Spotlight on Joint Health: Trochanteric Bursitis


Some of you may never have heard of bursitis. may you never experience it first hand.  A bursa is a small fluid filled sac that acts as a cushion where bones, muscles and tendons rub against each other around a joint.
The bursa located in the hip by your trochanter can become inflamed for many reasons such as:

  • injury to the hip
  • overuse or injury to the joint
  • poor posture
  • stress on the soft tissues
  • hip bone spurs or calcium deposits

If you have loose joints, your pelvis can become misaligned, setting you up for bursitis.  If this happens, the iliotibial band will tighten up and exacerbate the rubbing and increase inflammation.  If you sit a good part of the day, if you frequently drive for long periods of time, if you don’t exercise and your core muscles are weak, you are more likely to develop this condition.  The pain can become so intense you might not be able to walk.  After sitting for long periods, you can have great pain upon rising.  This will also set you up for a vicious cycle because when you have pain and stiffness, you may not want or be able to exercise and stretch.
If it gets to that point, you likely will have to take an intensive short course of a steroid to quickly reduce inflammation and then begin your recovery process.  This involves intensive physical therapy with a practitioner who is well versed in anatomy and physiology and can determine if skeletal misalignment is part of the problem.  Do NOT seek help from chiropractors.  Their practice is NOT based on sound scientific studies and there are many cases of people being gravely injured by chiropractors.  A good PT is always the way to go.  They do what chiropractors do but with a background in evidence-based medical knowledge and none of the spiritual mumbo jumbo.
Therapy will likely involve the following elements:


  • electro-stim machines
  • hot compresses
  • cold compresses
  • skeletal adjustments
  • a series of stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles of your: stomach, thighs, low back, and butt

The very best thing you can do to ensure your complete recovery and to prevent a relapse is to stick with your rehab exercise program.  Even after you feel better, keep it up.  Sit on a Swiss ball for a few minutes several times a day.   Make sure to engage your abdominal muscles often, especially when carrying heavy objects. Take Pilates classes.  Avoid bizarre body postures and extreme twisting positions if your joints are loose (especially women and especially just before your period–your joints are even looser then and you’re more prone to sports injuries).

If you frequently feel soreness or stiffness in your hip or in your pelvis where your thigh joins your trunk, if you have pain after long periods of sitting, get checked by an orthopedic specialist and rule out trochanteric bursitis.

Be well friends!