Hip Bursitis

Category: Education

What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip Bursitis, also referred to as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, is clinically diagnosed with the presence of pain originating from the outside of your hip. A bursa is a fluid filled pad that acts as a smooth surface for your muscles to glide over your bones when you move. Abnormal pressure can cause the bursa in your hip to become inflamed and painful. This pain can get worse with prolonged walking or standing, climbing stairs, and when lying down on the affected side at night. The muscles and tendons that run over the bursa in your hip may also contribute to painful symptoms.

Why does it happen?

Hip Bursitis has a wide variety of contributing factors, including:

  • Hip Anatomical Variations
  • Sudden increase in exercise load
  • Physical trauma to the side of the hip
  • Muscle imbalances at the hip
  • Age and sex (women are approximately 4 times more likely to develop this than men)

The aim of treatment will be to resolve any inflammation and improve the strength and coordination of the muscles in your hip so that they more optimally support your body.

The role of Physiotherapy

It is key to remember that pain and injuries often have many contributing factors. Your Physiotherapist will perform a thorough assessment and work with you to find the most effective treatment strategy. Some approaches for treating Hip Bursitis are:

  • Education for self-management
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Manual therapies such as soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Modalities such as shockwave therapy and ultrasound


Often a combination of techniques will be performed to treat the underlying cause(s) and to reduce your pain. Common advice for decreasing pain might also be appropriate, such as avoiding crossing your legs when seated and sleeping with a pillow between your knees to reduce pressure on your hip.






Barratt, P. A., Brookes, N., & Newson, A. (2016). Conservative treatments for greater trochanteric pain syndrome: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(2), 97–104. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095858

Speers, C. J., & Bhogal, G. S. (2017). Greater trochanteric pain syndrome: a review of diagnosis and management in general practice. British Journal of General Practice, 67(663), 479–480. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp17x693041