Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons, and skin, which decrease rubbing, friction, and irritation.
Bursitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the area, or from a sudden, more serious injury. Overuse or injury to the joint at work or play can increase a person’s risk of bursitis. Incorrect posture at work or home and poor stretching or conditioning before exercise can also lead to bursitis. Because of the tendon movement with every step, hip bursitis can be quite painful.
Pain may build up gradually or be sudden and severe, especially if calcium deposits are present. The upper/outer thigh may be tender.
Bursitis can be treated in a number of ways, including:
- Avoiding activities that aggravate the problem
- Resting the injured area
- Icing the area the day of the injury
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines
- Injecting a corticosteroid
- Physical therapy including range-of-motion exercises
Surgery, although rarely needed, may be an option when bursitis does not respond to the other treatment options.