I'll jump right into my story. -- I first noticed the pain in my left hip around mid October of 2008. I was working at the time, and my job required me to be on my feet most of the day. I usually ride my bicycle to work and back, but one day the pain was so bad that I had to take the bus. I had recently been in the grocery store and I turned to look at something when there was a terrible pain from my hip all the way down to the knee. I limped all the way home. At work the next day I was basically useless because I had to sit down all the time. That day was my last day at work. After being off work for around 3 weeks I had to tell my employer that I would not be returning. I had no idea it would have lasted 3 weeks! Little did I know I'd still have it NOW. Ugh.
So I got in to see a physiotherapist. That seemed to only make matters worse. If I could barely walk, it seemed like stretching and exercising the joint could only make it worse, and it did. After about 7 visits I had to quit. I was in so much pain, and I had started walking with a cane to try to lessen the pain. I also had no medical benefits, so I could not afford $65 a visit - especially when I could not work.
I went to see my doctor about 2 weeks after my last day of work. I was nearly bed ridden. I could not sleep on my left side, as the pain was excruciating. I only got up if I REALLY had to. So at my first visit to the doctor he prescribed Ketorlac, which is an anti-inflammatory. It helped a tiny bit, but before my next appointment with him it got worse so I had to go to the walk in clinic where I was prescribed Tylenol 3's. These barely worked at all either. So I finally got to my doctor again and he prescribed Oxycocet (also known as Percocet). It made me so nauseous and dizzy that I had something else to focus on, but all in all it didn't do much for the pain. It was then that Doc said I might have a tolerance to pain killers lol No kidding!
I was so mad. I had just started Hap Ki Do, (a Korean martial art) and I was having SO much fun! Now I could hardly get up to go to the bathroom! I've been for x-rays - nothing showed up on the x-ray. Finally my doctor sent me to get a corticosteroid shot in my hip. HOLY crap did that hurt. If you can believe it, I was even MORE sore for about 3 days afterwards. I was on my back with a pillow under my left knee, and that was most comfortable. I dreaded even shifting positions.
About 2 weeks after the corticosteroid injection I FINALLY found relief. I could actually go out of the house without being in such horrible pain! So I tested myself. I would go to the mall and see how long I could walk without it hurting so much. I lasted about half an hour before the pain got bad enough that I had to go home. Every few days, after staying at home and resting, I would go back out and test myself to see if I could walk more. No such luck. I could at least leave the house, and the pain was tolerable. - That's the best I ever got though.
Now, February 2009, almost 4 months after that day at work where the pain was most prominent for the first time, it's gotten worse again. I made the mistake of going to visit family in a nearby city. Of course, all we did was go out and do things. Now my hip is killing me again!! Arg! So much for trying to force it away! lol
My doctor has finally referred me to a Rheumatologist - but there's something around a 2 month waiting list. Great! I should get in right around the time I have my lower jaw surgery... but I guess that's another story.
*****My question is - Does anyone know why this would be lasting SO long? I love work, I love life, and I hate not being able to live it! Has anyone else here had bursitis? Does it go away? (Please say yes!) If you have had it, what's your story? Did anything help? What helped more? Less?
I was on the bus the other day when I sat beside an elderly man. I had my cane, he had his, and another lady had hers. He commented that there were a lot of people with canes out today. He said he strained his knee a week or so back, but that he didn't usually use a cane - then he asked me why I had one. I told him it was bursitis, and that the bursa in my hip was inflamed. He told me that I was way too young for that, and I heartily agreed with him. lol I only just turned 23. What gives?
Wow, you are really young to be having this problem.
I went searching for a health-issues message board tonight because last November I was climbing out of a car after being on my feet all week. I felt this wrenching pain and I've been hurting ever since.
I've been diagnosed with Trochanteric bursitis, have had cortizone shots, physical therapy, oral anti-inflammatories, and ultrasound. I'm at the end of my rope and my cash and show no signs of improvement.
