ip bursitis is a condition in which the bursa sac around the hip joint becomes inflamed due to overuse, injury, or infection. In this blog post, we will go over 8 exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment. These exercises will help you stretch the hip muscles and help reduce inflammation.
What Is Hip Bursitis?
Hip bursitis is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the bursa of your hip. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac, typically located around your joints. In some cases, you might notice no symptoms at all from having hip bursitis. However, if you do experience symptoms, they can include:
- Pain in your hip worsens when you try to sit or lie down.
- Hip pain and stiffness
- Throbbing pain around the area of your hips
- Tenderness and swelling around your joints
- Reducing your range of motion
Where is the pain located? The most common site for bursitis in people is around their hips, but it can also occur near joints like the shoulder or knees. Hip bursitis symptoms are often worse at night, possibly because the bursa becomes more swollen during periods of inactivity.
The common cause of hip bursitis are:
- Hip arthritis
- Injury to the bursa
- Weakness in your hip muscles, which can leave you more likely to strain this area
- Bending or kneeling for long periods of time.
- A direct blow to the hip joint.
No matter what type or severity of hip bursitis you have, it is important to treat with exercises for hip bursitis as soon as possible so that your condition does not become chronic.
The Top 8 Exercise For Hip Bursitis
The bridge is a great beginner exercise for hip bursitis as it helps to strengthen your glutes, which support the hips and pelvis. This move also puts minimal stress on your lower back.
To do this stretch, lie down with knees bent and feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Press through heels and use core to lift hips straight up. Keep pelvis tucked in and hold for 20-30 seconds, then release with control back to starting position. Repeat two times or more if you can manage it without pain.
An easy way to modify the bridge is by placing your heels on an elevated surface like a small bench or box behind you so that your thighs are at a 45-degree angle. This smaller range of motion will make a move easier on your hips and back while still providing some benefits.
Check this video to get a better idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5nJtvt7la0
2) Hip Flexor Stretch
A hip flexor stretch could be one of the best exercises for hip bursitis. It stretches out your quadriceps, which are located in the front of your thighs, and attaches to the pelvis through the patellar tendon.
When these muscles become tight it can strain other parts like the hips or lower back, causing pain. The hip flexor stretch lengthens the psoas muscle, which is a key player in stabilizing your spine and pelvis during certain movements.
Here's how to do it:
3) Single Leg Deadlift
The single-leg deadlift is one of the best hip exercises for bursitis. It strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back while also strengthening your core muscles like transverse abdominis (TVA) which help pull in your stomach.
This move will take some practice to master, so it’s best to have someone nearby who can help you if needed. You want your back leg to be straight and your knee slightly bent so that it’s not locked out completely.
Keep the other foot flat on the floor as you hinge forward from your hips, reaching arms toward the ground with palms facing down at about shoulder height or lower until a stretch is felt in your hamstrings. Return to starting position by squeezing your glutes and driving hips forward while pulling your torso up tall, keeping your arms straight throughout the movement.
Repeat for 12-15 reps or more if you can manage it without pain. To make a move easier, just place your back foot on an elevated surface like a small bench behind you so that leg is at a 45-degree angle.
See this video for more details:
4) Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Hip bursitis exercises for strengthening your hip muscles can help to prevent further strain from occurring. The kneeling hip flexor stretch is a good option as it places very little stress on the lower back and allows you to focus solely on stretching out those tight psoas muscles.
For more clear instructions, see the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4Ko275cluo
5) Prone Hip Extension
One of the best hip exercises for bursitis is actually a glute stretch. This move will open up your hips so they can function at their full potential without pain or stiffness hampering movement. Lie on stomach with legs extended, feet together, and arms are resting by the side (palms down).
Place fists under lower ribs (use fists instead of elbows if it’s too difficult) and use your abs to lift hips up off the ground, keeping legs straight. Keeping legs together throughout the movement is best, but even raising one leg slightly off the other will benefit.
Hold for 20-30 seconds before lowering back down with control, making sure the hip drops down below the knee, not behind. Repeat two times or more if you can manage it without pain.
