If you’ve recently developed a case of hip bursitis, there can be several major causes as to why. But one of the largest ones is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis and hip pain are inextricably linked, and if you’ve got one, you might well have the other.
Plantar fasciitis and hip bursitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, especially in middle-aged and older people. It’s caused by overstrained ligaments in the bottom of your feet, (the plantar fascia,) and can be caused by overstressing your feet, having an awkward or painful gait, or ill-fitting footwear.
Hip bursitis is inflammation of the bursae that sit around your hips. Bursae are tiny fluid pouches that cushion and protect your joints, tendons, and muscles, and pain and inflammation in your bursa can be a primary symptom that something is wrong. Remember, there is also your feet bursa to worry about.
What causes hip bursitis?
In general, bursitis is caused by excessive wear around the joints, commonly in the form of repetitive microtraumas that happen over time.
It is common in athletes, especially those that run long distances but can also occur in the general public, especially those who spend a lot of time standing or otherwise on their feet.
The most common causes of hip bursitis include:
- Injury: A fall or impact on the outside of the hip can cause internal damage, bleeding in the bursa itself, or inflammation of the bursa. The blood will break down and be reabsorbed, but if it has caused major inflammation, then it may stay inflamed.
- Age: Just like arthritis, bursitis can simply be caused by long-term wear on joints, which is why it’s more common in those over 40.
- Gender: Because of the differences in musculature and bone position, women are more likely to be affected with long-term hip pain than men, including hip bursitis.
- Medical issues: Arthritis and gout both cause inflammation in and around joints, which can contribute to the effects of bursitis.
- Infection: Whilst it’s unlikely that you’ll spontaneously develop an infection in or around your hip bursae, conditions that affect the immune system can cause long-term problems that lead to infection and inflammation of the bursae.
- Calcium deposits or bone spurs: Growths on the mechanical portions of the bones can cause irritation, which can lead to issues including bursitis.
- Biomechanical issues: Anything that causes problems with walking or standing, including osteoarthritis, muscle and stability problems, issues with gait and walking style or lower back problems, can all contribute to bursitis.
Can plantar fasciitis cause hip pain?
As we just discussed, anything that affects the way you stand or walk can spiral up through your posterior chain and cause problems further up your body.
The way this works is simple. If something is affecting your feet, then the joints of your legs and hips will attempt to compensate for the issue by making you walk or stand differently.
Over time, the fact that you’re standing improperly will cause long-term effects on the joints that are being forced into unnatural positions.
As one of the major symptoms and effects of plantar fasciitis is an effect on the way you stand and walk, generally manifesting as rolling inwards of the feet, as well as long-term pain, it’s obvious that plantar fasciitis can be a major contributing factor in hip bursitis.
You may not even realize it’s happening because the effects can happen so slowly, over time, and build up day by day. Initially, there might not even be any pain, but a few weeks in, the accumulated damage adds up and you start to suffer. Generally, by this time the damage has been done and fixing the problem will not immediately prevent the issue.
How do you treat hip bursitis?
Generally, the simplest way of treating hip bursitis is to treat the underlying issues that caused it in the first place.
This can take the form of a physiotherapy program, regular stretching, corrective footwear or other preventative treatment.
In particularly bad cases, your medical practitioner might also prescribe cortisone injections or topically applied painkillers to deal with ongoing symptoms.
In general though, once you’ve developed hip bursitis, you have to treat the cause, rather than the effect.
Conclusion: Connection Between Plantar fasciitis and Hip pain
Anything that causes changes in the way you’re standing or walking can cause hip bursitis, so if you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis and hip pain, it’s generally worth talking to your podiatrist to be sure that you’re not at risk of developing bursitis in any of your joints, not just the hip.
You may be prescribed specialist footwear, alternative treatments like plantar fasciitis acupuncture, or a simple sequence of exercises that you can do at home, but either way, it’s much better to catch it rarely and make small changes now, rather than have to make larger changes and deal with a potentially debilitating problem later.