I'll go into more detail on a longer post tomorrow. For now, I just wanted to let you know that someone else feels your pain, understands your frustration. I was preparing for a career in early elementary teaching before this hit me.
Sorry to hear about your pain. Something you might want to look into is a torn labrum. With some tears debris gets into the joint and causes all sorts of pain and catching. Unfortuately, X-rays aren't good at picking tears up, so you have to get an MRI. Lots of people with torn labrums go misdiagnosed for years - it's something that just doesn't seem to be on most doctor's radars. It's just a thought... Good luck.
Oh my God. I've been in pain for about 3 weeks now and it's getting worse by the day. This is my first day off work though. I work as a lab tech in a secondary school and I've told them I won't be back this week and I may be off next week as well. I went to see the doctor yesterday and she told me to rest and take anti inflammatories (diclofenac) and co codamol for the pain. I had no idea of the time frame involved in this. How long have people had this and does it go away? My husband has degenerative disc disease so everything still falls on to me.
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I've had chronic trochanteric bursitis for over 30 years. Here's a few tricks I've learned.
When you get a cortisone shot, let it work. Don't do anything to aggravate your hip for at least 10 days. You are undoing the anti-inflammatory effect of the cortisone.
Get a pad for your bed like a closed cell foam pad(Temperpedic foam or that sort of thing)for those times you roll over in your sleep. Don't sleep on that side if at all possible.
Use ice or heat to treat it. Whatever you find works best for you. Everyone is different. Then use it a lot....like several times a day.
If you doc orders an anti-inflammatory, take it. If he/she didn't order one, take over the counter ibuprofen in prescription strength. You can take up to 800mgs 4 times a day but I wouldn't stay at that level for more than a couple of weeks. Try combining with acetominophen...2 extra strength. Seems to enhance the effect of the ibuprofen.
But the biggest thing of all is rest the hip joint. Bursas are fluid filled sacks that lubricate the tendons that hold the muscles to your hip joint. If you don't move the muscles, then the tendon does not need lubricating. Don't go walking with the intention of "testing" yourself and waiting to see when it hurts. That means you've just gone and given the bursa too much of a workout. Walk as long as you are comfortable and stop BEFORE you hurt. How do you know that? Press on the area. Big pain when you press but not when you walk...time to stop.
Trocanteric bursitis can become chronic and believe me, it can be a huge pain. They can be removed but they grow back. And they can cause incredible pain. It's like the Tinman in the Wizard of Oz.....oil can! His joints ran out of oil and that's what bursitis does to you.
Good luck everyone. I won't even tell you what it's like to have them get so bad they burst.
Jenny, did you say burst??? I had no idea they could... it just never occured to me.
Maggzz, my pain has been going on about six months now; although there's at least one other condition contributing to my pain. My PT told me he's pretty certain I have arthritis in the joint. He hasn't ruled out tendinosis or repetetitive stress injury.
I don't have much to contribute, since I'm still learning a lot myself. One thing I wish I'd considered sooner is that bursitis is only a swelling. It's a symptom, to which there may be many possible causes. First rest and try to reduce pressure on the joint as much as possible, then try to get some answers about why the bursitis started, so you can work on those once your pain is under control.
One thing that has helped me, as far as moving the hip, is pool exercise - kicking in the water and walking through chest-deep. It helps to relieve the stress of gravity. I can do that even when the floor exercises my PT gave me would cause me pain.
Yes, I said burst. The bursas around my knees will get so huge they rupture and leak blood and fluid into the leg. The first time it happened it was the bursa under the patellar tendon below the knee. Got what looked like bleeding under the skin leaking out from both sides of the tendon. I thought I had torn the tendon and raced to my rheumatologist. He noted my constant bursa pain was all gone and that solved the mystery. I still wasn't convinced and went to see my orthopedic doc...he confirmed it.
So now when they get bad I just wait it out. Sooner or later I'll feel a sudden rush of "NO PAIN" and depending on what I'm doing when it ruptures, it will leave a dribble down my leg or if when sleeping, a dribble towards the back of the leg(or front if I'm laying on my stomach). Basically, it follows gravity.
