Trochanteric bursitis refers to inflammation and swelling of the bursa located between the point of the hip (trochanter) on the side of the upper leg and the overlying gluteal / bum muscles. A bursa is a fluid filled sac which allows adjacent tissues to slide over one another or a bony prominence without friction.

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When the trochanteric bursa is irritated because of excessive friction of the muscle over it, bursal thickening and inflammation occurs. Thightness of the gluteal muscles place increased pressure and friction on the bursa, causing microtrauma and irritation.


Trochanteric bursitis causes pain over the outside of the hip/upper thigh. In some instances this pain may radiate down the outside of the thigh as far as the knee. The pain may be aggravated by activities that involve movement of the hip such as walking, running, stair climbing, crossing your legs and getting in and out of the car.


Physiotherapy is the most important part of conservative treatment. It includes various treatment modalities including manual therapy, mobilisation techniques, electrotherapy modalities, exercise/technique modification, ergonomic modification, posture/biomechanical analysis, dry needling, strenghtening and stretching etc.