Pain Concern
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ischial tuberosity pain

I've had ischial tuberosity pain on both sides for 18 months. I can't be sure what started it off, maybe a fall I had a month earlier. I do have a sacroilliac joint problem and some degeneration of the 5th transitional vertebra of the spine. I've had steroid injections.. didn't last. Acupuncture... no good. now physio. Some of the exercises were making it worse and I've been told now I must only do the 2 they have given to me... and no more.I'm to limit any walking... I like walking! I'm not supposed to do any gardening, etc. I'm on my own and have house & garden to maintain. I try to keep fit and maintain my flexibility and strengthen my core to help support my back and internal organs. At my age... 66 this is important. esp for a woman. I had depression some years ago and found exercise really beneficial... although I gave up jogging because of knee trouble. I'm at a loss now what I'm supposed to do for the next 3-6 months of inactivity which they say might improve it. Has anyone had a similar bursitis problem which they manage to find a permanent cure for?

13 Replies

Unfortunately, no. I've had bursitis in both shoulders for several years and not been able to shift it so I shall be interested to see if anyone can suggest something to you.

As you've had this pain for so long and in such an awkward spot, I wonder if the physiotherapists think that rest is the only way to prevent over-use and continuing inflammation. Altho' I share your general apprehension that reducing activity doesn't always have good outcomes for maintaining strength, flexibility, nor bone density.

Did they rule out aqua exercise and swimming?


Hi, thanks for your message. They didn't mention aqua exercise but I did ask about swimming. They said not to do breast stroke... unless I do the leg action for the crawl. I tend not to do crawl as I'm a mouth breather and can't get the breathing right... so it puts a strain on my neck. but I'll try it the way they suggested. I've looked into some herbal remedies which are supposed to reduce bursitis and have just ordered some french maritime pine bark... it's not cheap but I'll give it a go. I did read about a treatment called prolotherapy. That's a course of injections... not steroids. I think it causes the muscle re-grow itself It's not available on the nhs and the prices do vary as you can imagine.The nearest one to me happens to be the most expensive!!. If you have private health care or you can afford to do it - it's worth a shot. no pun intended. You could look it up to see if it is suitable for your problem.


I am not familiar with your disease but what about the recumbent bike


I recommend the recumbent bike and then I went and looked up your condition and I'm guessing it's really painful for you to sit so that would rule out the recumbent bike. And that is my problem I can't sit. You might try a cushion on the recumbent bike and see if that helps I did that for a while and was successful


Hi Thanks for your message. It's not a disease it's a condition. Yes it's paoinful to sit and also any movement which puts a strain on the hamstrings as they pass through the ischial tuberosity ( sit bones) .. that's bending, sitting,walking up/down stairs, even walking sometimes! That's what we all do in normal day to day living, without doing any form of exercise. You'd be surprised practically everything you do involves those muscles. I had a look at the recumbent bike on the net.. won't discount it, so thank you for suggesting it .

So what's causing you not to be able to sit?


Lower back pain. Had it for 13 years butt (pun intended) it has gotten really bad in recent years. Age I suppose has something to do with that and arthritis.


That's an awful long time. Do you know the cause... i.e. where it is. Have to been to a specialist? I had sacroilliac joint problems for several years and couldn't even turn over in bed.. let alone get out of it. I did wonder if my settee was not helping as it didn't give any support for my back.Modern settees are to deep so it makes you slouch... so now I sit with a big cushion behind me I started doing an exercise class and core strengthening and it seemed to disappear. but where I can't do the exercise I'm starting to get twinges again. Do you think something like balance ball might help as to sit on it properly you have to sit quite upright but they are supposed to be good. I hate this getting old lark..!


Hi stellacatton

I was very interested to read your post. I’m afraid that I don’t have a solution to your problem but do empathise with you. In 2010 I was found to have a sacroiliac abscess (on the inside of that joint) . During that time I developed severe pain in my right buttock and horrendous sciatica type pain down that leg. I needed emergency surgery which caused some nerve damage. Since that time I’ve had pain over the lft ischial tuberosity but for the past six months I’ve had IT pain on the right side with pain down the back of that leg. I too have knee pain in both knees. Some years ago an orthopaedic surgeon told me it was bursitis and would have given me a steroid injection but my pain consultant didn’t want me to have any more steroid than I have in my shoulder joints, for fear it will do damage to my bones. I am 61 years old and I also live alone. Since the abscess and surgery I have not been able to walk more than 5 to 10 m. In the 80’s I was a PE teacher and have always (prior to having serious mobility problems) thoroughly enjoyed being outside, gardening, walking and playing sports. I recently saw a physio who gave me exercises to strengthen my leg muscles and core. The exercises seem to make me worse! I hadn’t previously heard the term “transitional vertebra” so I looked that. I know that after a fall over a fairly high patio a few years ago I had crushing fractures of two thoracic vertebrae (only known because of a shoulder MRI). Maybe I have more damage in my lower spine. I wonder why you have been told to limit your walking – does rest help your problem? What do you find worse, standing or sitting? I find that I can’t do either for very long and as a result am an absolute fidget. I have been on Buprenorphine patches 30mcg per hour since the surgery but even those, plus oral morphine, don’t take the pain away. I would be glad to hear if you find anything which helps and likewise I will let you know if I make any progress.