So yes, they can burst. But then they heal and we start all over again but after several ruptures of the same bursa, it tends to happen much sooner as it now has a weak spot. How do you spell relief...b..u..r...s..t!
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post: kafriedman (02-14-2011)
This is a reply to plreynolds who contacted me about more info on chronic hip bursitis and what to do when it won't go away. Rather than email him directly, I figured it would be more of a help to post it here for anyone suffering with this pain.
When trochanteric(hip) bursitis hits, it's usually because of overuse of the leg. There are tons of muscles and the "iliotibial band" that runs down the outside of the thigh from above the hip joint to the tibia. That band of tissue is like a giant tendon made up of fascia. The bursa's job is to lubricate all of this. So overuse is the most common problem. Rest, and for a considerable amount of time is one way to treat it.
But underlying problems can also cause this problem. Bursitis usually follows tendinitis, meaning that the tendon gets inflamed first, swells and puts pressure on the bursa and then the bursa swells along with it. Chronic hip bursitis can be from overuse or from an inflammatory process such as Raactive Arthritis(formerly known as Reiter's Disease) which causes tendinitis all over the body and can affect both ends of the tendons. The tendinitis then causes the chronic bursitis. Even plain old osteoarthritis of the hip can trigger an overlying tendinitis and bursitis(my problem). That's why it won't go away with me. And for those wondering, replacing an arthritic hip won't stop the bursitis...didn't in my knees. If anything it made it worse. Now I overuse my knees(since they don't hurt anymore).
So those are some of the possible causes...now to treatment. Plreynolds asked about home remedies as he has no insurance and that what lots of people are facing(or huge deductibles). If we assume that overuse is not a factor then we have to look for the underlying problem and for this post, I'll assume it's some early arthritis of some kind that is aggravating the entire joint capsule and the tendons and bursas around the joint(yes, there are other bursas around the hip).
The standard treatment for OA(osteoarthritis) is NSAIDs(non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The trick with these is not to take them just for the pain but to take a lower dose consistently to knock down the inflammation. So if you use ibuprofen, try taking up to 800mgs(4 of the OTC pills) 3-4 times a day for the first couple of weeks then reduce it to 600mgs 3-4 times a day. If you can reduce it even further until the pain returns then up it slightly to keep the pain and inflammation at bay. You can get these higher dose pills cheaply from a variety of places that offer $4 for a month's supply with a doc's script. But I just buy the biggest bottle of ibuprofen I can get so I can take what I need, be it 2, 3 or 4 pills.
You can do the same with Aleve and other OTC's. Aleve is naproxen and you can take a theraputic dose of 2, 3 times a day and slowly reduce as your pain resolves. Orudis is ketoprofen and it comes in regular and time released forms so if you want the max. dos on that I can give it to you for either form. I've been on all of them and still use ibuprofen regularly.
When the pain first starts, use ice to reduce swelling. But no more than 20 minutes per hour and never directly on the skin...frostbite! Try going to heat after a few days to increase blood flow to the tendon and bursa to help them heal. If this doesn't help of makes it worse, go back to ice. You're still swollen.
Learn to stretch your hip muscles. There are a ton of exercises and if you do a search, you'll find sites that offer the exercises endorsed by physical therapists, including pictures of how to stretch the muscles.
If you find yourself in pain so bad that you limp, consider using a cane(tough for young folks but it does help). You use it in the opposite hand as the bad leg. Or, if you don't want to look like an old lady, get a pair of crutches at your local drug store and use them for the first couple of weeks while on the max. dose of meds. Keep the hip as straight as possible. If you sit at work and it hurts, take a cooler to work with ice packs in it and use them(or hopefully you'll have a fridge w/ freezer at work you can keep them in).
