T Nation

Hip Bursitis? Upper IT Band Glute/Quad Pain, Tenderness

Hi Jim,

Hitting a bit of a dilemma and was curious what your advice would be. About a week ago my hip started hurting on the outside, approximately where the femur/hip bone insertion point is. At first I thought it was a tight IT band and started foam rolling the area, working with a lacrosse ball, etc… Everything seems to just hurt beyond tolerance, and I can tolerate a significant amount of pain. I can squat and dead lift without it hurting more during the movements, but leg drive on the bench or abduction of the hip joint seems to be where I notice it the most. I’ve been icing it and on dead lift day I avoided all accessory work. It feels like a bruise when I press on it, deep and painful.

There was no acute cause - meaning it didn’t happen all of a sudden during squats or deadlifts. I went swimming last Friday and noticed it that evening/morning but continued with my routine nonetheless. It’s a constant pain and nothing seems to be making it worse, or better for that matter. Aside for obviously getting it checked out by a doctor, any other advise? Tomorrow is squat 5/3/1 day and I’m considering skipping all lower body work until the pain goes away.

Even if this was a forum of orthopedic surgeons, you wouldn’t get the advice you need on this here. Best to wait until you can get it checked out before risking something catastrophic, especially with the level of pain you’re describing. Good luck, hope you get good news.

get a massage. Back off the weight. If that doesn’t work, get some professional help.

When my hips were bothering me I did sets of 10, increasing weight until I couldn’t get 10. Bar, 95,135,185,etc. This limited the weight I was able to use. Because I always felt better as I worked up, I assumed it was nothing serious. Soft tissue work, stretching, and some single leg work straightened me out.

Everything would feel pretty good after the 185 or 225 set. If it still hurts after some higher rep warm-up sets, probably need to see someone.

seems to be getting better through reducing volume, icing and Advil. I can handle the low rep, heavy weights no problem - its extending any sets beyond 5 reps where it seems to aggravate it. I capped my squat set on Saturday (5/3/1 week) at 385x5 reps on the PR set, even though I think I could have gotten 6-7. I used a box when I typically don’t and that seemed to help. I typically do LSF for a 15-20 rep widowmaker set and avoided that as well as any other assistance/accessory template/work. Basically ‘I ain’t doin Jack Shit’

I still think it’s mild bursitis and will be taking it easy on squat/deadlift day from here on out until the tenderness goes away. I’ve also taken out my twice a week hill sprints and replacing them with weighted carries, and reducing my daily 2 mile walks to .5- mile walks, 2 or 3 times a week. From everything I’ve read, it’s an overuse injury, so reducing overall volume and stress to the area seems the best course of action and appears to be working. I’d probably take a different approach of the heavy sets actually made the pain worse, but the only thing that really hurts it is foam rolling and abduction.

This is way out of my pay grade. I don’t know a whole lot about injuries and all that. But with any injury, the principles remain the same.

  1. Get diagnosed.
  2. Have a plan to get better; be patient.
  3. Get stronger on what you CAN do (never, ever get weaker).

Got diagnosed - I was right about the bursitis, just not the correct bursa sack. Originally thought it was the trochanteric, but the doctor told me it was iliopsoas bursitis. Basically inflammation causing pain from overuse. The doctor said it was more likely from walking than lifting, since it’s more of a friction injury than a weight baring injury. Nonetheless I’ve been instructed to take naproxen for 4-6 weeks and I took a referral to a sports medicine clinic to see if they can suggest how to fit in training around this literal pain in the ass. My doctor said I can continue to lift but keep the reps/sets low and if I feel any pain during the movement to stop said movement (common sense). I’ll try some squat and deadlift variations to work around the pain for now. The doctor also said that foam rolling my glutes/hamstrings should be put on hold until this goes away…