7 Trochanteric Bursitis Exercises To Increase Hip Flexibility

Trochanteric bursitis is a medical condition where the bursa, a fluid-filled sac close to a joint at the greater trochanter on the hip, becomes inflamed.

When you suffer from trochanteric bursitis, you are likely to feel discomfort and pain in the hip region.

The best way to tackle the pain and discomfort? By performing the seven trochanteric bursitis exercise options for hip pain and treatment measures detailed below. These include both stretching exercises and strengthening exercises that can work to alleviate joint pain and hip pain.

IT Band Stretch

It’s important to start out the exercise regimen with proper stretches. One of the stretching exercises you should begin with is the IT band stretch. The IT band stretch focuses on the iliotibial band, which is a thick tissue that starts in the pelvis and continues down the leg to the top part of the tibia. This is a good stretch for your hip region and adding this to your exercise regimen will work wonders for your hip pain and discomfort, whether caused by trochanteric bursitis or some other medical condition affecting the hip region.

It Band Stretch
  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Bend both knees with both feet flat on the floor.
  3. Take your right leg and rest your ankle on top of the knee of your left leg, creating a “4” shape.
  4. Raise your left leg up towards your body, bringing both legs with you.
  5. As you do so, grab under your leg at the hamstring area.
  6. Repeat each leg 3-5 times.

Pigeon Stretch

Some of the stretches recommended by orthopedic doctors and physical therapists have similar counterparts in yoga. The pigeon stretch is one example of this. With yoga ties, the pigeon stretch is a popular option for working through pain and discomfort caused by trochanteric bursitis. This stretch will open up the hips and relieve discomfort. It’s a gentle stretch that, when executed properly, can help to relieve hip pain in your body.

Pigeon Hip Stretch
  1. Bend your right knee in front of you and extend your left leg out straight behind you.
  2. Pull your right heel in towards your left hip.
  3. Point your left hip downward and feel your hip start to open.
  4. Place your hands on your right thigh and hold the position. You can also walk your hands out in front of you and rest your torso on your right knee.
  5. Repeat with the other leg.

Hip Flexor Stretch and Rotation

In order to loosen up the hip muscles, perform the hip flexor stretch and rotation exercise. This particular exercise has multiple components to it but is still an easy one to do. In addition to working many different muscles in the body, it will produce effective results with regard to your trochanteric bursitis pain and discomfort. After a few times of practicing the hip flexor stretch and rotation, this exercise can easily be repeated time and time again.

Hip Flexor Stretch & Rotation
  1. Kneel down on the ground with your left knee touching.
  2. Bend the knee of your right leg with your leg out in front of your body.
  3. Lean your body forward so that your left hip will be stretching towards the floor.
  4. Squeeze your buttocks so that your hip flexor stretches.
  5. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  6. Repeat with the other leg.

Single Leg Bridges

Single Leg Bridge

This commonly used exercise is performed by individuals who want to work their hamstrings, quads, and glutes. With that said, it’s also a great exercise to use for helping with trochanteric bursitis. In addition to providing relief for pain felt as a result of bursitis, this exercise also helps with other hip issues and medical conditions related to this area of the body.

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Place hands palm side down alongside your legs.
  3. Bend one knee.
  4. Slowly lift up the other leg.
  5. Push down on your heel on the foot that’s on the ground and lift your pelvis up to put your body in the bridge position.
  6. Lower your body and repeat move; 15 reps per side.

Glute Med Side Lifts

In addition to working your glutes and abdominals, the glute med side lifts will give your hips a good workout as well. This exercise is easy to learn and even easier to execute. The band used during the exercise will provide resistance for optimal results. Just be sure to go at your own pace so as not to irritate the condition rather than help it.

Single Leg Glute Med Kicks
  1. Place the band around your ankles.
  2. Keep shoulders back and balance on one leg.
  3. Swing one leg out to the side and hold for two seconds.
  4. Bring the leg back to original position.
  5. Repeat for 20 reps.

Clam Shells

The clam shell exercise is done with a resistance band and works the hips.

Clam Shell
  1. Lie down on your side with both legs stretched out.
  2. Bend legs at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Rest your head on your lower arm to provide support during the exercises.
  4. Pull in your abdominal muscles.
  5. Keep your feet touching one another and raise your upper knee that’s banded and stretch the band.
  6. Keep your lower leg on the floor.
  7. Hold this position.
  8. Repeat for 20 reps on each side.

Reverse Clam Shell

Reverse clam shells help to relieve hip pain and back pain. This exercise will also work the glutes. You can choose to use a resistance band with this exercise.

Reverse Clam Shell
  1. Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent.
  2. Put your arm under your head for support.
  3. Rotate your top foot in an outward direction so it faces the ceiling.
  4. Keep the knees together.
  5. Repeat for ten sets and then perform the same on the opposite side.

Hip Bursitis Exercise Options Provide Natural Pain and Discomfort Relief

Trochanteric bursitis can arise for a variety of reasons, such as hip injuries, and cause hip pain. Sometimes it’s related to common sports injuries whereas other times this condition is the result of performing repetitive tasks and work-related duties.

Although there are prescription medications that can be used to alleviate pain felt as a result of trochanteric bursitis, these exercises provide a non-medicinal, natural way to help you feel better and get on with your everyday activities. These are also a better alternative to an invasive hip surgery performed by an orthopedic surgeon.

When doing these exercises, it’s important to take them at your own pace. Overdoing it will put extra strain on your hip and may make your trochanteric bursitis pain worse, not better.

The best exercise regimen is to take one exercise at a time and then slowly build upon the exercises at your speed and comfort level.

You can also be sure to wear the right shoes, such as those recommended for individuals dealing with plantar fasciitis.

Trochanteric bursitis doesn’t have to be a debilitating medical condition. It’s something that can be made to feel better simply by performing exercises a physical therapist would recommend.

By using the techniques highlighted above, you can work your hip region to relieve pain and discomfort associated with trochanteric bursitis and other issues affecting the hip. Strengthening your glutes can also help your long-term health.

It’s important to keep in mind that you should always check with your physician to be certain that the medical diagnosis is trochanteric bursitis and not some other medical issue affecting the hip region as there are many other conditions that it could be.

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Dr. Kristina DeMatas

Dr. DeMatas practices holistic, evidence-based family medicine that focuses on treating injuries and transforming lives through prevention, rehabilitation, and diet. She is a licensed, practicing Physician at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Read bio.


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