Trochanteric Bursitis

You have hip pain due to trochanteric bursitis. Bursitis means that the sack near the outside of the hip is filled with fluid and inflamed. This sack is made up of protective soft tissue. The pain from trochanteric bursitis can be severe and keep you from sleep. It can radiate to the buttocks or down the outside of the thigh to the knee. The pain is almost always worse when rising from the seated or lying position and with walking. Pain can improve after you take a few steps. It happens more often in people with hip joint and lumbar spine problems, such as arthritis or previous surgery. Very rarely the trochanteric bursa can become infected, and antibiotics and/or surgery may be needed.

Treatment often includes an injection of local anesthetic mixed with cortisone medicine. This medicine is injected into the area where it is most tender over the hip. Repeat injections may be necessary if the response to treatment is slow. You can apply ice packs over the tender area for 30 minutes every 2 hours for the next few days. Anti-inflammatory and/or narcotic pain medicine may also be helpful. Limit your activity for the next few days if the pain continues. See your caregiver in 5-10 days if you are not greatly improved.


  • You develop severe pain, fever, or increased redness.

  • You have pain that radiates below the knee.


STRETCHING EXERCISES - Trochantic Bursitis

These exercises may help you when beginning to rehabilitate your injury. Your symptoms may resolve with or without further involvement from your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer. While completing these exercises, remember:

  • Restoring tissue flexibility helps normal motion to return to the joints. This allows healthier, less painful movement and activity.

  • An effective stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds.

  • A stretch should never be painful. You should only feel a gentle lengthening or release in the stretched tissue.

STRETCH – Iliotibial Band

  • On the floor or bed, lie on your side so your injured leg is on top. Bend your knee and grab your ankle.

  • Slowly bring your knee back so that your thigh is in line with your trunk. Keep your heel at your buttocks and gently arch your back so your head, shoulders and hips line up.

  • Slowly lower your leg so that your knee approaches the floor/bed until you feel a gentle stretch on the outside of your thigh. If you do not feel a stretch and your knee will not fall farther, place the heel of your opposite foot on top of your knee and pull your thigh down farther.

  • Hold this stretch for __________ seconds.

  • Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

STRETCH – Hamstrings, Supine

  • Lie on your back. Loop a belt or towel over the ball of your foot as shown.

  • Straighten your knee and slowly pull on the belt to raise your injured leg. Do not allow the knee to bend. Keep your opposite leg flat on the floor.

  • Raise the leg until you feel a gentle stretch behind your knee or thigh. Hold this position for __________ seconds.

  • Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

STRETCH - Quadriceps, Prone

  • Lie on your stomach on a firm surface, such as a bed or padded floor.

  • Bend your knee and grasp your ankle. If you are unable to reach, your ankle or pant leg, use a belt around your foot to lengthen your reach.

  • Gently pull your heel toward your buttocks. Your knee should not slide out to the side. You should feel a stretch in the front of your thigh and/or knee.

  • Hold this position for __________ seconds.

  • Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

STRETCHING - Hip Flexors, Lunge

Half kneel with your knee on the floor and your opposite knee bent and directly over your ankle.

  • Keep good posture with your head over your shoulders. Tighten your buttocks to point your tailbone downward; this will prevent your back from arching too much.

  • You should feel a gentle stretch in the front of your thigh and/or hip. If you do not feel any resistance, slightly slide your opposite foot forward and then slowly lunge forward so your knee once again lines up over your ankle. Be sure your tailbone remains pointed downward.

  • Hold this stretch for __________ seconds.

  • Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

STRETCH - Adductors, Lunge

  • While standing, spread your legs

  • Lean away from your injured leg by bending your opposite knee. You may rest your hands on your thigh for balance.

  • You should feel a stretch in your inner thigh. Hold for __________ seconds.

  • Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.