Ischiogluteal Bursitis…what is it and what to do

Common bursae in the hip joint and hip area.

Ischiogluteal bursitis is where we get inflammation of the bursa. The bursa lies between the ischial tuberosity and the tendon of a hamstring muscle. It is designed to reduce friction between the bone and our tendon. The bursa becomes inflamed and sometimes the tendon and hamstrings will also become tender and inflamed as well. Often we feel pain in the buttocks, when we stretch the hamstring or around our ischial tuberosity. The pain may also increase when we sit for a long period and or after a sprinting session on the track or road. Pain may also occur when we stretch the knee joint particularly against any resistance. The bursa is a small sac containing a lubricating fluid and is designed to reduce friction between adjacent soft tissues. The main causes are from repetitive prolonged training that strains the bursa. Sometimes footballers can get this injury from a direct impact to the bursa or a fall.

An easy to recognise sign is pain in the lower buttock or ache and stiffness in this area.

Sports men and women frequently experience pain when you touch the ischiogluteal bursa and hamstring tendon sometimes the sports person may have a feeling of lower limb weakness when they try to increase their speed when out running.

To diagnose this condition more accurately it may be necessary to get an Ultrasound, X-ray, CT or MRI scan. What you can do immediately is to apply ice therapy to reduce swelling, inflammation and any pain you may have followed by rest. Apply the R.I.C.E method. Sports people with this condition should look at flexibility and a strengthening program of the surrounding muscles to ensure the best outcome. Your exercise physiologist or physiotherapist can give guidance on exercises that are appropriate for you. Other things to look at are any existing joint soreness around the hip area (I.E. Hip flexors) muscle tightness in the hamstrings and gluts. Avoiding excessive training. Ensure you have adequate rehabilitation before restarting your exercise regime to ensure the condition does not return. Always warm up before exercising either with a passive warm up or dynamic warm up.


John Hart

“Master’s In Education” (Disability) Newcastle University Australia

“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

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