Have I got trochanteric bursitis (again)?

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Have I got trochanteric bursitis (again)?

Postby Darcal » Oct 27, 2006 06:30

Hi all,

Twenty years ago I did Karate for three years and was very flexible, then I stopped doing it for some reason. I'm now 33 and for about twenty years my body has been very inactive in comparison (quite stiff and weak). A few years ago I decided to try to regain the flexibility I had before.

I started by testing my straddle split potential: Laying on the floor, face down, with one leg fully extended to the side and then the same on the other side. I found that with each leg I could feel my hip pressing on the floor (at the front of my pelvis) and of course a great stretch in the aductor muscle, so I gathered that my split potential was still good.

I'd then proceed to do a straddle sit (legs as wide as possible and leaning forward) to actually develop the split. But I found that by this time I'd have slight pain in my hips and the more I widened the straddle sit / the more I leant forward, the more my hips would hurt the next day. It didn't hurt when I was laying down, sitting, standing or walking normally but when I tried to open my legs any more than 90 degrees.

I then realised I'd overstretched myself and forgot about doing any stretching for six weeks to recover. Not knowing what I was doing and having a bad habit of overstretching because of impatience, I stupidly have done all this at least five times. Anyway I've recently done it again and this time finally decided to learn from my mistakes. So I've been looking on the internet and now believe I've been causing trochanteric bursitis. For anyone who doesn't know it's when the boney lump at the top of the femur (the greater trochanter) rubs on the pelvis with an inadequate fluid sack inbetween (the bursa). This can be inadequate because of weakness and stiffness in the hip joint. As a result the bursa becomes inflamed and irritated due to the sudden, unexpected friction which causes pain in the outer hip and outer thigh area. Forgive me if any of this is wrong, but I'm just learning.

Basically, what I need to know is how long does it take to heal and is it better to have complete rest from stretching or do gentle stretching while it heals? Also does repeated bursitis reduce flexibility potential, maybe because the bursae become thickened, creating more of an obstacle between the trochanters and pelvis?

After all this I solemnly swear not to overstretch again and take my time instead. I now know the importance of strength for flexibility and of warming up and down before and after deep stretches. I just wish I'd looked into it years ago.

Some advice from Mr. Kurz or anyone in the know would be much appreciated, because I'm considering doing karate again. Thanks very much.

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Joined: Oct 27, 2006 03:45
Location: UK

Have I got trochanteric bursitis (again)?

Postby Thomas Kurz » Oct 27, 2006 11:09

This subject is covered in my columns:

In my mailing:
kicking and hip pain (07/13/06)
archived at http://www.aweber.com/z/article/?stadion-list

And others have answered questions on it on Stadion's Forums on Age and Stretching and on Chronic Injuries.
Thomas Kurz
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Thomas Kurz
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Postby Darcal » Oct 27, 2006 15:48

Thanks very much for the reply Mr. Kurz. I read the articles you kindly linked for me and scanned through the two Stadion forums you mentioned. I feel I've a better understanding now of the anatomy, the cause of injury, rehabilitation and correct stretching exercises. Much appreciated.

Could anyone who's had bursitis tell me about their experience of it and if it's limited their flexibility at all?

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 27, 2006 03:45
Location: UK

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