What is Trochanteric bursitis and how can it be Treated?
Trochanteric bursitis, when it happens, is usually an injury associated with repetitive movements like jogging. The common complaint is a hip pain on the outside of the leg, though the hip joint itself may not be involved. Pain might go up to the lower back (causing low back pain) or down to the thigh: giving you a sciatica-like pain. The most common, tell-tail clue is point tenderness over the trochanter, which reproduces the presenting symptoms. You can find the trochanter; it’s the bony bump on the outside of the hip.
To understand trochanteric bursitis, we must first understand what a bursa is. A bursa is a small sac that usually contains a small amount of fluid. This fluid acts as a cushion between bones and the soft tissue (muscles, tendons & ligaments) of the hip joint. But, primarily, the hip bursa helps to reduce friction between bones and the tendons of muscles.
The trochanteric bursa is the bursa located at the outer part of the hip, often referred to as the “point” (bump) of the hip. The part of the thigh bone (femur) that forms this bump called the greater trochanter. The trochanteric bursa acts as a flexible spacer between the greater trochanter and the overlying muscles and tissues. This bursa acts as padding and reduces the stress and friction on the soft tissue of the hip.
Trochanteric bursitis Term
The term Trochanteric bursitis is used to describe irritation (inflammation) of the trochanteric bursa. When the bursa is irritated, it can become larger and fill with more fluid. Since fluids are not compressible, accumulation of fluids in a confined environment of a bursa leads to enlargement of the bursa (bursitis) that compresses the nearby tissue, leading to hip pain.
When treating our patients, safety is the number one priority. A proper diagnosis is a key to a successful outcome. During your examination, our Doctor of Chiropractic may deem it necessary to do imaging or lab tests to more accurately diagnose your condition. Also, plain radiographs (aka X-rays) of the hip and femur, the upper leg bone, might be used to determine if there is a possible fracture.
Other Conditions of Trochanteric bursitis
Patients that suffer from trochanteric bursitis may also have degenerative osteoarthritis of the hips. Additionally, some may even have excessive calcium deposits in the soft tissues around the area of the greater trochanteric bursa. Bone spurs or other bony lesions may also be present. Bone scans or computed tomography (CT) scans might also be used to determine if there are any underlying diseases such as infection or cancer.
Both ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to see the trochanteric bursa because these imaging modalities allow actual visualization of the affected structures in a manner that others do not allow. It may seem like an extra bother, but a proper diagnosis is the most important first step to proper treatment. That is why we take the time needed to assert the cause of a condition. And as such, today we have a much higher success rate in the treatment of even severe hip pain and trochanteric bursitis.
Our chiropractors have more than a decade of experience treating patients with musculoskeletal conditions including trochanteric bursitis. Our approach is a non-invasive one, based on the cause and severity of your condition. Often, our chiropractors would recommend a combination of chiropractic supplemented with physiotherapy such as:
- Therapeutic Ultrasound
- Interferential Current Therapy
- Stretching exercise
- Strengthening exercises
- Custom made Orthotics
Our Trochanteric Bursitis treatment is through the collective efforts of the best clinical teams of Chiropractors and Physiotherapists in Malaysia.