Managing Trochanteric Bursitis Through Physical Therapy

trochanteric bursitis physical therapy

Trochanteric bursitis, a common condition causing pain and discomfort in the hip area, can significantly impact daily life. If you’re dealing with this condition, you’re not alone. Fortunately, trochanteric bursitis can often be effectively managed and alleviated through very specific physical therapy techniques. So, let’s delve into trochanteric bursitis and explore how physical therapy can be your key to a pain-free and active lifestyle.

Understanding Trochanteric Bursitis: Causes And SymptomsUnderstanding Trochanteric Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms

Trochanteric bursitis is a common and often painful condition that affects the outer side of the hip. The trochanteric bursa, a small fluid-filled sac located near the hip joint, can become inflamed and irritated, leading to discomfort and limitations in movement. Now, let’s discuss some of the causes  and symptoms of trochanteric bursitis

Causes of Trochanteric Bursitis:

  • Overuse or Repetitive Stress: Activities that involve repetitive movements of the hip, such as running, cycling, or climbing stairs, can sometimes strain the trochanteric bursa and lead to inflammation.
  • Muscle Imbalances: Weakness or imbalances in the hip muscles can change hip alignment. Therefore, placing increased stress on the bursa.
  • Direct Trauma: Falls, bumps, or sudden impact on the hip area can trigger bursitis by causing inflammation in the bursa.
  • Hip Anatomy and Alignment: Structural issues or abnormalities in the hip joint or surrounding areas can also contribute to the development of bursitis.
  • Systemic Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, can increase the risk of bursitis.

Symptoms of Trochanteric Bursitis:

  1. Pain and Tenderness: Individuals with trochanteric bursitis often experience pain on the outer side of the hip, which may then radiate down the thighs.
  2. Pain with Movement: Activities like walking, climbing the stairs, or getting up from a chair, etc. can worsen the pain.
  3. Pain at Rest: Some individuals may experience discomfort even when they are at rest, especially when lying on the affected side.
  4. Swelling and Warmth: The inflamed bursa can lead to localized swelling and warmth in the hip area.
  5. Limited Range of Motion: Bursitis-related pain and stiffness may restrict the hip’s range of motion and hinder daily activities.

How Is Physical Therapy Beneficial For Trochanteric Bursitis?How is Physical Therapy Beneficial for Trochanteric Bursitis?

Absolutely, physical therapy can play a significant role in managing and alleviating the symptoms of Trochanteric Bursitis. Here’s how:

Comprehensive Assessment

A skilled physical therapist will start by conducting a thorough assessment of your condition. This assessment might include evaluating your pain level, range of motion, muscle strength, and overall movement patterns. The aim of this assessment is to help them understand the extent of your bursitis and design a tailored treatment plan.

Pain Management

Physical therapists employ various techniques to manage pain associated with Trochanteric Bursitis. These may include manual therapies such as soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release that canhelp reduce muscle tension and promote healing.

Stretching and Mobility Exercises

Tight muscles and limited joint mobility can often contribute to Trochanteric Bursitis. Your therapist will guide you through specific stretches and exercises to improve flexibility, increase your range of motion, and alleviate tension in the hip area.

Strengthening Exercises

Weakness in certain muscle groups can contribute to bursitis. Physical therapists will prescribe targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles around the hip and core. Strengthening these muscles helps provide better support to the hip joint, reducing strain on the bursa.

Gait Analysis and Correction

An abnormal walking pattern (gait) can worsen this condition. Physical therapists analyze your gait and provide guidance on proper walking techniques to minimize stress on the affected area.

Posture Correction

Poor posture can contribute to bursitis. Your therapist will guide you on maintaining proper posture during daily activities to reduce strain on the hip.


Physical therapists educate you about Trochanteric Bursitis, its causes, and how certain activities might be aggravating the condition. They provide guidance on modifying movements and activities to prevent further irritation.

Home Exercise Programs

In addition to in-clinic sessions, your therapist will likely provide you with a home exercise program. Consistently performing these exercises can expedite your recovery and help prevent future flare-ups.

Progress Tracking

Throughout your physical therapy sessions, your therapist will monitor your progress. They may make adjustments to your treatment plan based on your response to therapy.

