How to Tell if Your Hip Pain is Bursitis

May 7th 2016

Hip bursitis can affect anyone at any age and may produce pain in both the hip and the groin area. A consultation with a physician and x-rays or ultrasound imaging can confirm or rule out the condition to determine the cause of the pain.

What Is Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis is a condition in which one of the two bursa located within the hip has become irritated and inflamed, causing increased friction between the bones and soft tissues. One bursa within the hip covers the greater trochanter, which is the bony part of the hip bone. The other, known as the iliopsoas bursa, is located on the groin side of the hip.

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

The primary pain location indicating hip bursitis is the point of the hip, extending to the outside of the thigh. Some patients describe the pain as intense and sharp in its early stages, progressing to more of an ache throughout the hip. People suffering from hip bursitis often experience pain in both the hip and groin. In some cases, the pain from hip bursitis is more intense at night or when the person is lying on the affected hip. The pain may also intensify with prolonged stair climbing, walking or squatting.

Risk Factors for Hip Bursitis

Active individuals who engage in frequent bicycling, running or stair climbing may be more susceptible to hip bursitis due to repetitive stress or overuse of the hips. A hip injury may also increase the risk factor for this condition. People who have leg-length inequality, spine disease or rheumatoid arthritis are also at higher risk for hip bursitis.


Hip pain, which is often triggered by rigorous activity or exercise, can indicate a number of ailments. One of the most common causes is inflammation and irritation of bursae, which are jelly-like small sacs within the body that serve as cushions between soft tissues and bones, including the hip.

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