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Self-care for hip bursitis

Hip bursitis

Tips to relieve the pain:

  • Using ice 3 to 4 times a day for the first 2 or 3 days may help.
  • Cover your hip with a towel and place the ice on it for 15 minutes. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables, such as peas.
  • DO NOT sleep while applying ice as you can leave the ice on too long and get frostbite.

Try not to stand for long periods of time.

  • If you must be standing, stand on a soft, cushioned surface.
  • Stand with an equal amount of weight on each leg.

When sleeping, DO NOT lie on the side that has bursitis. Placing a pillow between your knees when lying on your side can help decrease your pain.

When sitting:

  • Use a cushioned chair or keep a foam cushion or donut with you.
  • Sit in a partly reclined position.
  • Sit up straight but turn your legs slightly outwards.
  • Avoid a low chair or sofa.

Follow these tips when performing everyday activities:

  • DO NOT bend at the hip when picking up items from the ground. Instead, bend at the knees.
  • Avoid walking upstairs or any other activity that makes your pain worse.

Flat shoes that are cushioned and comfortable often help.

Losing weight may be helpful.

To decrease pain in your hip, you might try exercises that cross your legs and stretch the outside muscles of your hip. Strengthening your buttock muscles will also help improve, or cure, your bursitis.

Ask your doctor or therapist about using a cane.

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Review Date: 12/31/2018

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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