Preventive Strategies

Beyond treating the current episode of bursitis, physical therapists can educate you on strategies to prevent future occurrences. This may involve ongoing exercises, lifestyle adjustments, and ergonomic recommendations.

Targeted Exercises For Trochanteric Bursitis

Engaging in specific exercises can play a crucial role in managing trochanteric bursitis by strengthening the surrounding muscles and improving overall hip stability. Here are some targeted exercises that you can incorporate into your routine:

Clamshell ExerciseClamshell Exercise

  • Lie on your side with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Keep your feet together and lift your top knee as high as you can while keeping your feet touching.
  • Lower the knee back down.
  • Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Side-Lying Leg Lift

  • Lie on your side with your legs straight.
  • Lift your top leg up toward the ceiling while keeping your foot flexed.
  • Lower the leg back down.
  • Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Glute BridgeGlute Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your hips up toward the ceiling while squeezing your glutes.
  • Hold for a few seconds at the top and then lower your hips back down.
  • Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Standing Hip Abduction

  • Stand beside a sturdy support (e.g., a chair) for balance.
  • Lift your leg out to the side while keeping it straight.
  • Lower the leg back down.
  • Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each leg.

Hip External Rotation StretchHip External Rotation Stretch

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, creating a figure-four shape.
  • Gently press the crossed knee away from your body to feel a stretch in the hip.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Quadriceps Stretch

  • Stand near a wall or use support for balance.
  • Grab your ankle and gently pull your heel toward your glutes to stretch the front of your thigh.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel on one knee and step the other foot forward, keeping both knees at 90-degree angles.
  • Push your hips forward while keeping your back straight to feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Foam RollingFoam Rolling

  • Use a foam roller to massage the outer hip area, gently rolling back and forth to release tension.

Lifestyle Adjustments For Long-Term Well-BeingLifestyle Adjustments for Long-Term Well-Being

Trochanteric bursitis can be a challenging condition, but there are various lifestyle adjustments you can make to manage symptoms and promote long-term well-being. Here are some of them:

  • Mindful Movement: Engage in gentle and low-impact exercises that don’t aggravate your trochanteric bursitis. Swimming, walking, and stationary biking can help maintain mobility without excessive strain.
  • Proper Posture: Pay attention to your posture, especially when sitting or standing for extended periods. Avoid slouching and maintain good alignment to reduce stress on the affected area.
  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight can alleviate pressure on your hips and reduce the strain on the affected bursa. Focus on a balanced diet and regular physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Supportive Footwear: Wear shoes with proper arch support and cushioning to provide stability and reduce the impact on your hips and lower body.
  • Stretching and Strengthening: Work with a physical therapist to develop a tailored stretching and strengthening routine. Targeting the muscles around the hip can help improve stability and alleviate symptoms.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. These foods can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Hydration: Stay hydrated to support joint health and overall well-being. Drinking enough water can help maintain the fluid balance in your body.
  • Ergonomic Workspace: If you have a desk job, ensure your workspace is ergonomically designed to minimize strain on your hips and lower back. Using a supportive chair and adjusting your desk height could help.
  • Pain Management Strategies: Work with your healthcare provider to develop effective pain management strategies. This may include over-the-counter or prescribed medications, as well as alternative therapies like ice or heat therapy.
  • Regular Check-ups: Stay connected with your healthcare team and attend regular check-ups to monitor your condition’s progress.


Trochanteric bursitis can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right approach and the guidance of a qualified physical therapist, you can significantly improve your symptoms. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in addressing trochanteric bursitis by combining targeted exercises, manual techniques, and lifestyle adjustments. So, by focusing on strengthening the hip muscles, improving flexibility, and optimizing movement patterns, you can effectively reduce pain, inflammation, and discomfort associated with trochanteric bursitis.

Remember, the journey to recovery from trochanteric bursitis requires patience, consistency, and dedication. So, it’s important to work closely with a skilled physical therapist who can create a customized treatment plan specifically for your needs.

Physical Therapy helps patients recover from pain. If you’re experiencing Back, Shoulder, Knee, Neck, Elbow, Hip, or Arthritis pain, a physical therapist at PhysioMantra can help: Book an online physical therapy session.