from one surgeon to another. To be fair this neurosurgeon is great and I do think that he is doing process of elimination.

        I will see what the neurosurgeon says when I go back at the end of May. I am now keeping a pain chart so that he can see what is happening.
        I am hoping that he will refer me to an orthopedic surgeon as the spine is now sorted.

  102. Susan

    Hi Barbara,
    I’m a 60 year old female who has been sufffering from Greater Tronchanteric Burstitis since May (diagnosed by a pysiotherapist).It started on my left hip whilst walking (a few miles). I am a keen walker and cylclist but now i have given up all these activities as the pain is so bad. I now have pain in both hips and can’t sleep on either side and if I do, I have pain in my side, down the outside of my leg, buttock and can have low back pain sometimes when I awake. Also getting up from sitting and climbing stairs too. I am currently taking anti-inflammatory drugs and paracetamol (only dulls the pain) as advised by my doctor and I’m waiting to see an Orthopaedic doctor. I really feel that this problem won’t go away and has got progressively worse over the months. it really has changed my life and has stopped me doing all the things that I enjoy.

    1. Barbara

      There’s no easy fix for this, unless your orthopedic surgeon wants to give you a shot…and it works. Many times shots don’t work, and sometimes they can help for a month or two or six. A year is a long time to suffer with hip bursitis. You want to be sure that’s what it is, and it sounds like you probably have it based on your symptoms. Occasionally lateral hip pain can be due to a partial tear of the gluteal tendon. This is also a degenerative process…so you’re definitely at the right age for that condition too. It’s hard to treat as well, and not as likely to recover quickly or completely, like hip bursitis can sometimes do. You definitely want to be sitting like a man! Don’t stand with your hip cocked to one side. Make sure your legs are slightly spread when you get in and out of chairs. Let’s see what the orthopedic surgeon has to say. Consider the shot if he/she offers.

  103. Rebecca

    Hi, about 5 weeks ago now I decided to have a little jog around the field with my dog. Literally 30 seconds in I felt this awful pain in my right hip. I carried on but had to stop after another 10/20 seconds as it hurt so much!! Went to the Drs a few days later as it was really hurting to walk. I felt such an idiot as she was moving my leg all around and I’m saying “no that’s fine that doesn’t hurt!” Then she later my on my side, pressed hard around my top bottom and I squeeled “that’s it!!!” She told me I had trochanteric Burstitis and gave me Naproxen and told me to rest.
    It’s been 5 weeks now and I’m desperate to get back to my clubbercise classes but it still hurts. Some days not much others more so. Like I’ve read it hurts more if I lay on that side and I really feel it getting up out of a chair etc.
    I really want to exercise but don’t want to set myself back weeks again as clubbercise is quite vigerous!
    Any help you can give me would be so much appreciated!
    Can I go back to my classes or will I always have this blooming dodgy hip now. I’m only 39 but feel so old because of it!!
    Thanks

  104. Nitin

    Hi Barbara,

    I am Nitin from India and 26 years old, Last year when traveling through train I got some jerk on side of the left hip. I went to the Neurological doctor 2 days after, the doctor asked for a Xray and checked my reflexes of the ankle with a rubber hammer. he told me there is a spasm in the hip region and ankle jerk is missing. He gave me some medicine and asked me to have more calcium dosage. But the pain still exists. I am an engineer and I have to sit 8 hours a day. So the pain continued and I have seen many doctors but they all told me to have rest, have some leveled mattress. Recently in Taiwan, I went to an ortho doctor & he asked me for X-ray. He said your x-ray looks totally fine and hinted me that it can be sciatica which he said can be checked by MRI only but he didn’t recommend me that. Now I looked at your this article, I believe I have the same symptoms. Usually resting on Sat & Sundays I am ok till Tuesday and later on Wednesday, the pain starts again. I am tired of this reiterating pain.
    Please let me know if there is any treatment for this because I cant run, cant go to the gym. Whenever I run I have this pain but holding my gluteus with the hand doesn’t hurt it relaxes me.

