If you’ve been struggling with intense pain in your hip joint, there is a possibility that you are suffering from trochanteric bursitis. Pain can be exacerbated through further movement of the affected joint, which leads to more pain and sleepless nights. If you’re interested in finding out more about trochanteric bursitis physiotherapy, then continue reading our helpful guide below.
Bursitis is the inflammation of bursa at different joints on the body. Bursae are small sacs filled with synovial fluid. Their main function is to prevent irritation between different tissues in the body. They provide a cushioned, smooth point for muscles and tendons to slide over bone, which prevents irritation.
When the bursa becomes irritated, it can become inflamed. This produces an intense, deep pain. With constant irritation from tight muscles or abnormal movement, it can become further inflamed and cause even more pain. The pain remains local to the joint, is extremely uncomfortable and is often described as a ‘deep ache’.
This pain will be exacerbated by any movement to the affected joint, and can produce poor sleep because of how uncomfortable it is.
There are various types of bursitis affecting different parts of the body, including:
Trochanteric bursitis is the irritation to the bursa that sits over the hip bone (greater trochanter). This is a result of direct trauma, overuse and tightness of the overlying muscles. It commonly coexists with obesity, arthritis and lower back pain, and it can become apparent through extra pressure over the bursa from the overlying muscle tissue.
Also, if the gluteal muscles are tight because of a muscle imbalance, or overactivity, extra pressure will be placed on the bursa, leading to bursitis.
Trochanteric bursitis will become apparent through an ache over the side of your hip. This pain will increase while walking or when contact is made with the area, such as lying down on the side you’re feeling pain.
The prepatellar bursa is located at the front of the patella (knee cap). Prepatellar bursitis occurs through direct trauma, or repetitive trauma to the knee over a period of time.
This can often be referred to as “housemaid’s knee”, or “coal miner’s knee” because of the repetitive kneeling mechanisms that can lead to the inflammation of the bursa.
Bursitis of the knee is also common with sports that include jumping, which increases the pressure on the front of the knee. Constant, increased pressure on the bursa puts it under extra pressure and leads to irritation. This can become apparent with tight quadricep muscles, which will cause extra strain on the prepatellar bursa, and also potentially lead to patellar tendonitis.
Retrocalcaneal bursitis occurs when the bursa situated behind the ankle becomes inflamed. It acts as a cushion and lubricant to where the achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. The pain in this area is more pronounced while walking, running, or when the area is touched. The pain could also heighten when wearing high heels because this increases the pressure on the bursa.
Retrocalcaneal bursitis can often be misdiagnosed as achilles tendonitis, so it’s important to have a thorough assessment from a physiotherapist to ensure the correct diagnosis is made.
The most common treatment method for bursitis is a soft tissue massage alongside trigger point release treatment to reduce tightness in the muscle. This will reduce tension and pressure on the bursa of the affected joint.
Biomechanical problems can also be a leading cause of bursitis. If the joint isn’t moving with a normal movement pattern then the bursa can become extremely irritated, which leads to inflammation and pain. By correcting the patient’s posture and providing them with specific exercises to improve their movement, the pressure on the bursa can be offloaded, leading to a reduction in inflammation.
Ultrasound has also been shown to be beneficial in treating bursitis, because it can help encourage tissue repair. If conservative treatment is not sufficient, ultrasound guided corticosteroid injections can be administered to the bursa.
If you are experiencing pain, would like some advice, or feel our physio services could boost your overall wellbeing, booking an appointment at one of our physio clinics will provide you with quick access to highly qualified specialists.
Visiting a physio clinic can be a much faster route to high-quality care than more traditional pathways. This will ensure that your health needs are dealt with as soon as possible, to prevent them from deteriorating further.
We have the flexibility to increase the frequency and intensity of your care to ensure your speedy recovery.
Contact Total Physio today for more information, or to speak to a qualified professional at one of our many clinics.