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Discover Pain-Free Living With These Exercises for Bursitis in the Hip

Do you experience frequent pain due to hip bursitis? This common condition impacts those with inflamed bursae or fluid-filled sacs in the hip. Bursitis tends to cause muscle aches or stiffness which can keep you from doing what you love. Even standing or sleeping is much more difficult because of the inflammation. 

Thankfully, you can strengthen your muscles with gentle, at-home exercises for bursitis in the hip. Discover tips from the specialists at Park North Physical Therapy in Morningside Heights and Harlem. Combining these exercises with our personalized treatment plans can drastically reduce your pain and discomfort. 

Six Helpful Tips for Bursitis in the Hip

1. Icing Above the Greater Trochanter

To effectively reduce pain and inflammation associated with hip bursitis, apply an ice pack or a cold compress directly above the greater trochanter, the prominent bone on the side of your hip. Wrap the ice in a cloth to avoid direct skin contact. Apply the ice for 15-20 minutes every hour or as needed. This method helps numb the painful area and reduces swelling.

2. Hip Extension Exercise

This exercise strengthens the muscles around the hip and can be done in two positions. For the all-fours position, start on your hands and knees. Keep your back straight and gently extend one leg backward, keeping it in line with your body. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 times for each leg. For the standing version, stand upright and hold onto a chair for support. Gently extend one leg backward without bending your lower back. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat. This exercise helps strengthen the hip muscles and improve stability.

3. Clamshell

This simple stretch is just as effective as squats without putting too much strain on your lower body. For the clamshell stretch, lie on your side with the impacted hip facing the ceiling. You can use a pillow underneath your head for comfort and support. 

With your feet together and knees bent, slowly start to raise your top knee until both knees are about ten inches apart. Hold the stretch for a few seconds and be careful not to roll your top hip behind you. Slowly bring your knees back together and rest before repeating the exercise up to 12 times. 

4. Straight Leg Raises

Since one of the most common symptoms of trochanteric bursitis is pain in the outside of the hip, this exercise can provide relief to that area. Lie on your side with the impacted hip facing the ceiling. Position one hand to support your head while the other is on the floor in front of your stomach. 

Stretch your legs out straight with your feet together. Don't bend your knees for optimum results. Lift your top foot until it's about 12 inches off the ground while keeping your hip in line with the rest of your body. 

Hold this stretch for about five seconds before slowly lowering your leg. Repeat 8 to 12 times. 

5. Hip Rotator Stretch

One of the best exercises for bursitis in the hip is the hip rotator stretch, also called the figure-four stretch. Begin by lying on your bank with a pillow beneath your head for support. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Take the ankle of your impacted leg and place it on the knee of your opposite leg. 

Use your hand to push the affected hip away from your body and hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat up to four times and on the final stretch, pull the hip toward your opposite shoulder. 

6. Iliotibial Band Stretch

The final stretch involves standing with the affected hip against a wall. Put all of your weight on the leg against the wall and cross your other leg over it. Lift up your arm closest to the wall so it's over your head. 

With your arm raised, lean away from the wall to feel a stretch. It's okay for your hip to hit the wall while you hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat two to four times. 

Contact Our Physical Therapists for Additional Bursitis Relief

Doing at-home exercises for bursitis in the hip may reduce your pain level. Seeing a physical therapist for a personalized treatment plan can help you live pain-free and get back to doing what you love. At Park North Physical Therapy, our dedicated team can guide you with the right techniques to strengthen your hip joints and muscles. 

With our help, you can overcome hip pain and take control of your life with effective bursitis exercises. Contact us via our convenient online form or by calling (212) 222-6525.