Our experts answers questions on how to reduce the pain of busitis and what could be causing bad breath.
A DR DAN RUTHERFORD WRITES:
A “bursa” is a pouch and we have several of these in the body that contain a small amount of lubricating fluid that helps smooth the running of the muscles over bony points. Think of it like a small collapsed balloon with a few drops of oil inside that allows the sides to glide over each other.
A large bursa lies over the hip bone, to the side of the thigh, and this is likely to be the one giving you pain. Its medical name is the trochanteric bursa. Quite why a bursa can become inflamed (bursitis) is often not obvious but
an unusual amount of activity or a minor blow over the bone can trigger it. Then the bursa becomes more sensitive to movement and usually more fluid builds up within it.
Recent thinking on trochanteric bursitis also suggests that local muscle tear or injury can cause the same pain. Most people find that their pain settles down after a few weeks. Simple painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen help (tablets are better than cream, as one can’t guarantee how much cream is absorbed), as can the self-help tips from Tony (below).
If it is very slow to go away, an injection of steroid and/or local anaesthetic into the correct area can be helpful. Some GPs can do this, or they will refer you to an orthopaedic specialist. See www.patient.co.uk/health/Greater-Trochanteric-Pain-Syndrome.htm.
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