If the pain gets really bad you can take a combination of ibuprofen at 800mgs along with acetaminophen 1000mgs. They enhance each other and I have found them to be as good as low dose morphine. But avoid OTC drugs that combine acetaminophen with aspirin...that's asking for an ulcer. For you Canadians out there, you can add the ones with codeine. But that only treats the pain, not the underlying inflammation. So only use the combination meds for pain. It's the daily doses for the inflammation that will cure it. Generally, the maximum prescribed dose for OTC(over the counter) anti-inflammatories is 4 times what is on the bottle but you should check this first(ask here if necessary).
The key to battling bursitis is not to treat the pain but the underlying problem. So learn to stretch and when the pain is gone, strengthen the hip muscles so they will do the work instead of your tendons taking the brunt of the work. Weak muscles lead to over worked tendons and tendinitis and bursitis. Strong muscles not only prevents them but helps to take the pressure off joints and helps arthritis pain.
And please, if you do any of this, watch your general health. NSAID's can raise your blood pressure and hurt your liver. So can acetaminophen. That's why I recommend reducing the doses every 2 weeks if possible. If you find you are staying on these drugs for longer periods of time, see your doc and have you liver function tested. Stay away from alcohol too while on these drugs. No need to push your liver that hard! And if this doesn't work, see a doc for a cortisone shot. A GP or Primary can do it...no need to see an orthopedist.
I've battled chronic bursitis all over my body from an unknown cause for over 30 years(started after an infection). I've found that the best treatment is immediate aggressive treatment...don't wait to see if it will go away. I have all sorts of splints to use and the faster I splint, the faster it goes away. But there aren't any splints for hips. YOU have to "splint" it in your mind by not moving it if possible(or as little as possible). I have actually become allergic to cortisone due to all the shots I've had so I now have to rely on this type of treatment and I do exactly what I have described above. I hope it works for others.
Thank you so much jennybyc, it really means a lot to me that you took the time to answer all my questions and give plenty of helpful tips. It is terrible that this hasn't gone away for you and that all courses of treatment haven't worked thus far. Regarding some of your tips I had a few more questions (which can be answered by anyone really as you have already helped plenty.) Is it ok to use that much ibuprofen (up to 2400-3200 mg?) I do whatever I can to stay under 1200 mg a day, as I have read on other forums about people using less than that every day for a few months and doing severe damage to their liver.
I always walk with a limp when the pain is present (even when it isn't but am starting to heal.) Should I just walk as straight as possible even though it can be excruciating at times? I just tried it out and while I am feeling ok today, it seems like I am putting my hip at risk of one of those sharp pains that can almost knock me to the ground. The reason I limp is kind of a protection against experiencing the sharp pains. Of course, when the throbbing pain that some have described as a "tooch-ache" pain is present I can't really walk and have to limp and hold on to things in order to get from a to b.
My last question is whether or not I should sit and lay on soft, cushiony surfaces or hard and flat surfaces like wooden chairs and or a firm bed? I have read differing accounts about this from various websites.
Again, thank you so much for replying. Just in the last few days since I discovered this thread I have went from very bad to somewhat manageable just by using the tips that have been contributed so far.
Jenny, thanks from me too! I'm so glad you posted your answers here, rather than in private, because the information you gave locks right into my own experience and confirms what I'm hearing from my doctor and physical therapist, only with more detail. (I wish I'd heard it six months ago!) It also makes sense now why it's better to find therapeutic treatments rather than operate on it.
Mr. Reynolds, I'm not the long-term vet that Jenny is, but I'll venture a guess about the cushion question. I find that I'm generally much more comfortable and mobile when I stay off of hard surfaces. Sitting on a hard chair causes my pain levels to shoot up even more than walking, and as my PT said, "if it hurts, don't do it."
Now, that's just my experience, and it might have more to do with arthritis than bursitis. So perhaps it just depends on whether your bursitis is accompanied by arthritis. I think a good general rule is to try to make yourself as comfortable as possible, whether at rest or at work.
