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Your tendons, bones, and skin are protected by a fluid-filled space called a bursa.  Your body has 150 bursas that act as cushioning and help joints move. Bursitis occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed, and the area most commonly affected is your hip.

There are several potential causes of bursitis, including injuries from overuse, extreme pressure on the affected area, lumbar spine diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, or infection.

Prolonged aching pain in the outer hip is the main symptom of bursitis. Additionally, the level of pain increases when pressure is applied or when you move. The pain might also travel along the outside of your leg down to your knee. The pain might be increased at night, which will make sleeping difficult.

To diagnose bursitis, your physician will be able to diagnose the issue by physically examining the affected area, but in most cases, an X-ray will be taken to confirm the diagnosis.

The best way to begin treating bursitis includes: resting, immobilizing the affected area, and anti-inflammatory pain-relief medicine. Additionally, your doctor might suggest physical therapy to help strengthen surrounding muscles. If none of these methods help relieve pain in the affected area, your doctor might also recommend cortisone shots, which will bring immediate pain relief. The last resort is surgical removal of the inflamed bursa.

To help prevent bursitis, try:

  • Stretch your hips before activity
  • Practicing good posture
  • Avoiding activities that cause hip pain
  • Cushion support for your joints

If you have any of the symptoms of bursitis, please contact your doctor for more information and assistance.

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