Skip to Content

Hip Bursitis Exercises

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What do I need to know about hip bursitis exercises?

Hip bursitis exercises help strengthen the muscles in your hip and keep the joint flexible. Strong muscles can help reduce pain, prevent injury, and keep the joint stable. The exercises can also help increase the range of motion in your hip joint.

Normal Hip Joint

What do I need to know about exercise safety?

  • Move slowly and smoothly. Avoid fast or jerky motions. This will help prevent an injury.
  • Breathe normally. Do not hold your breath. It is important to breathe in and out so you do not tense up during exercise. Tension could prevent you from moving your joint in a full range of motion.
  • Do the exercises and stretches on both legs. This helps both hips remain strong and flexible.
  • Stop if you feel sharp pain or an increase in pain. Contact your healthcare provider or physical therapist. It is normal to feel some discomfort during exercise. Regular exercise will help decrease your discomfort over time.
  • Warm up before you stretch and exercise. Walk or ride a stationary bike for 5 to 10 minutes.

How should I do hip stretches?

Your healthcare provider or physical therapist will tell you how many times to do each stretch. Do the stretch on both sides before you move to the next stretch.

  • Standing iliotibial band stretch: Stand with the leg on your injured side behind your other leg. Bend sideways toward the side that is not injured. Stop when you feel a stretch in your outer hip. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Then return to the starting position.
    Standing ITB Stretch
  • Lying iliotibial band stretch: Lie on your back. Bend the knee on your injured side toward your chest. Place your hands on the outside of your knee and thigh. Slowly pull the knee across your body. Stop when you feel a stretch in your hip and outer thigh. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Return your leg to the starting position.
    Lying ITB Stretch
  • Hip stretch: Lie on your back with both legs straight and on the ground. Bend the knee on your injured side toward your chest until you can reach your lower leg. Place both hands on your shin and pull your knee toward your chest. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Return your leg to the starting position.
    Hip Stretch
  • Knee to chest: Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend the knee on your injured side toward your chest until you can reach your lower leg. Place both hands on your shin and pull your knee toward your chest. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Return your leg to the starting position.
    Knee to Chest
  • Internal hip rotator stretch: You will do this exercise on a table. Lie on your side with the injured hip on top. You may be told to keep a pillow between your thighs. Move the top leg so the foot hangs below the edge of the table. Rotate your hip to raise your foot in the opposite direction of the bottom shoulder. Raise your foot as high as you can so you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly lower your foot to the starting position.
  • External hip rotator stretch: You will do this exercise on a table. Lie on your side with the injured hip on the bottom. You do not need a pillow between your thighs for this exercise. Move the bottom leg so the foot is off the edge of the table. Rotate your hip to lift the foot in the opposite direction of the bottom shoulder. Raise your foot as high as you can so you feel a stretch in your buttock. Hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly lower your foot to the starting position.
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch: Kneel on your knee on the injured side. Place the foot of your other leg on the floor so the knee is bent. Put both hands on top of your thigh. Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your other thigh. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position.
    Kneeling Hip Flexor

How should I do hip strengthening exercises?

Your healthcare provider or physical therapist will tell you how many times to do each exercise. Do the exercise on both sides before you move to the next exercise.

  • Straight leg lift to the side: This may also be called hip abduction. Lie on your side with straight legs, with the injured hip on top. Slowly raise your top leg toward the ceiling as high as you can. Keep your foot pointed. Hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly lower your leg to the starting position.
    Hip Abduction
  • Inner thigh lift: This may also be called hip adduction. Lie on your side with straight legs, with the injured hip on the bottom. Cross your top leg over your bottom leg. Put the foot of your top leg on the floor in front of you. Raise your bottom leg until it touches the top leg. Hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly lower the leg to the floor.
    Hip Adduction
  • Clam exercise: Lie on your side so your injured side is on top. Bend your knees. Keep your heels together during this exercise. Slowly raise your top knee toward the ceiling. Then lower your leg so your knees are together.
    Clam Exercise

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have sharp pain during exercise or at rest.
  • You have questions or concerns about the stretches or exercises.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.