Hi Rone56... Sorry I misled you... it wasn't cat's claw... I think that's for something else it's gotu kola. I've just ordered a small amount of the tincture to see if I can take it. the other is boswellia but that's really expensive although it can be bought in a cream form as it's commercially made. I've tried dmso cream and liquid.. apart from making me itch it didn't help the pain either in the butt or joints. At least sun is shining... at the mo.


Going barmy.. cat's claw does help inflammation too.. but gotu kola is specifically

recommended for bursitis. x


Oh Bless you... I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Sounds like the surgery only made it worse... How many times have I heard that! Like you, my knees are starting to play up now. But I stopped jogging sometime ago because of my left knee... Think that's more to do with osteoarthritis, which I have in both wrists and hands. too . Yes, resting does help.. I find first thing in the morning it's not too bad getting out of bed - by comparision... until I start bending the knees for anything... up and down stairs... squatting on the loo. and off it starts again! I tend to stand a lot a find sitting uncomfortable unless it's very well padded. I must admit I didn't care for this last physiotherapist... but maybe she's right. She described it as any exercise will be like picking a spot again and again including walking.. I try not to take pain killers partly because they give me an acid stomach and I treat them as a last resort. When you say you can't walk more than 5-10 m... do you mean miles or metres?

I did seriously think about a treatment called prolotherapy but it's only available with private health care... not nhs.I know it can be done for muscles and joints .My g.p. said try a chiropractor / osteopath, but as you know that has to be paid for. I am looking at some herbal products... There's one called cat's claw which is supposed to reduce bursitis .. I'll try it to see what happens. I don't know about you but the impression I get is once you get near 60 all I hear is 'you have to expect that now you're old'.

I'm sure you'll agree it does get depressing and that only makes matters worse.. it's a catch 22. Well chin up... There has to be an answer somewhere. . You take care.


Wow! Your post and reply to my post have helped me, I hadn’t previously heard of anyone with the condition and in fact I couldn’t previously put together why I was experiencing such pain in my Ischial Tuberosities and in different parts of my legs even though I have a good understanding of anatomy and physiology. The surgery I had in 2010 (to remove the sacroiliac abscess) was a life-saving procedure as I was found to be suffering from sepsis as a result of the abscess bursting. In the run up to that I’d had pain in my buttock, over my sacrum and down my leg. I had to accept that the nerve damage couldn’t be avoided due to the nature of the surgery. After months of IV antibiotics I was admitted to hospital again in 2011 for open surgery to remove a gangrenous appendix. As you can imagine I am now fearful of developing infections and was concerned that my present problems could have infection at its root. Your post gave me some new understanding – thank you.

You wrote about how squatting to use the loo is painful and about other situations which aggravate the problem – all of which I can identify strongly. I'm needing to stand to write this. I had previously felt that the professionals must think I am piling on the symptoms. Reading your account made me feel much less alone – thank you so much.

The gp referred me to the physio to assess what is causing my pain – I’m not sure what she wrote in the referral letter because the physio asked me what I hoped to achieve by physio – I just wanted some answers but she seemed a bit confused by my description of my symptoms. My walking distance is 5 -10 metres. I have a disability scooter and my car is adapted with a hoist for the scooter. I use crutches for those small distances but, as you will appreciate, that affects my upper joints. Yes I too have been told that osteoarthritis is to be expected with increasing age. After the sepsis I had to give up work and I was retired (I had taught for thirty years) from work on health grounds. I miss the pupils and the interaction and banter and would like to do some voluntary activity but I just want to have consistent ‘good’ days.

I was interested to read about the cat’s Claw and the Gotu Kola. I too generally try to avoid oral painkillers because of them causing acidity – hence the opiate patches. I hadn't previously heard about prolotherapy.

I don’t want, in any of what I write, to give the impression that I feel sorry for myself but I do feel very frustrated and depression lurks around – as you wrote C"atch 22!"

Yes indeed there must be an answer somewhere – fingers crossed! I wonder if warmer days will bring some relief.

Thinking of you!


Sounds likes you've really been through the wars. And no.. I didn't think for one moment you're feeling sorry for yourself... ... but I know I would!!.. Constant pain just wears you down. Just as a matter of interest, did the bursitis start before or after the fall or after the abscess. Must admit I've never heard of anyone having one there.. . Reason I ask is because when read up about the bursitis, I found out it can also be caused by a problem with the sacriolliac joint or over stretching the hamstrings. I know you said you have morphine.. it is a good pain killer. I would be very cautious about what you take/use with the morphine... what's the half-life on it? From what I understood the gotu kola seems to be quite accepted so I don't doubt it can be effective... it's whether or not it can be tolerated. The cat's claw doesn't have the same recognition... it might be to do with it having some harmful compounds which are damaging long term... think they are called toa's? if I do take it, I will write everything in my diary so I can monitor it as it's easy to forget things - also to make sure I have a break from it . It might be worth speaking with your g.p. about the gotu... although some g.p.'s baulk at the idea of herbal remedies,I know let's hope it works! I'll let you know.

Are you able to go to any of the disabled swimming sessions some pools have? If so... and you're not doing that at the moment - perhaps it might be beneficial in more ways than just one.?

Now the weather is getting better that will help too. When it's cold , raining and miserable ... I think it makes you feel that way too - winter can really you down. I think I might have overdone it today...I've been trying to do some baskets and tubs... and clear up bits in the garden.. despite being told not to... well it won't get done otherwise... and I can't not do it..!

All for now.... keep smiling


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