What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip pain is a catch-all phrase that describes pain affecting the hip region. But hip pain can come from causes, some of which aren’t from the hip itself. People can experience hip pain from herniated discs. This is referred pain and resolves when the underlying back issue is treated.

However, hip bursitis is a medical condition that stems from the hip. It can be extremely painful, causing a loss of proper function and mobility. Diagnosing hip bursitis is usually made by a combination of physical examination and radiologic imaging.

What is Hip Bursitis

Greater trochanteric bursitis is caused by painful inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac, located near the greater trochanter. When inflamed, it can cause pain with and without movement.


Patients often present with symptoms due to overuse, as seen in professional athletes and people who participate regularly. Other causes this painful condition include:

Improper posture. Problems with the lumbar spine, scoliosis and certain types of arthritis.
Previous hip surgery.
Injury to the hip
Chronic medical conditions such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis
Age-related change

Symptoms can range from a mild ache to excruciating pain. Patients often have trouble walking up the stairs, lying on the affected side. The area is tender when pressed on and may feel hot to the touch. Getting up from a seated position can also worsen the pain, limiting the patient’s mobility.


Treatment starts with a proper diagnosis. Physical examination, the patient’s past medical history and possible radiological imaging can help make a definitive diagnosis. Once a definitive diagnosis is made, treatment will vary. The goal of care is to reduce painful inflammation and restore function and range of motion.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication may provide relief. Corticosteroid injections are also beneficial for some patients. In more severe cases that are unresponsive to conservative treatment, including medication and physical therapy, surgery may be warranted.


Since most cases are due to overuse, prevention is the best route to go. Avoid activities that are known to cause a flare-up of symptoms. Use proper technique when participating in sports, and make sure that your spine is properly aligned. With proper treatment and rest, most cases do resolve on their own. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, reach out to your physician for further guidance.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!