Trochanteric Bursitis



Trochanteric bursitis (commonly known as hip bursitis) is a painful condition on the outer hip caused by inflammation in the bursa. A bursa is a small fluid filled sack that serves as a cushion between a bone and surrounding soft tissue such as a muscle or tendon. This sack covers the bone and protects tissues by reducing friction from the bony point of the greater trochanter. The trochanteric bursa can get inflamed from tight muscles pulling on their attachment sites near the bursa itself. Additionally, improper alignment in the leg or pelvis can cause muscle compensation and tension, which can inflame the bursa as a result of abnormal stress. Common causes include:
  • An injury such as a fall or bump or lying on ones side for long periods
  • Overuse injuries like running, climbing, stairs or standing for long periods
  • Surgery to the hip joint
  • Stress on the joint from poor alignment (arthritis, leg length discrepancy, pelvic rotation)
  • Bone spurs or calcium deposits in the tendons of hip muscles
Symptoms of hip bursitis are felt at the point of the outer hip and may extend into the outside of the thigh. It begins as sharp pain and when it becomes chronic it may be more of an ache and spread further into the thigh. The pain is usually worse at night especially when lying on the affected side. There is also pain when getting up from a deep chair after being seated for a while, prolonged walking, stairs or squatting.


Fascial Counterstrain has a diagnostic scan that tells the therapist what structure is being held in a protective reflex. This guides the treatment to the actual source of tightness and compensation. Some common causes of hip bursitis include a deep fascial protective reflex of any of the deep structures in the inner thigh. When the body tightens to protect the deep arteries, nerves, veins and lymphatics in the inner thigh, this tension can cause a pulling of the leg into abnormal alignment and also compression of the veins which drain the bursa. The combination of this increased tension on the bursa and its inability to drain excess fluid causes swelling and friction over the bursa resulting in inflammation (bursitis). All of these restrictions are found using the Fascial Counterstrain diagnostic scan and treated by finding the resulting tender points and using a shortening technique to release the reflex. With Fascial Counterstrain the therapist can treat the source of the irritation, not just the symptoms.


Hip Bursitis is exhausting irritability.  Yes, the bursa is irritated.  However, the irritability literally and figuratively affects the whole person. I had difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position, going to sleep, and staying asleep. Waking up in the morning just meant I had a day of pain to face.  I tried to be the same person to those around me, but found myself to be less patient, less tolerant and less present in the moment.  Pain changed who I was. The pain was a constant ache made worse by sitting too long, standing too long, riding in a car too long and moving - period.  The "too long" was an unknown variable that changed.  I no longer planned life, I planned on limiting movement to avoid more pain, which isn't really living at all.

I am forever grateful for Fascial Counterstrain. I am now truly living again.  It was not only a hip that was healed, a person was: a mother, daughter, aunt, teacher, friend, neighbor, volunteer, hopeful contributor to the community at large.  The ripple effect will be unknown. I am able to be present at all times without constant pain draining who I am.  Participating fully in everything is a blessing.  I am able to swing on the playground and go sledding with my children.  I can eagerly help a student in the back row, without consciously thinking that I have to walk all the way to the back of the classroom.  Sleeping!  I am once again enjoying activities instead of staying home just to find a comfortable position.  Without the treatment, I can say that I would not be able to perform my current job with the physical demands of teaching...much less with joy.