What Is Hip Bursitis & Why Is It More Common In Women?

By Athlete's Care on December 08, 2021

Statistically, hip bursitis occurs more often in middle-aged women than in younger people, or in men. The reasons for that are unknown. But, our Toronto physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists can offer both treatment options and solid information.

What is known is the bursitis is most commonly caused by repeated movements over a long period of time, and overuse. It's possible that occupations where women are most often employed (according to statistics), such as healthcare and service industries, involve more of the types of movements that cause stress on the area.

Hip Bursitis

The joints bring together bones, muscles, and tendons in various complicated structures. In between those more rigid materials lie the bursa, which are essentially small sacs filled with fluid. In those in-between spaces, the bursa act to lubricate and cushion the joints, making movements easy and free of painful friction.

  • When the bursa become inflamed, swollen, or irritated, it can cause pain.
  • There are many bursa in the hip area, but the most common type of hip bursitis involves the trochanteric bursa, which is located at the bony knob at the top of the thigh bone.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Redness and a feeling of warmth in the area (which may also be a sign of infection);
  • Swelling, irritation;
  • Pain in the hips that may extend down the outside of the leg;
  • The pain gets worse with physical activity, especially walking up the stairs;
  • Tenderness on the affected side, particularly when lying down.


There are a variety of ways that trochanteric bursitis usually develops.

  • Regular running or biking over a period of time, which puts strain on the hip;
  • Trauma or injury to the hip, even bumping it against something violently;
  • Overuse from repetitive activities like gardening, cleaning;
  • Arthritis and some other chronic diseases.

What Can Help?

Exercises can be extremely useful in managing hip bursitis, both in improving movement and reducing pain and inflammation.

  • Strengthening the hip flexors and other muscles around the hips and thighs;
  • Stretching the lower back and hips.

Our Toronto physiotherapists are ready with customized advice on exercises that can help you with your condition. Other treatment options include:

  • Rest, and avoiding the activity that caused the condition allows the bursa to heal;
  • An ice pack can reduce swelling; a heating pad can help reduce pain;
  • Over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories can help;
  • A medical professional may prescribe corticosteroid injections, or surgery, but the latter is used only rarely.

Hip bursitis can be a very painful and debilitating condition. If you are experiencing hip pain, or any other musculoskeletal discomfort, please contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics today for a consultation.