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What are the Different Hip Bursitis Exercises?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2016
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In addition to initial treatments such as ice and rest, there are several different types of hip bursitis exercises often recommended to help sufferers recover. These exercises are often necessary to help stretch, tone, and increase the endurance of the hips. Stretches targeting the hips bring back flexibility that can be lost due to bursitis. Strengthening and stabilization exercises are then necessary to provide support for the hip.

Movements designed to stretch the muscles and tendons are very important hip bursitis exercises. There are several types of stretches that can help the hips regain their range of motion, as well as warming them up for strengthening exercises. An example of these types of stretches would be lying down, crossing the leg on the injured side over the opposite knee, and then pulling the legs toward the chest. Another is to sit with one leg extended and the leg on the injured side bent at the knee and crossed over it, then turn the upper body to look over the shoulder on the injured side.

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Hip bursitis exercises that tone and strengthen the muscles that support the joint are also critical to relieve the condition; strong abdomen, hip, and thigh muscles help maintain stability, which can minimize the chance of a recurrence. In cases where posture problems due to misalignment of the pelvis or legs have caused the problem, some muscles may be strong while others are weak, causing an imbalance of support for the hip which needs to be corrected. Lying on one's uninjured side and doing lifts with the injured leg, either with a bent knee or extended, works the appropriate muscles. Certain Pilates moves such as leg circles and side kicks are considered very good for strengthening these areas, too.

A program of strengthening hip bursitis exercises will typically be progressive, starting light and then increasing in difficulty as the hip becomes stronger. Simple moves like leg raises, where one lays on his or her back with the legs held out straight, lifts them several inches above the floor and holds them there, are effective for targeting key muscle groups. Weights and machines designed to offer resistance training may be used. Movements that simulate regular daily activities like squats and stair climbing are also very important. Patients will typically work with a physical therapist, who will assess progress and help the person increase at an appropriate rate.

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