How Long Does it Take to Heal Hip Bursitis?

If you’re asking yourself the question, “How long does it take to heal hip bursitis?”, you’ve probably reached the point where you’ve just about had it with the pain.

Hip bursitis commonly describes inflammation of the bursa in the hip. It’s a pretty frequent condition, but it’s also extremely painful and can put you out of commission for awhile.

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to hip bursitis. Most soft tissue injuries in the body take at least 6 weeks to heal and sometimes up  to 12 weeks. But the good news is there are many things you can do to make sure you heal and never experience hip bursitis again!

Hip Bursitis Symptoms

A bursa is a sac filled with something called synovial fluid. Your body has over 150 bursae in it; the purpose of a bursa is to reduce the amount of friction that takes place between two surfaces moving in opposite directions.

Bursae can be found everywhere in the body, softening the movement between tendons, bones and muscles. When you get bursitis, it means that the bursa has become inflamed.

With hip bursitis, you’re most likely dealing with the bursa that’s located between the bone on the outside of hip and the tendons that lay on top of and move across the top of this bony area. This area moves every time you take a step. If the bursa is inflamed, that movement will cause intense, radiating pain. This means that walking, running, and cycling has now become a nightmare.

Hip Bursa

Hip Bursitis Causes

There are several different ways that a person can end up with hip bursitis.

  • Traumatic Bursitis: One of the easiest ways to get hip bursitis is to fall and land on the outer portion of your hip.

The bump will make the bursa swell up with blood, causing its lining to become inflamed. When you get bursitis through some sort of trauma, you have what’s called traumatic bursitis.

  • Repetitive Pressure: When you do things like ride a bike or run on a regular basis, you’re hitting and pounding the same muscles over and over.

Those constant, repetitive movements are essentially small traumas. Over time, those little traumas can do as much damage as a single, traumatic blow. Before long, you may end up with hip bursitis.

  • Inflammatory Arthritis: Individuals with a history of inflammatory conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis, have a hyperactive immune system that can attack the hip bursa leading to hip bursitis.
  • Age: As people age, many of them develop hip arthritis. Arthritis leads to abnormal hip motion and increases the risk of hip bursitis..
  • Gender: Women seem to develop hip bursitis more often than men. Paradoxically, the advantage of wide hips for childbearing is a disadvantage for hip health. Wide hips place more stress on structures around the hip increasing risk for bursitis.
  • Gluteus medius and minimus tendon injury:  Two of your buttock muscles that help stabilize your hip joint and internal rotate your leg attach very close to your bursa. Frequently, when they are injured the inflammation spills over to your hip bursa causing pain.

How to Treat Hip Bursitis?

If you’re trying to figure out how to treat hip bursitis, there are several options to consider. Before you try anything at all, however, check with your physician to make sure that there are no other underlying conditions that could affect the healing process.

Natural Remedies

Many people prefer to use natural remedies when treating common aches and pains and illnesses. There are several natural remedies that can help reduce the symptoms of hip bursitis, allowing people to slowly but surely become pain free and get their flexibility back.

Turmeric & Ginger: Turmeric has been used for centuries to heal pain, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. The curcumin in turmeric is the ingredient most responsible for this. The reason curcumin works so well is because it’s a powerful antioxidant. This antioxidant gets rid of free radicals that cause bursa injury and  inflammation.

When taken with ginger, the anti-inflammatory and pain killing effect seems to work even more effectively. Providing you better protection.


Bromelain: Many people would be surprised to learn that pineapples are an amazing pain-fighting tool. They’re loaded with bromelain, an enzyme that has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain is found in all parts of pineapple but is concentrated in the stem.

People use it to treat everything from sprains to bruises, thanks to bromelain ability to reduce swelling and numb pain. These same pain-fighting properties make it ideal for people suffering from hip bursitis.

Some people find that they are able to completely avoid over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers, like aspirin and ibuprofen, when they take bromelain. As an added benefit, bromelain does not seem to have any of the known side effects of over the counter medications.

Pineapple best source of bromelain

Essential Oils: The use of essential oils to treat common ailments and conditions, has been shown to be very effective in helping people fight pain without having to resort to OTC pain medications.  

Essential oils can either be inhaled (aromatherapy) or applied topically. Different essential oils can target the different symptoms of hip bursitis, so many people mix them together to make their perfect blends.

  • For pain relief, look into options like clover, lavender, helichrysum, chamomile and peppermint. They can numb the area, making it easier for you to move.
  • If you’re looking to restore circulation in the hip area, use essential oils like clove, coriander, eucalyptus, and lavender.
  • For muscle relaxants, you can’t go wrong with options like basil, lavender, rosemary, and wintergreen.  
  • To reduce the swelling that accompanies hip bursitis, geranium, rose, helichrysum, and chamomile are great options.
  • For people that like to use heat and warmth to reduce pain, essential oils like ginger, juniper berry, peppermint, and black pepper can all do the job.
  • For oils that are loaded with the anti-inflammatory properties that your bursitis needs in order to heal, consider thyme, cinnamon bark, bergamot, rosemary, and helichrysum,among many others.

Want to learn more about Essential Oils?


