A bursa is a fluid filled sac that is in position over an area of great pressure. For example, between a bone and a muscle. A Trochanteric bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa that lies between the neck of the femur (the large bone of the upper leg) and the large tendon of the Tensor fascia latae muscle.

Trochanteric bursitis is the most common bursa in the hip. There are many muscles such as gluteus maximus, tensor fascia latae, and the iliotibial band that surround this bursae. Irritation of the bursae will occur if any of these structures become tight and cause excessive pressure directly on the bursae.


  • Localized pain on the side of the upper thigh at the hip joint level.

  • Gradual onset of discomfort.

  • Pain with daily activities such as climbing stairs, crossing legs, lying on the affected side.

  • Painful to move leg out to side.

  • A lump or swelling over the area.

  • The pain is aggravated by walking, climbing stairs, lying on the affected side in bed, and may disturb sleep.

Reasons for developing a trochanteric bursitis

The following are possible causes of a trochanteric bursitis:

  • Stiffness of the iliotibial band, the muscles and tough ligament type fascia on the outside of the thigh.

  • Habitual standing on one leg or a shorter leg on one side.

  • An imbalance between the muscles that work to pull the leg out to the side and the muscles that work to pull the leg inwards.

  • A broad pelvis therefore common in Ladies.

  • Running sports such as football that requires repeated movements of the leg towards the body.

Self help

Trochanteric bursitis usually appears gradually therefore it is important to avoid the activities that aggravate or worsen the injury.

Using contrast bathing ( a bag of frozen peas in a tea towel for 5 mins, followed by a hot water bottle in a towel for 5 mins, keep alternating and repeating for 25 minutes), may be helpful to reduce the inflammation.

Avoid overuse of joints in sports or heavy work.
Do appropriate warm-up and cool-down exercises.
Lose weight if needed.
Keep the flexibility of the hip muscles.

How Can Osteopathy Help Me?

There are a variety of causes that may contribute to a trochanteric bursitis. An Osteopath is skilled in assessing the possible causes of the injury. A proper treatment and management plan will be designed to address the cause and help recovery. Specific exercises will be prescribed to speed the recovery process and prevent it coming back.


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