Understanding Hip Bursitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Bursae are small fluid filled sacs that are frequently found between bone and overlying connective tissue throughout the body. They function to provide cushioning and reduce friction. In most cases, bursitis is due to overload which leads to the bursae becoming inflamed and painful. In the case of hip bursitis, this is felt as pain at the side of the hip which may radiate down to the knee with activities such as lying on the affected side, ascending stairs, and walking. 

Hip bursitis can occur in men and women at any age, however is more common in females due to their wider hips, but particularly in post-menopausal women due to lower oestrogen levels.

How can physio help? 

There are many factors that contribute to the development of this condition. Physio can identify and give you strategies to manage these. Some of the common factors include: 

·      Lack of strength in hip muscles

·      Lack of strength in knee muscles 

·      Poor foot control – increased pronation (foot rolling in) can have an effect on the knee and hip alignment, which can overload the hip 

·      Pelvic floor weakness or dysfunction – the pelvic floor, in combination with x3 other core muscles help to stabilise the pelvis, which has an impact at the hip

·      Gait – gait is the pattern in which you walk. In response to pain or weakness, this pattern can change – which can further overload the hip, or any other joint in the legs and back. Normalising gait can offload the hip by balancing forces side to side.

Exercise prescription can manage the above factors and rehabilitate hip bursitis. Additionally, various treatment modalities can help to manage pain. Modalities that we provide at Sans Souci Physio include: 

·      Shockwave therapy – shockwave therapy uses acoustic shockwaves which are applied to tight muscles around the hip to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension and pain. Reduced muscle tension can help to manage pain at the hip.

·      Dry needling – dry needling uses acupuncture needles which are placed in myofascial trigger points (or ‘knots’) within the muscle. This can help to increase blood flow.

·      Low level Laser therapy (LLLT) – LLLT is the use of near infrared light over bursa to stimulate repair. LLLT reduces inflammation and has a healing effect on the bursa and surrounding inflamed tissue.

In some cases, a cortisone injection or oral steroidal anti-inflammatories may be a helpful adjunct to rehabilitation. But you should always seek advice from your physiotherapist or GP first.

Suffering from hip bursitis? Come in and have an assessment with one of our friendly physiotherapists for a treatment plan that will help you recover.

ONERO Exercise Classes at Sans Souci Physio! 


ONERO is an exercise program specifically tailored to improve/ maintain bone mineral density. 

Weekly Classes:

Monday 8:30-9:15am

Tuesday 8:30-9:15am

Tuesday 10:30-11:15am

Wednesday 8:30-9:15am 

Thursday 5:30-6:15pm

Please call for more information and bookings.