Hip Bursitis Strengthening Exercises

There are exercises that you can do that can help strengthen your hip area if you suffer from hip bursitis:

Isometric Training

Isometric exercises are done by holding and strengthening one area of your body at a time, perfect for building or regaining strength without putting too much strain on the muscles in the area.

Isometric hip press:

  • Lie on your back
  • Make sure your knees are hip distance apart
  • Place a belt or resistance band around your knees
  • Lift your hips upwards and your thighs outward
  • Stay in this position for about half a minute.
  • Switch sides
  • Repeat each side two more times
  • Try to perform 3 sets  three times per week

You can also do isometric hip abduction with bands to strengthen the area:

  • Lie on your side on a mat/floor with your legs extended straight away from your body.
  • Hold your feet together in neutral position (at 90 degrees to your shinbone) and your lower arm bent and positioned under your head for support
  • Exhale and gently raise the upper leg off the lower leg while keeping the knee extended and the foot in a neutral position (avoid flexion and extension).
  • Stay in this position for about half a minute.
  • Switch sides
  • Repeat each side two more times
  • Try to perform 3 sets  three times per week

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?


Concentric Band Exercises

Iliotibial band exercises are excellent for helping heal a bursitis-stricken hip. A resistance band outer thigh press can help strengthen the hip area by working on your outer thighs.

  • Lie down on the floor and stick your legs up in the air.
  • Position the band so that the middle is centered at the bottom of your feet.
  • Pull the top part of the band toward your chest. Widen your legs until the band is pulled tight and you’re in a straddle position.
  • Slowly release before repeating the exercise.
  • Aim for 20 repetitions per set and perform 3 sets three times per week.

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?


Eccentric Exercises

Eccentric exercise is the most effective muscle contraction to build new muscle and heal injured tendons.  An eccentric muscle contraction occurs when muscle is elongated and activated.

To do an eccentric hip abduction resistance band leg lift:

  • Raise your lower leg quickly and hold it before lowering it slowly for up to five seconds.
  • Stand up straight with your feet close together. Keeping your toes pointed forward, lift one leg straight out to the side, as far as possible.
  • The resistance band will tighten and try to pull your outstretched leg back to the starting position
  • As you bring your leg back towards your starting position resist the band pull slowly bringing your leg towards mid line
  • Perform 10 repetitions, with each repetition taking around 4 seconds
  • Try 2 or 3 sets, three times per week

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?

Always make sure to check with your doctor before doing any exercise to make sure that there aren’t any underlying, more serious conditions or injuries.

Hip Bursitis Stretches

Stretching is one of the best ways to protect and heal your muscles. The goal is to stretch the different parts of the hip so that the entire joint can move smoothly. Following are some stretches that can help keep a hip joint healthy, smooth, and supple.

Hip Flexors

The hip flexors are the muscles located at the very front of your hip. They’re responsible for helping you make movements like raising your knee toward your body and flexing your leg. If you’ve been diagnosed with iliopsoas bursitis, you’ve been diagnosed with an inflamed bursa that’s located in this front hip muscle. To stretch these muscles:

  • Rest your left knee up against the floor. This will feel sort of like a lunge.
  • Bend your right leg, keeping your glutes engaged and your torso straight. Know that you may not be able to raise your torso completely at first.
  • Also be sure to keep your hips in line with your chest, avoiding letting your glutes creep up or your hips sag toward the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?

Hip Abductors

Hip abductor muscles are made up of the gluteus medius, the tensor fascia lata, and the gluteus minimus. Together, these muscles help you move your leg away from the body’s midline, allowing you to make movements like getting out of a car and stepping from one side to the other. To stretch these muscles

  • Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right heel as close to your left sit-bone as you can.
  • Reach your right arm behind you, and plant your palm or fingertips on the floor. Place your left hand or elbow on your right knee or thigh, and gently pull your knee to the left until you feel the stretch in your glutes.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then release and straighten your legs again. Repeat on left side.

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?

Also try this stretch

  • Begin lying flat on your back, legs extended.
  • Now, lift your left hip and leg, crossing it over your right, while keeping your back and shoulders flat on the ground. You will feel a stretch in your glute, as well as in your lower back and hips.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?


Hip Extensors

Hip extensors are the muscles in the hip that actually extend the hip. They include the gluteus maximus and the hamstrings. The gluteus maximus helps you stand upright and controls your leg movements as you walk. The hamstrings are made up of the semitendinosus, the biceps femoris, and the semimembranosus. These muscles perform most of the hip extension responsibilities when you walk. To stretch these muscles:

  • Begin lying flat on your back, both knees bent.
  • Cross one leg over the other so that your ankle is resting on the opposite knee.
  • Gently pull the uncrossed leg toward your chest until you feel a deep stretch in your glute.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch legs.

How to Heal Hip Bursitis?

Final Thoughts

Hip bursitis can be an extremely painful, frustrating, and annoying condition. The good news is that there are natural remedies, stretches, and strengthening exercises that you can do to not only prevent the condition but also heal yourself from the affliction.

Remember even in the best case scenario your body needs at least 6 weeks, but often up to 12 weeks to heal hip bursitis…so be patient and be consistent with your healing regimen.