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What is the treatment for trochanteric bursitis?

Q: My husband has played football since he was a kid and plays five a side once a week. He has been having hip pain lately. The problem really exists when he wakes up in the morning and when he has to get up after sitting for a long period of time. He is still able to play football without any discomfort because his body warms up and he feels no discomfort. So, it is really a pain that is triggered when the hip area has been idle for long periods of time such as when sitting in the car (driving to work). The doctor said it is trochanteric bursitis and steroid injections and anti-inflammatory tablets have been suggested and are a cause of concern for him as he suffers from colitis and having any strong medication can trigger colitis. Please advise if there is any alternative and if the diagnosis is correct?

A:If the pain is on the side of the hip (and not in the groin), then the diagnosis is probably correct (its difficult to diagnose without seeing a patient) but trochanteric bursitis is common and the symptoms match the diagnosis. Though steroid injections and medications are used to control the symptoms, the mainstay of treatment is physical therapy. It's very common in athletes, not to stretch enough, because they think that sports would provide all the necessary physical therapy. However, certain tissues need to be stretched with particular attention to specific group of muscles. For trochanteric bursitis, he needs to stretch iliotibial band, which is a band of tissue (like a sheet) that starts from his pelvis, goes on the side of his thigh and attaches below the knee. There are particular ways of stretching it. He may need to undergo formal physical therapy to learn these stretches, and then he can do it at home. I would encourage stretching in the morning and evening for at least a few months.


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