Trochanteric Bursitis: Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Hamstring wall stretch

Picture of hamstring wall stretch exercise
slide 1 of 6
slide 1 of 6, Hamstring wall stretch,
  1. Lie on your back in a doorway, with your good leg through the open door.
  2. Slide your affected leg up the wall to straighten your knee. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
    • Do not arch your back.
    • Do not bend either knee.
    • Keep one heel touching the floor and the other heel touching the wall. Do not point your toes.
  3. Hold the stretch for at least 1 minute to begin. Then try to lengthen the time you hold the stretch to as long as 6 minutes.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

If you do not have a place to do this exercise in a doorway, there is another way to do it:

  1. Lie on your back, and bend the knee of your affected leg.
  2. Loop a towel under the ball and toes of that foot, and hold the ends of the towel in your hands.
  3. Straighten your knee, and slowly pull back on the towel. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Or even better, hold the stretch for 1 minute if you can.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Straight-leg raises to the outside

Picture of straight-leg raises to the outside
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slide 2 of 6, Straight-leg raises to the outside,
  1. Lie on your side, with your affected leg on top.
  2. Tighten the front thigh muscles of your top leg to keep your knee straight.
  3. Keep your hip and your leg straight in line with the rest of your body, and keep your knee pointing forward. Do not drop your hip back.
  4. Lift your top leg straight up toward the ceiling, about 30 centimetres off the floor. Hold for about 6 seconds, then slowly lower your leg.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Clamshell

Pictures of clamshell exercise
slide 3 of 6
slide 3 of 6, Clamshell,
  1. Lie on your side, with your affected leg on top and your head propped on a pillow. Keep your feet and knees together and your knees bent.
  2. Raise your top knee, but keep your feet together. Do not let your hips roll back. Your legs should open up like a clamshell.
  3. Hold for 6 seconds.
  4. Slowly lower your knee back down. Rest for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Standing quadriceps stretch

Picture of quadriceps stretch while standing
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slide 4 of 6, Standing quadriceps stretch,
  1. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair, counter, or wall. You can also lie on your stomach or your side to do this exercise.
  2. Bend the knee of the leg you want to stretch, and reach behind you to grab the front of your foot or ankle with the hand on the same side. For example, if you are stretching your right leg, use your right hand.
  3. Keeping your knees next to each other, pull your foot toward your buttock until you feel a gentle stretch across the front of your hip and down the front of your thigh. Your knee should be pointed directly to the ground, and not out to the side.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Piriformis stretch

Picture of piriformis stretch
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slide 5 of 6, Piriformis stretch,
  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Lift your affected leg and bend your knee. With your opposite hand, reach across your body, and then gently pull your knee toward your opposite shoulder.
  3. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Double knee-to-chest

Picture of double knee-to-chest exercise
slide 6 of 6
slide 6 of 6, Double knee-to-chest,
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You can put a small pillow under your head and neck if it is more comfortable.
  2. Bring both knees to your chest.
  3. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Relax, and lower your knees to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter N503 in the search box to learn more about "Trochanteric Bursitis: Exercises".

Current as of: March 21, 2017