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Chiropractic Care for Hip Bursitis

Published Date: 
June 1, 2023
A woman is suffering from hip bursitis and is having mobility issues.

Bursitis occurs when the bursae become inflamed. The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones near the joints. It’s a painful condition that interferes with someone’s quality of life. Bursitis can form anywhere there is a joint, but it’s most common in the hips, elbows, and shoulders. 

Symptoms of bursitis include:

  • Aching or stiffness
  • Hip pain that increases with pressure or movement
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Bursitis usually goes away on its own with rest. However, you can hasten your healing and prevent the condition from worsening by seeking chiropractic care.

Common Causes of Hip Bursitis

The most common causes of hip bursitis include:

  • Repetitive motion
  • Injury
  • Excessive hip joint pressure

Risk Factors

Some people have a higher risk of developing bursitis than others. Speak with your doctor about your bursitis risk factors if you:

  • Have arthritis
  • Have gout
  • Develop certain kinds of infections
  • Have HIV or diabetes, both of which compromise your immune system
  • Experience physical trauma
  • Take certain medications
  • Have an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation

Exercises You Should Avoid if You Have Hip Bursitis

There are several exercises you should avoid while you have hip bursitis. These include:


Running tends to be too painful for people with hip bursitis, so it usually isn’t a problem for people to avoid it. It exerts too much force on your hips and other joints, preventing healing and worsening the problem. 


Cycling causes your hip joints to take on the weight of your entire body. It can also cause strain. Avoid cycling while bursitis is present, even if it’s not immediately painful.

High-Intensity Strength Training

You might be tempted to avoid all high-intensity workouts while you have bursitis, which would be fine. You should especially avoid any load- or weight-bearing activities that put pressure on your hip joints.

Using Cardio Machines

Although using a machine would take some of the pressure off your joints, many require weight-bearing, especially on your hips. This includes a variety of cardio machines, such as stair climbers, elliptical machines, and treadmills.

Deep Squats

Deep squats require extreme motion from your hip joints. They’re a no-no when you have bursitis. It’s probably also a good idea to avoid side leg lifts. 

How a Chiropractor Can Help Hip Bursitis Heal

There are several treatments chiropractors use to help hip bursitis heal. These include:

Woman having her hip adjusted by chiropractor while lying on treatment bed.

Chiropractic Adjustment

A chiropractic adjustment includes using pressure to manipulate joints to realign your spine and reduce hip pain and discomfort.

Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage therapy treats muscle pain, injury, and stiffness. It’s a more comprehensive approach than basic massage therapy, which is effective for relieving stress, anxiety, and tension. 

Hot/Cold Treatment

Hot/cold bursitis treatment alternates between these two opposite types of therapy, so patients receive the benefits of both approaches. 

Cold therapy is the application of cold via ice packs, an ice massage, or a cold gel pack. Cold therapy benefits include:

  • Reducing muscle pain and spasms
  • Reducing bleeding in soft tissues
  • Reducing pain by numbing the area
  • Preventing or reducing swelling and inflammation

Hot therapy is the application of heat by using microwavable or electric gel packs or heating pads, hot baths, saunas, gel packs, or hot water bottles. Hot therapy benefits include opening up the blood vessels, which:

  • Increases blood flow and oxygen supply
  • Relaxes sore muscles
  • Reduces joint pain
  • Decreases muscle spasms
  • Increases range of motion
  • Improves flexibility

Recommended Exercises 

You can do several exercises to ease the discomfort of hip bursitis. These include:

  • Hip bridges engage the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors, all of which support your hip joints.
  • Lying lateral leg raises strengthen the tensor fasciae latae and the iliotibial band, both of which offer support to the upper legs and hips.
  • Lying leg circles promote an improved range of motion, strength, and flexibility.

Benefits of Seeking Chiropractic Care for Hip Bursitis

Chiropractic care is excellent for managing and relieving the swelling and pain caused by bursitis. 

Chiropractor manually manipulating hip of young male patient.

Routine chiropractic treatment provides a safe, non-invasive, and non-addictive alternative to prescription and over-the-counter pain medications (OTCs). Although these medications are considered safe, many people do not want to rely on long-term medication use to manage medical issues.

Chiropractic treatment is a gentle option that helps you manage bursitis pain and improve your overall health and well-being.

Chiropractic adjustments reduce joint restrictions and misalignments. This reduces inflammation and improves the function of the affected joint and the nervous system. Your body can better manage symptoms caused by bursitis.

Benefits of chiropractic care for bursitis patients include:

  • Improved joint motion and coordination
  • Relief from joint discomfort and pain
  • Improved flexibility
  • Decreased inflammation

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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