Trochanteric Bursitis

by | Feb 24, 2023 | Blog, General Physio, Running | 0 comments

Winnie Wong explains what Trochanteric Bursitis is, its common causes, signs and symptoms, medical management, and how physiotherapy can help.



Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that are located throughout the body. They go over the joint and are situated between bone and tendon to act as cushions and help reduce friction. Trochanteric bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa at the part of the hip called the greater trochanter. The Greater trochanter is located at the top of the femur (thigh bone) and just below the hip joint. Studies have found that trochanteric bursitis is often associated with gluteal tendon pathology, such as tendinopathy or tears and rarely exist in isolation.

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) is the most up to date clinical term to describe lateral hip pain with gluteal tendinopathy being the main cause, trochanteric bursitis is rather the associated finding. The main bursae involved are the gluteus minimus, subgluteus medius, and the subgluteus maximus. It is a common condition for people in their 40s, 50’s and 60s, affecting more women than men.




Some of the common causes include:

  • Gluteal tendinopathy
  • Direct trauma
  • Overuse
  • Compression of the tendon
  • Weak hip abductors
  • Poor pelvic control
  • Obesity




Some of the common signs & symptoms include:

  • Pain at the lateral thigh +/- knee
  • Local tenderness over the greater trochanter
  • Pain lying on the affected side
  • Pain with weight bearing activities such as walking, standing, running and climbing stairs
  • Pain with prolonged sitting




Ways to medically manage include:

  • Corticosteroid injection
  • NSAIDs




Following are some of the ways that a physiotherapist can help:

  • Load management for rehab of gluteal tendinopathy
  • Strenthening of gluteal muscles
  • Activity modification
  • Manual therapy
  • Correcting hip biomechanics
  • Stretching





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