Trochanteric Bursitis Exercises: Alleviate Pain & Improve Mobility

Trochanteric Bursitis Exercises: Alleviate Pain & Improve Mobility

Trochanteric bursitis is a painful condition affecting the hip's outer area, where the trochanteric bursa is located. This small fluid-filled sac helps reduce friction between the hip's bony prominence (greater trochanter) and the surrounding soft tissues. Inflammation of this bursa results in trochanteric bursitis, causing pain and discomfort in the hip and thigh region.

Common Causes of Trochanteric Bursitis

Some common causes of trochanteric bursitis include:

  • Overuse or repetitive stress
  • Direct trauma or injury
  • Prolonged pressure on the hip
  • Hip muscle imbalances or weaknesses
  • Hip surgery or joint replacement

Symptoms & Diagnosis

The primary symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain on the outer hip and thigh area, which may worsen with activities like walking, running, or climbing stairs. Swelling and tenderness may also be present. A healthcare professional can diagnose this condition through a physical examination, medical history, and sometimes imaging tests.

Top 5 Trochanteric Bursitis Exercises

Regularly performing the following exercises can help alleviate pain, improve hip mobility, and prevent future flare-ups:

Exercise #1: Clamshells

  • Lie on your side with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, keeping your feet together.
  • Keeping your feet touching, slowly raise your top knee as high as possible without moving your pelvis.
  • Lower your knee back down and repeat for 10-15 repetitions, then switch sides.

Exercise #2: Hip Bridges

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips towards the ceiling, keeping your shoulders and feet on the ground.
  • Lower your hips back down and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Exercise #3: Side-Lying Hip Abduction

  • Lie on your side with your legs straight and stacked on top of each other.
  • Raise your top leg upwards, keeping your foot parallel to the floor.
  • Lower your leg back down and repeat for 10-15 repetitions, then switch sides.

Exercise #4: Standing IT Band Stretch

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Cross your right leg behind your left leg, keeping both feet flat on the floor.
  • Lean to your left side, feeling a stretch in your right hip and outer thigh.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Exercise #5: Foam Rolling

  • Position a foam roller under your outer thigh.
  • Support your body weight with your hands and the opposite leg, placing the foot on the floor.
  • Slowly roll the foam roller along your outer thigh, from your hip to your knee, pausing on any tender spots.
  • Repeat for 30-60 seconds, then switch sides.

Additional Tips for Trochanteric Bursitis Management

Lifestyle Changes

  • Maintain a healthy body weight to reduce pressure on the hips.
  • Avoid activities that exacerbate pain, and gradually reintroduce them as symptoms improve.
  • Use proper footwear and orthotics to support your feet and hips during physical activity.

Medical Interventions

  • Consult with a healthcare professional for a personalized treatment plan.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help manage pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy or occupational therapy may be beneficial for improving hip function and mobility.

Preventive Measures

  • Warm-up before exercise and include dynamic stretching to prepare the muscles and joints.
  • Strengthen the hip and core muscles to provide better support and stability.
  • Practice good posture and body mechanics during daily activities.


Trochanteric bursitis exercises can help alleviate pain and improve hip mobility. A combination of targeted exercises, lifestyle changes, and medical interventions can effectively manage this condition. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional for a personalized treatment plan and to ensure you perform the exercises safely.


Q: Can I continue exercising with trochanteric bursitis?

A: It is essential to avoid activities that exacerbate pain. Focus on low-impact activities and gradually reintroduce more intense exercises as symptoms improve.

Q: How long does it take for trochanteric bursitis to heal?

A: Recovery time varies depending on the severity of the condition and individual factors. Consistent adherence to the prescribed treatment plan is crucial for optimal recovery.

Q: Are there any risks associated with these exercises?

A: There may be risks if exercises are performed incorrectly or without proper guidance. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen.

Q: Can trochanteric bursitis be prevented?

A: While not all cases can be prevented, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing good posture, and incorporating preventive measures can help reduce the risk of developing this condition.

Q: When should I see a doctor for trochanteric bursitis?

A: If you experience persistent or worsening pain, swelling, or limited mobility in the hip area, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Fearon, A. M., Cook, J. L., Scarvell, J. M., Neeman, T., Cormick, W., & Smith, P. N. (2014). Greater trochanteric pain syndrome negatively affects work, physical activity and quality of life: a case control study. Journal of Arthroplasty, 29(2), 383-386.

Furia, J. P., Rompe, J. D., Maffulli, N. (2009). Low-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy as a treatment for greater trochanteric pain syndrome. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 37(9), 1806-1813.

Shbeeb, M. I., & Matteson, E. L. (1996). Trochanteric bursitis (greater trochanter pain syndrome). Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 71(6), 565-569.

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