If you or someone you love have bursitis in the hip (or anywhere for that matter), you know how painful this condition can be.
Chances are that the only thing you are really thinking about is how you can stop the pain of bursitis quickly but naturally. No one wants to pump their bodies full of chemicals they don’t need.
Today, we are going to talk about what bursitis is, why it hurts like the dickens, and best of all, little known ways that you can stop bursitis pain quickly, without resorting to pharmaceutical drugs.
What Is Bursitis?
Around the joints of your body are small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae. These sacs surround the tissue where the skin, muscles, or tendons meet the bones. Bursae provide lubrication and prevent friction, as well as wear and tear when the joint is being used.
When these sacs become inflamed, they cause pain called bursitis. Bursitis can cause anything from a feeling of mild discomfort to fairly sharp, or sometimes it’s more of a burning type of pain. Bursitis can make the joint look red, cause swelling and prevent you from moving since the joint will feel stiff.
Bursitis of the Hip
The hip has more than one bursa sac. However, approximately 60 percent of all cases of hip bursitis involves the outermost sac called the trochanteric.
This is located on the outside of the hip, where the leg attaches to the hip bone. When you stand up and put your arms at your sides, this bursa sac is located right about in the middle of your palm.
If you press on this area and feel pain, or if the outside of this joint is swollen or red, chances are that the trochanteric bursa sac is inflamed.
Will the Pain From Hip Bursitis Ever Go Away?
The strange thing about bursitis is that it can flare up for only 6–12 hours or it can last for days, in some cases, even a few weeks!
Unfortunately, bursitis can appear to be healed, and the pain can disappear the same way, for a few hours or a few weeks, but then it returns suddenly.
Bursitis can become a chronic condition, affecting your quality of life, and limiting what you can do.
You don’t have to live with bursitis, however. Keep reading for more information about how you can beat this painful condition.
What Aggravates Hip Bursitis?
This common disorder can be caused by excessive running, exercise, microtrauma over time caused by a variety of issues, or major trauma to the area from a fall or an automobile accident.
Sports enthusiasts sometimes develop bursitis in the hip from overuse, such as soccer players or ballet dancers. Bone spurs can also cause crystals to form and irritate the bursa.
Some people develop hip bursitis simply from long hours of sitting. Sitting for long periods without moving or stretching causes the muscles to come shorter and tight, pulling across the bursa and irritating it.
Inflammation is often idiopathic, which means that it has no known cause. Talking to your doctor or chiropractor about your daily activities and habits oftentimes reveal the root cause.
9 Little Secrets for Hip Bursitis Relief
Regardless of the root cause, one thing is certain, you want that pain to stop now!
I’ve compiled a list of easy ways you can find pain relief right now.
1. Stretching Exercises
You might be thinking that you can’t exercise because of the pain, but the following stretching exercises will provide some pain relief so that you can do other exercises that will hurt less, such as swimming or water aerobics. Try some of the following stretches:
- Hip Bridges
- Lateral Leg Raises
- Lying Leg Circles
- Hip Rotator Stretch
- Iliotibial Band Stretch
If you are unsure how to do these exercises, a quick online search will provide photos, instructions, and even videos of how to do these stretches properly.
2. Sleep Secrets
One thing that is super annoying about hip bursitis is that you can’t sleep on your side! Getting a good night’s rest is important, so what can you do to sleep so that your hip doesn’t hurt?
If you love to sleep on your side, you can try placing a small pillow under your hip or between the knees to reduce pressure. If you like lying on your back, you can put a small wedge pillow under your knees or use it to cushion the hip.
Ladies, if you have a desk job and you find that just getting in and out of the chair to be painful, try the sit like a man routine.
Position your legs at the 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock position and stand up without putting your legs or feet together. This reduces the distance that the tendon will move across the bursa and make getting up, or sitting down, more comfortable.
4. Ice Therapy
Everyone reacts differently, but for many people, ice therapy can help to reduce swelling and pain, while reducing inflammation.
Use an ice pack or cold pack on your hip for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Never put the ice pack directly on your skin but wrap it in a cloth or towel.
After three days, you can move on to secret No. 5.
5. Heat Therapy
Ice therapy only works for the first three days that you start feeling pain. After that, heat will offer more relief and it brings healing nutrients to the area.
You can use a hot water bottle, a heating pad set on low, a warm, moist towel or soak in the tub. There are also heat packs that stick on the skin. You can place one of these under your clothing, so it is unnoticeable while you are at work or out in public.
6. Anti-Inflammatory Supplements
Since the pain is from an inflamed bursa sac, the obvious way to stop the pain is to reduce or eliminate the inflammation.
Natural, plant-based anti-inflammatories are far better than over the counter anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen). Some of the best anti-inflammatory supplements include:
Always speak to your doctor or chiropractor before taking any supplement, especially if you are under a doctor’s care for a health condition or if you are taking prescription medications.
7. Comprehensive Chiropractic Care
You probably didn’t consider comprehensive chiropractic for hip pain as an effective remedy, but it is extremely useful for the majority of persons with this painful condition.
Chiropractors are specialists when it comes to all things musculoskeletal, so they know how to stop the pain of bursitis while offering you speedier healing.
Non-invasive adjustments can help reduce the stress and pressure on the bursa, which offers instant pain relief. Chiropractic care can also reduce inflammation and improve the flexibility of the joint.
If you have another issue and your chiropractor doesn’t feel that they can help, they will refer you to a qualified specialist so you can get the help you need.
8. Avoid These Exercises
We’ve talked a lot about what you should do, so here are a few things that you should STOP doing to prevent irritating the bursa even further and causing more pain.
- Avoid any activity that causes you more pain
- Avoid weight-bearing exercises such as walking, running, or stair climbing
- Avoid sports activities if they cause hip pain
- Avoid going back to your normal routine until the hip has completely healed
- Avoid wearing very tight clothing, such as pantyhose or spandex workout pants
Depending on your situation, your doctor or chiropractor might add other items to this list for you to avoid.
9. Chiropractic Massage Therapy
If even the thought of someone rubbing your hip makes you cringe in pain, I understand, but that’s not what we are talking about.
Chiropractic massage is different from your day-spa massage in that it is designed to help heal the underlying tissue without massaging the area directly.
Your chiropractor will explain what areas need attention to the massage therapist. Most massage therapists working in the chiropractor’s office are already very aware of bursitis. They will do everything you need to alleviate hip pain, improve circulation in the area and speed the healing of strained muscle tissue.
If you have any questions about whether chiropractic massage therapy might be right for you, speak to your chiropractor or primary care physician.
Following through on exercise, stretching,and a resting program can offer you tremendous pain relief. If you don’t feel substantial improvement despite taking these measures, speak to your chiropractor or primary care doctor.
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been Anchorage’s top-rated chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of Alaskan patients with chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physical rehab therapy designed to help give long-lasting relief.
He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.