Have you ever experienced pain at the side of your hip and not been able to pinpoint what it could be? Trochanteric bursitis is a common cause of hip pain on the side. It happens when the bursa of the hip becomes inflamed.

But what exactly is a bursa?

Bursae are small, jelly-like sacs that contain a small amount of fluid. They  help reduce friction between bones and soft tissues .

Causes of trochanteric bursitis?

Blunt trauma

Blunt trauma such as falls directly over the bursa can start an inflammatory process of the bursa. This may be common in the elderly.

Repetitive microtrauma

Some repetitive hip movement for example when running, cycling or jumping can start inflammation of the bursa. The trochanter itself is an attachment point for some muscles of the hip, if they sustain constant tension and tightening it may also irritate the bursa.


Sometimes trochanteric burisitis has no known cause for its onset. Sedentary or bed-bound patients are also prone to trochanteric bursitis because of constant pressure over the greater trochanter.


  • Sharp pain on the lateral aspect of the hip which sometimes extends to the outside thigh
  • Lying on the side of the affected hip may be uncomfortable or painful at night
  • Pain when getting up from sitting in a chair for a while

So, how can you manage trochanteric bursitis

  • Physiotherapy: A physiotherapist can assist with pain management and exercises.
  • Ice: apply ice on the hips for the 10-15 minutes, three times a day. The cold will help to reduce the pain by numbing the area and reducing the inflammation
  • Rest: This will give time for the inflammation
  • Anti-inflamatory medications found over the counter can help but check with your GP before taking them

Trochanteric bursitis can be a huge pain in the hip if not managed quickly. Take care of your hip health and seek the treatment you need.