Hip Bursitis

Hip Bursitis
Ryan Whitford

Bursitis is common in runners and joggers, and typically affects the trochanteric bursa, iliopsoas bursa, or the ischial bursa. A bursa is a fluid sac that acts as a cushion between your tendons and bones. Because streets are crowned for run - off, the condition usually affects the down leg, referring to the leg closest to the gutter. Seen commonly in female runners because of the wider pelvis and larger Q angle (the angle formed by the hip - knee - ankle). It is also seen in runners who cross their feet over midline as they run, thereby functionally increasing the Q angle. A burning or deep, aching feeling is felt just posterior to the tip of your hip bone, and be aggravated by squeezing your legs together, or during hip flexion and extension in weight bearing. Referred pain may move down to the outside of the thigh.

The iliopsoas bursa can be irritated by lifting the hip up, out away from body, and turning the knee outwards. Pain is felt more inside and to the front of the hip joint and cannot be easily palpated.

Chronic bursitis can lead to Snapping Hip syndrome, this is when the ITB (iliotibial band) snaps over the hip bone. The individual may complain about a snapping sensation in the inner thigh. One can treat this by anti - inflammatories and a streching program.

Treatment for bursitis includes ice packs, deep massage, rest, and NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.). A postural exam and a biomechanical analysis can be done by trained professionals. Different shoes, orthotics, or altering the running technique may correct the problem. A flexibility program to strech the involved muscles should be included. If the condition does not improve rapidly, a bone scan might be done to rule out a possible femoral neck stress fracture, as often these mimic bursitis symptoms.

Any questions , please feel free to email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As always......many happy days of running - injury free!!!

Additional information on bursitis of all types may be found on the Mayo Clinic’s web site.