Hi pl and twilit....Yes...if it hurts....don't do that! Rule #1 of bursitis. And I have a soft bed and a closed cell foam(2"thick) on top and even then sometimes I double it over.
On the ibuprofen, the maximum prescribed dose is 3200mgs/day. But the reason I recommend reducing it after 2 weeks is that it can give you an ulcer on top of the liver problems(ulcer more likely). Then do 2400mgs/day for 2 weeks and then down to 1600mgs/day for 2 weeks then down to 800mgs/day. Yeah, that's 8 weeks of the stuff but it's better than months and months of bursitis. I've been on the 3200 and 2400 for months at a time and my liver is still kickin'. Do be aware of stomach pain and stop the ibuprofen if you do get pain. Then it's time to talk to a doc about a cortisone shot. Beats an ulcer.
On surgery...you can do it but they grow right back so fix it the first time!
PL...if your limp is protecting the tendons and bursa, I'd say it's fine. Limping only really affects joints if you do it consistently and you have to have the arthritis first. So don't worry. As it heals, you'll slowly straighten up.
But if it comes back badly, grab some crutches, up the ibuprofen, get out the ice and sit and sleep on the softest surfaces you can find.
That's my prescription for me and I'm glad to share it with everyone!
Thanks jenny and tera. Fortunately ever since I have been taking flaxseed, icing for a few days then to heating pad, and stretching, I have been feeling the best that I have since before February. I can actually walk straight if I concentrate hard enough. My body wants to limp because there is still some pain, mostly when getting up from a chair or from laying down, but I think it might be helping to try to walk straight. Thanks again.
Glad to hear it. You have no idea how many people have this problem and that's why I posted my ways of treating it here. I figure after 30+ years, I've learned a thing or 2 about living with this thing.
omgg thank god ive found someone else with it aswell,, not that its a good thing, im 15 years old and ive had mind for years heres my story ii am 15years old and ive had the operation on my hip to remove the bursa.. this is how it began....
3yearsss ago ii was getting pains all down my right side of me,, ii was back and for to the doctors for ages,, until they said they think they had found out what it was, they took my appendix away,, ii rested for 6 weeks and ii never had no pain, buh as soon as i started walking again it was back, i was well upset because i throught that was the end of it, i was then told i had a stomach migrane,, and ii was put on a diet and everythinggg buhh it still didn go,, until they found out a nurse said to the doctor that it was my hip not my stomach,, so i was then refured too a consultant, and ii was told by the doctor if the needle they was gonna give me ( cortazone injection ) didnt work he want me refured to a child sakiatrist because he throught it was all in my head because i could pin point the place of pain, and that injection work for three months,,( MY GOD DID THAT HURT) i finally had my life back,, buhh after three months the pain was back again so the doctor tryed another injection buhh this one didn work,, ii wass well sad becausee ii was going on holidayy,, ii was sent to physio classes i done one class and was stuck in bed for a week soo the phrepist refused to touch me again and sent me back to my consultant, they couldnt do nothing else for me exept an opertaion,, so ii took the chance of having not knowning if it was going to work or not,, ii was fine for the first 2 months after my op,, buhh coming up too 3 monthss now,, ii was sent to hospital because they throught i had a abcuss or infection where i had my operation, but it wasn that they said i done to much because nothing showed up in my bloods, now a week on with being told that its still the same,, its hot and red,, and veryy sore too touchh,, ii have been told to stick ice packs on it for the swelling to go down, buh its not workingg,, ii am going to see my consultant on tuesdayy to find out whats going on,, i have been to my consutant today and he wants a MRI scan because he is not happy at all witht he way its turned out,, but the down side of this is that it not a operation that is garunteed,, im so fed up because i am only 15 and have no life at al,, im stuck in all the time,, and its getting to me big time,, ii knw how u feel,, ii would go out for a day or walk round for a couple of hours and be stuck in bed for a week, ii once had to have a ambulance to come and get me outta bed because i was that bad,, if theres anything you want to know feel free to ask,, xx