See video for details:
6) Wall Hip Flexor Stretch
Another hip exercise for bursitis is the wall hip flexor stretch. This move places no direct pressure on your hips and lowers your back, making it a great option if you need to spend some time resting from pain or just want to keep muscles loose between workout sessions. Stand about one foot away from a wall with feet together.
Lean forward, keeping your chest facing the wall as you bend both knees, placing your hands on either side of your hips for support if needed. Make sure to keep hips stacked over ankles and abs engaged, so you don’t slouch or round shoulders. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds before switching sides. Repeat two times on each side.
Check out this video to get more details:
7) Prone Crossover Glute Stretch
The prone crossover glute stretch is a great hip exercise for bursitis because it’s specifically designed to open up your hips so you can start moving with less pain. Lie on the stomach in tabletop position, resting hands at the side in line with shoulders and legs extended straight out behind body (or as close as you can get them).
Bring your right foot up and place it halfway on the left butt cheek so that your ankle is resting across the top of the glute. Keep your chest facing down toward the ground as you use your abs to lift your hips off the floor an inch or two. Hold for a few seconds before relaxing back down onto the ground with control. Repeat three times and switch sides. See video for more details:
See this video for more details on hip exercises to reduce hip tension:
8) Wall Ankle Mobilization
Finally, hip exercises for bursitis should include some ankle mobility work. As you spend more and more time sitting down, your feet become less mobile as the muscles tighten up from lack of use.
This can further strain already irritated hips and increase inflammation in surrounding areas like the Achilles tendon and bursa sac.
To ensure you’re using proper form, stand facing a wall with feet about hip-width apart and arms extended straight out in front of the body at shoulder height.
Keep one foot flat on the ground while lifting up onto your toes on the other side so that the big toe is supporting all weight (do not let the heel come off the ground). Once you’ve raised up as high as possible with good form, hold for three seconds before slowly lowering back down. Repeat five times on each foot and do this stretch two to three times per day.
For a more detailed explanation, see the video below:
Does Hip Bursitis Ever Go Away?
There are cases that hip bursitis that can heal independently without the need for surgery or invasive procedures. For most, this takes an average of six weeks to a year and often depends upon how the early intervention was started (i.e., anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen).
However, there may be permanent damage done to tendons and tissues in your hips in some cases, which may require additional surgical intervention.
What Happens If Bursitis Is Left Untreated?
If you ignore the symptoms of bursitis and don’t treat it, then your hip will become increasingly painful. Bursa sacs that are left untreated for a long period of time may lead to infection or even damage to surrounding tissues like tendons which can cause severe pain when walking and make standing nearly impossible.
With that being said, it is important to remember that bursitis can take a while to heal. Start with the above exercises for bursitis and do them daily, so you don’t have to deal with this pain in the long term. If done correctly, you should start seeing some relief within two weeks or so!
Hip Bursitis Treatment
There are a variety of ways to treat hip bursitis, depending on the severity. The basic idea behind all treatments is to reduce inflammation and pain, which can take away from your ability to move freely without discomfort or pain in that area.
Effective treatments for hip bursitis include:
- Resting the joint by avoiding activities that cause a lot of pain.
- Applying ice packs to the hip for about 15 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and speed up healing time in bursitis patients.
- Taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also be used to deal with any associated pain but should not replace rest in most cases.
- In some cases, doctors may inject steroid medication directly into the hip bursa to reduce swelling though this is a rare occurrence.
In more severe cases of hip bursitis where symptoms last for longer than six weeks and don’t seem to be improving, surgery may become necessary in order to clean out damaged tissues and repair tendons.
Also, a physical therapist should be consulted to design a daily hip exercise regimen that could include stretching, strength training, and other types of exercises.
Exercise for hip bursitis, as well as other exercises that can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Exercises include prone crossover glute stretch, wall ankle mobilization, and more! Exercise accompanied by healthy lifestyle choices can help you to heal faster. Eat foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and keep stress levels low.
If hip bursitis is left untreated, it can lead to pain when walking or standing for long periods, requiring additional surgical intervention. If you start with the exercises recommended above, then this should reduce your symptoms within two weeks!