    1. Barbara

      Nitin, It’s really impossible for me to know if you actually have GTB, but if the symptoms sound similar, then read my Sit Like A Man blog entry http://drbarbarabergin.com/sit-like-a-man-s-l-a-m/ and follow the instructions. It should help. GTB is pretty easy to diagnose, so question your docs about that condition. Either they don’t think you have it, or they haven’t diagnosed it. 26 is a little young to have GTB, so they might not be considering it in your case.

    1. Barbara

      Yes, besides sleeping on your back or tummy, get a 3 inch memory foam mattress pad and then also sleep with a pillow between your legs.

  105. Alla

    Hi Barbara, my 90 year old grandpa suffers from hip bursitis.he is in a great amount of pain very often. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. Barbara

      Alla,
      As I mentioned before, the group of people most often affected by hip bursitis, are women over forty. The second largest group is older, usually very thin men, like men in their 70s on up. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and I think it’s because of chronic iliotibial band tightness. They might also suffer from chronic gluteal tendonitis; just the result of a long life of tension on this strong and important structure in the hip. These older men are very stiff, and often used to walking in a slightly slumped forward position. Perhaps it places a repetitive strain on those tendons. There is likely to be a lot of pressure on the sides of their hips when they lie down, because they are thin. This condition is very difficult to treat. Men of that age are unlikely to gain much by stretching. Physical therapy is rarely helpful. Because of the potential for side effects when using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, the continuous use of them is rarely recommended. So we’re left with injections. These are often pretty successful in this group of patients, as opposed to older women, in whom mechanical adjustments, like my Sit Like A Man program, do tend to work. Men are usually already sitting like men, and so this doesn’t apply!

      I have a fairly large group of older men with greater trochanteric bursitis, who come in regularly for injections. Do not expect a single injection to result in a cure. There will likely never be a cure. It has to be seen as a TREATMENT. In other words, they come in every few months and get shots. I generally recommend that they not come in more often than every 3 months (or 3-4 times a year). Many come in like clockwork, every 3 months. Others come in when it starts to hurt and others try to live with it for a while, and then show up when they can’t take it any more.

      Be sure to get a 3 inch memory foam mattress topper for padding those thin thighs, and have them sleep with a large body pillow between their legs. The foam mattress topper pads the downside hip and the pillow takes tension off the upside hip.

      Needless to say, but I’m saying it…since I don’t know your dad, I can’t be sure that he actually has bursitis. Only his doc knows that for sure. Always make sure it’s what he has. I’m sure his doctor has taken X-rays and ruled out other sources of lateral hip pain, or is in the process of doing so. Sometimes I treat hip bursitis based on history and physical, but when it doesn’t respond to the usual treatments, I rule out other sources of pain (tumors, fractures, back problems, to name a few). My recommendations here are based on the assumption that he actually has bursitis, and what I would do for a patient with that condition.

      Hope this helps. Sorry your dad is having so much pain.

  106. Janis Baucom

    Dr. Barbara
    I’ve had this hip pain for over 5 years to the point that I thought it was bone cancer so I had an MRI and it turned out to be the trochanter bursitis.

    With that relief in my mind I started physical therapy and changing how I walk how I sit I even had my seat repositioned in my car.

    Some days are good and some days are really bad. My PCP recommended I go to a new pain doctor in town and doing so the new doctor recommended the steroid lidocaine injections. This has become my life saver… it is amazing as I feel I have a new lease on life and am pain free for about 3 months.

    I’ve had two sets of injections because I have a little bit of it in my right hip also. My right hip is doing so much better my left hip is beyond repair I feel. This last injection in my left hip only lasted 5 weeks I have been having pain now for six weeks and I go for my injection next week.

