We see so many people in our clinic each day complaining of pain on the outside of their hips and down the outside of their leg. They’ve been to the doctor, had a scan and have been diagnosed with Trochanteric Bursitis. Trochanteric bursitis is inflammation or swelling of the bursa (fluid-filled sac near a joint) at the outside (lateral) point of the hip known as the greater trochanter. When this bursa becomes irritated or inflamed, it causes pain in the hip. This is a common cause of hip pain.
It’s a problem that wakes you from your sleep, hurts when you walk too far and stops you doing the things you love to do with family and friends. Often your doctor or friends will suggest that you need a cortisone injection into the Bursa to get rid of this problem but some of the recent evidence suggests this may not be the best approach.
New research from an internationally recognized hip expert has provided us with specific guidelines for how to achieve the best long term outcome for your hip pain and I’ve listed these below:
Avoid positions that place increased compression on the outside hip structures. These include the following:
• Sitting cross legged
• Laying on the affected side
• Standing while “hitching” on the affected side
• Sitting in deep arm chairs or deep chairs where the knees end up higher than the hips.
Avoid getting a cortisone injection. The most recent research indicates while the injection can help with pain relief in the short term, those patients who opted for a cortisone injection actually did worse over a 12 month period than patients who did nothing at all.
Follow through with a guided exercise program to strengthen the buttock muscles and the muscles around the hip and leg. This will take a minimum of 6 weeks to take full effect and you will need to carry on with it for at least 12 weeks. As the muscles around the hip get stronger, it takes pressure off the bursa and hip tendons and allows the area to settle. If you keep them strong by following through with your program you will be able to get rid of this problem permanently.
Your physio is an expert at prescribing and progressing these exercises and we have specific equipment that is fantastic at targeting these muscle groups. It is important to get the load and dosage of the exercise correct otherwise you can exacerbate the problem and end up in more pain than you started with.
If you would like more information about this revolutionary treatment approach, give the clinic a call and chat to one of our fabulous physio’s.