I’ve been told I have a hip bursitis….

Aggghhh, I have been doing this for decades and I’m not sure I have ever seen a real case of hip bursitis.

“Hip bursitis”…I think it is a great diagnosis to offer up. It sounds really dramatic – you know, a bit of a Latin sounding name with an ‘itis stuck on at the end, you could hardly ask for more. However, as soon as a patient says “I’ve been told I’ve got a bursitis”, even before looking at them because I know how unlikely this really is, I reply “No you haven’t” – but I do this with some tact and diplomacy!

And the NHS offers this on their web site:

Bursitis happens when the fluid-filled sacs (bursa) that cushion your joints become inflamed.

You might have bursitis if 1 of your joints is:

  • painful – usually a dull, achy pain
  • tender or warm
  • swollen or red
  • more painful when you move it or press on it

It can affect any joint, but is most common in the shoulders, hips, elbows or knees.

The middle couple of lines here are important. A real bursitis should be inflamed and so should appear hot, swollen and possibly red:

Now this is a bursitis – in the elbow and I’ve seen loads of these!

If it isn’t, it probably isn’t.

Nearly all the bursitis I have ever met have actually turned out to be localized muscluloskeletal hypertonicity or really nasty trigger points in the Gluteus Medius and Minimus. If you want to know more about trigger points have a look at our article on trigger points.

The diagnosis and treatment are pretty straightforward and you can do a load of it yourself. However, if you are a bit unsure and want really fast results then seeing our Sports Injury therapists will definitely help – and try some dry needling! 

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