    My pain doctor told me at some point we cannot do this anymore because it damages the cartilage I am to the point I want a new hip and leg if it’ll help alleviate the pain. I cannot sleep I cannot exercise and stretching makes it feel better for about 45 minutes and then I just feel it all sucking up and starting to ache and have pain again.

    I’m in grade health with exception to that and I will be 60 in December

    I thought I would get a woman doctor’s perspective and also because you have had it. And dealing with my male doctors they just don’t get how much pain I am in and how debilitating it is.
    I would so appreciate anything you can add and I’m to the point I will do anything to get rid of this pain.

    Also I have tried meds even pain meds essential oils ice exercise I’ve done it all.

    Any further thoughts or recommendations?

    1. Barbara

      Janis,
      I’m going to assume you’ve read my posts on Sit Like A Man (S.L.A.M.) and Hip Bursitis. Because this will tell you everything you need to know about this ridiculously painful condition. Sit, get in and out of chairs and stand like a man. That’s how I got rid of it, and recently I felt it in one of my hips for a day, and realized that I had started leaning on the counter top of the work station at my office, because I was having a pain in my tummy. I got rid of the pain in my tummy, but more importantly, I stopped leaning on that counter top, and then pain went away. Now mark my words, it wasn’t the tummy pain that had anything to do with it. It was that the tummy pain was causing me to want to stand in a bent over position, so I was leaning on that counter top. As with all my recommendations for repetitive strain disorders: figure out what is exacerbating the pain, and stop doing it. Only then can your body have a chance to heal. If you have no pain while you’re sitting with your legs slightly apart, then do more of that. If you have no pain when you’re standing with legs akimbo, like Mr. Clean, then stand more often like that. Please read both of these posts. If all else fails, and you truly have hip bursitis, then there is surgery. But in my professional experience, the pain relief doesn’t always last. This is a degenerative, repetitive strain disorder. And if you keep doing things the same way you have been doing them, the pain will come back.

  107. -------

    I am a male high school runner who last year in August (2016) developed hip pain, a few weeks later I started getting pain on the side of my leg, then later got knee pain. I ignored it for a while and continued to run and eventually stopped in November of that year. I later got X-Rays and nothing appeared wrong from that. It wasn’t until May (2017) that I went to the orthopedic doctor and they said I had iliotibial band syndrome and gave me anti-inflammatory/ pain medicine.; As I was about to leave I asked why my hip made a popping noise, the doctor responded It was because of snapping hip syndrome, which he didn’t say before but, In my records, it appears I only have iliotibial band friction syndrome. I have two major different types of pain, one in my hip only and the other in my leg and knee which I can distinctly tell the difference in the type of pain. I started going to therapy after that (May) and my hip was healing but not my leg. The hip pain was almost completely gone until school started in August and the pain went back to almost how it was before going to therapy. School is really painful with having to walk to my classes, go up and down the stairs with my heavy backpack, and having to sit down for hours which causes pain too. I stopped going to therapy in September due to my parents not seeing the process in my recovery. I still do my therapy stretches at home every day but haven’t been able to have the same progress I had during summer when I didn’t have to walk a lot like I do at school. I’m not seeing any improvement and I don’t know what to do or who I should consult to help me with this problem and I would like to ask for your advice.

    1. Barbara

      Your symptoms are unusual, and I’m sorry you’re having so much trouble…and for so long! Let me first say, that needless to say, I can’t give you direct and specific medical advice, since I’m not able to see you as a patient. But a few things come to mind. Firstly, it is unusual for young men to experience this kind of hip pain. So in view of persistence of symptoms, despite perseverance in a conservative course of treatment, I might be inclined to dig a little deeper, and perhaps consider further study; maybe even looking at your back and perhaps further studying your hip via MRI scan. Stress fractures and hip labral tears are fairly common sources of hip pain in younger people. Again, it obvious that I haven’t seen you, so I can’t begin to even guess at what your docs are thinking, so these are just considerations. I hope I’ve been able to help give you a little guidance, and I hope that you soon find the source of your pain, and then the fix!

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