Hip Bursitis: Symptoms and Diagnosis
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A common complaint with hip bursitis that affects the trochanteric bursa is that it is difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep. Lying on the affected side can compress the bursa under the body weight, but lying on the other side causes the upper leg to cross the body’s midline, into a position called adduction. Adduction can also put compression on the trochanteric bursa with the weight of the leg.
Therefore, it is advised to lie either on your non-painful side with a thick pillow between your knees, or on your back, if you have greater trochanteric bursitis. If lying on your back, it is often it is more comfortable to have a slight bend in your knees and hips by placing a pillow under your knees.
Hip bursitis is common in pregnancy as the mother’s body weight increases, with the development of the foetus, and the ligaments become more flexible, caused by changes in hormones. In the later stages of pregnancy, it is advised not to lie on your back due to the pressure that the abdomen can place on the major arteries below. Therefore side lying with a pillow between the knees is the only option, for hip bursitis during pregnancy. Unfortunately, with pregnancy, hip bursitis can develop on both sides which can be problematic when trying to get comfortable sleeping, and alternating sides is then the only option.
Massage treatments can be helpful for providing temporary pain relief from hip bursitis. Massage to the muscles around and over the bursa can reduce the tone of these muscles which can make them feel more relaxed and supple, reducing the pressure and compression on the bursa.
Acupuncture and dry needling for hip bursitis, are non-pharmaceutical pain relief treatments. The treatment involves the insertion of fine needles into the soft tissue around the hip and sometimes in other areas of the body. The body responds to these needles by producing chemicals such a s dopamine, serotonin and encephalitis, which can relax muscles, reduce pain and make you feel good.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS for short, is another non-pharmaceutical pain relief treatment that can be used for hip bursitis. TENS is a small battery-powered machine that provides a very low electrical impulse that can reduce the nerve signals that go to the brain and spinal cord that can be perceived as painful. It is a very safe treatment and can be used at home.
The machine will come with electrical wires that are connected to two or four sticky pads, which are usually single-use and replaceable. The pads should be positioned either side of the painful area, more than 1 inch (2.5cm) apart. For pain at the hip these pads should not be placed over numb, damaged, irritated, inflamed, infected or burned areas of skin, or over various veins. If using TENS for pain elsewhere in the body you should consult your medical professional to know the safety points for that area.
This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments.