Can a Chiropractor Help Hip Bursitis?

Can a Chiropractor Help Hip Bursitis? yes

If your life is affected due to severe, persistent chronic hip pain, then you must have come across several domains of healthcare. But if you have not come across the question of whether a chiropractor can help hip bursitis, then you are far behind the advanced world of Google.

The answer to the query that we have put in your mind is ‘Yes.’ Chiropractors are very efficiently supporting surgeons and medical specialists in doing so.

 If you say, Chiropractors, through their adjustment technique and hip massage, are even replacing the medical and surgical options for hip bursitis. Then, it will not be wrong.

Chiropractic care is now a very renowned treatment for chronic pain like bursitis in the US. The majority of the population demands non-invasive treatments because of the fear of operative procedures and their complications. 

In this blog, we will look briefly into bursitis, its chiropractic treatments, and the possible outcomes.

Hip Bursitis and Pain

It is basically a condition in which, due to any of the causes, bursae between the tendons(attachments of muscle to bone) and bony parts swell. This swelling of the bursae creates a burning type of pain. 

This pain most frequently occurs when we move the joint. In simple words, a spot in your hip gets really sore and swollen because a tiny pillow-like part, which helps your hip move smoothly, gets irritated and swollen.

Common symptoms of bursitis that patient may experience:

1. Burning pain in the hip joint

2. Morning stiffness of the hip joint

3. Limp development

Anatomy of Hip Joint in Relation to Bursae

The hip joint is a complex ball and socket type of joint. It is formed between the femur’s head and the socket of the pelvis. The trochanteric bursa resides on the outer point of the hip, aiding the gliding of muscles over the greater trochanter.

The iliopsoas bursa, located on the inside (groin side) of the hip, cushions the iliopsoas muscle as it moves on the pelvic bone.

What is a Bursae and Its Function?

Bursae are cushion pads that are made up of connective tissue filled with fluid in them. They provide cushion to the muscles while moving over hard bony surfaces. 

Differentials of Hip Pain

The following are differentials of hip pain:

  • Hip fractures
  • Osteonecrosis of the head of the femur
  • Arthritis 
  • Bursitis
  • Strains of hamstrings
  • Snapping syndrome of the hip

Types of Hip Bursitis

There are two commonly present bursae in the hip, both of which can become inflamed. So, two types of hip bursitis can occur.

  • Trochanteric Bursitis
  • Iliopsoas bursitis

Illiopsos vs. Trochanteric Bursitis

Trochanteric bursitis is the most common one. While main difference is the location of the pain; illiopsoas bursitis pain occurs in the anterior part of the hip and groin, and trochanteric bursitis pain occurs in the outer lateral side of the hip.

Common Causes of Bursitis of Hip

Mostly, bursitis of the hip occurs due to the following reasons:

  • Trauma to hip
  • Lying on one side of the body frequently
  • Overuse activities
  • Scoliosis and kyphosis
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Bony spurs
  • Hyperuricemia (Gout)

How Chiropractors Diagnose Hip Bursitis?

Chiropractors go in the following pattern to confirm the diagnosis:


History taking is the key component of chiropractors to make a diagnosis. The following points are addressed:

1. Onset of Symptoms: The patient will say that it was gradual and started many months ago.

2. Pain Characteristics: They would gather information about the location of the pain, its intensity, nature (burning, dull, throbbing), and whether it radiates to any other parts of the body.

3. Aggravating and Relieving Factors: The practitioner would want to know what makes the pain worse or better, such as certain movements or positions.

4. Past Medical and Surgical History: Information about previous injuries, surgeries, or treatments related to the hip or other body parts will be collected.

5. Lifestyle: The practitioner would take into account the patient’s physical activity levels, occupation, and any sports or hobbies that might have contributed to the condition.

6. Family History: A family history of similar conditions or rheumatologic diseases could be relevant.

Physical examination

To make a diagnosis, chiropractors do multiple examinations to check the range of motion and any external injury and to rule out other causes.


The following investigations are usually done:

  • Serum uric acid levels
  • Analysis of joint fluid  
  • Baseline labs
  • X-ray Hip
  • CT 
  • MRI

How Can a Chiropractor Help Hip Bursitis and Pain?

After making a provisional diagnosis, Can a Chiropractor Help Hip Bursitis? Obviously, a licensed chiropractor can help in the following ways:

Hot/Cold Packs and Rest

The application of cold packs and adequate resting can relieve symptoms such as pain and can also help to reduce inflammation.

Hip Massage

Trochanteric massage is very significant in relieving pain by reducing inflammation. An experienced chiropractor must do a massage of inflamed bursa because it can harm more than help if done inappropriately. 

Trochanteric massage basically lessens the tightening of muscles overlapping the bursae. 

Chiropractic Adjustments

Ultimately, chiropractic care is based on adjustments. Adjustments are the only definitive treatment for any musculoskeletal disease. Chiropractors manipulate and stretch the capsular joint of the hip to increase the range of motion of the joint. 

If any spinal misalignments, such as scoliosis, then again, spinal alignments are done through adjustment techniques by chiropractors.

Other techniques, such as ART and Physical therapy are also beneficial in hip bursitis.

Assisting devices 

Walking canes or walkers are advised by chiropractors so that body weight is not put on the affected side.


Every patient has a different pace of recovery, so follow-ups are advised according to the amount of progression of the condition towards betterment. 

Therapeutic Exercises and Losing weight formulas are also prescribed to patients by chiropractors. If the underlying cause is gout, then you must have to follow a strict diet chart.

Self-Massage for Hip Bursitis

Self-massage can be a helpful tool for managing hip bursitis. It involves using your own hands or a massage tool to rub the sore area around your hip. This can help reduce inflammation and improve flexibility by increasing blood flow to the area.


  • It can be done at your convenience.
  • It may reduce the need for pain medication.
  • It can improve mobility and flexibility.

Side Effects

  • Overdoing it can cause more inflammation.
  • Incorrect technique may worsen the pain.
  • Self-massage is not recommended if you have an infection, skin condition, or blood clot.

Do You Need Surgery for Bursitis?

Often, when all other conservative treatments have failed, people consider surgery as the last option for treating bursitis, which involves removing the bursa from the body. However, many patients experiencing symptoms of hip bursitis have found significant relief through chiropractic care, successfully avoiding the need for surgery.

Chiropractic treatments work on restoring proper alignment and enhancing body functionality, which can alleviate the inflammation and discomfort associated with hip bursitis. 

The preference to use chiropractic care over surgery stems from its non-invasive nature, reduced risk of complications, and focus on treating the source of the problem rather than just managing the symptoms.

 So, while surgery may still be necessary for some, chiropractic care provides a viable and effective alternative worth considering for hip bursitis treatment.

Case Study

Patient Profile

Name: Ben Doe 

Age: 52 

Occupation: Construction Worker 

Sex: Male

Presenting Complaint

Ben presented with a six-month history of recurring hip pain exacerbated by his physically demanding job. The pain was sharp, located on the outer hip, and increased during movement. He had previously tried over-the-counter pain relievers, but the relief was temporary, and the pain persisted.


The chiropractor treated Ben with a combination of chiropractic techniques, including adjustments and trochanteric massage therapy. Physical therapy alongside them was done.


Ben reported a significant decrease in pain after two weeks of regular chiropractic sessions. Over the following months, his condition improved dramatically. He was able to manage his physical workload without difficulty and no longer required the use of pain relievers.

This case study confirms the potential efficacy of chiropractic care in treating hip bursitis, with Ben continuing to enjoy a significantly improved quality of life.


1. What is the fastest way to heal the bursitis of the hip?

Following are the steps you must take to get the fastest recovery:

  • Rest
  • Apply ice
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Over-the-counter drugs such as naproxen

2. Can deep tissue massage help hip bursitis?

Yes, deep-tissue massage can be beneficial for hip bursitis. It aids in reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and alleviating pain by relaxing tense muscles and tendons around the hip. Additionally, massage can also help improve joint mobility and range of motion, which is crucial for those suffering from hip bursitis.

3. What not to do if you have hip bursitis?

If you have hip bursitis, there are a few things you should avoid to prevent the worsening of the condition. Firstly, avoid activities that put direct stress or pressure on the affected hip, such as running or standing for prolonged periods. Secondly, avoid carrying heavy loads that can strain the hip joint. Lastly, it’s essential not to ignore the pain or delay seeking professional medical help.

Bottom Line

We hope you people have enough knowledge to answer someone’s question, “Can a chiropractor help Hip bursitis?”. Chiropractic care presents a promising alternative to traditional treatments for hip bursitis. It offers a non-invasive approach, focusing on restoring body alignment and functionality, which can effectively reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

Patients like Ben Doe have experienced significant relief and improved quality of life through tailored chiropractic treatments. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice before embarking on any new treatment plan.

Thanks to Dr.John for assisting me in writing this blog.

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