Ischial Tuberosity Bursitis – A Literal Pain in the Butt

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Ischial Tuberosity Bursitis – A Literal Pain in the Butt

This is a little known condition that can affect those who sit constantly for work or for those who have inadvertently taken a fall (or multiple falls over the years).

What is an ischial tuberosity?

This is sometimes referred to as the “sit bones” because it absorbs the weight when you sit.

If you feel irritation or pain it could be in the ischial bursa (a fluid-filled sac located between the ischial tuberosity and the tendons which connect the bone to the hamstring muscle).

Inflammation in this area is called ischial bursitis. It doesn’t quite feel like normal pain. It’s an itchy ache almost like the skin in that area feel stuck to the muscle. It’s very uncomfortable and can lead to diminished movement as well as an inability to stay seated for very long without making it worse.

Ischial bursitis symptoms include:

pain when you sit down

aching or stiffness in your pelvis

redness or swelling around the bursa

trouble sleeping on the affected side

The Diagnosis

A physical exam and symptom review is a great place to start. Your doctor may have you sit, stand, and move your legs and hips. If a physical exam doesn’t suggest any obvious cause of your symptoms, you may need a MRI or X-ray to give your doctor a better view of your pelvis.

What is the Answer?

This condition can heal itself over time. It requires rest and it is very tough to live a daily life that avoids sitting and irritating it further.


OTC anti-inflammatories can help as well as taking turmeric and bromelain.

You also may benefit from an injection of a corticosteroid.


Chiropractic to get your body aligned followed by physical therapy to help strengthen muscles and improve flexibility can be very helpful.

Stair climbing and elliptical machines will strengthen the area as well. Make sure to hold the railing in case of pain. If you feel pain other than stiffness, stop. It should not be painful.

Swimming is another fantastic choice as it is non-impact and allows freedom of movement without pressure.

Stretching increases flexibility in your hamstring. That stretch can help relieve pressure on the ischial bursa.

Helpful stretches:

Gluteus stretch. Lie stretched out on your back with your head supported by a cushion. Bend one knee. With both hands around the knee, pull it slowly toward your chest and hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds. Slowly straighten your leg, and do the same with your other knee. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Piriformis stretch. Sit on the floor with both legs straight. Cross one leg over the other, with your foot along with the knee. With the opposite hand, gently pull your bent knee across the middle of your body. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. You should feel a stretch in the muscles of your outer thigh. Repeat with the other leg.

The Outcome

This is a condition that can take time to heal. Be patient with yourself. Use ice and heat liberally, apply arnica gel to the area, take anti-inflammatories as needed, move daily, drink lots of water, and visualize yourself as well.

Chiropractor | Nutritionist in Ft Myers, FL

Fort Myers Chiropractor, Dr. Jason B. KasterChiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Add to that, nutritional recommendations that can help your body heal itself. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent it as soon as possible?

Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.

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