Bursitis / groin pain : Can anyone tell me how to... - PMRGCAuk


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Bursitis / groin pain

Sally001 profile image

Can anyone tell me how to stop this horrible pain in my hip and groin due to bursitis? It has been constant for over 2 weeks now and am going out of my mind. Is my only alternative having a cortisone shot? I over extended myself by painting the living room and dining room, it took us a week but my hubby and I got it done. At 65 years old, I sadly can't do what I used to do without consequences and now I am paying the price. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you. I am currently on 20 mg of pred for GCA and PMR.

66 Replies

Good question Sally. I'm in the same boat with bursitis on my left hip, with the pain going down to my knee.I've tried physio to no avail, and went to my GP to ask for an injection. He didn't say no, but wanted to try me on a two week course of naproxen. I am half way through this, and, so far, it hasn't touched the sides.

If this situation doesn't change in the next week, I'll be back again to ask for an injection..

I'll be interested to see the replies from those who know more.

Good luck


Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Charlie1boy

Mine is the right hip and groin and the pain goes down to my ankle at times. I really don't want anymore medications if it can be avoided. You had said the Naproxen hasn't helped at all, how frustrating for you. Have you had the injection before? I heard it is very painful but if it relieves the pain for months I'm willing to give it a go. Yes, it will be interesting to see the replies. I just want relief, it's bad enough fighting the PMR and the other day a toothache. I have to laugh though, aching from head to toe, literally - it's like enough already! Thanks for your reply Paddy and I hope you will feel better soon.

Wraysbury profile image
Wraysbury in reply to Sally001

I’ve had the injection. It worked very well for several months and didn’t hurt. A physio practitioner did it (UK) I’ve been told the GP’s really hurt!!

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Wraysbury

That's good to know, thank you.

Charlie1boy profile image
Charlie1boy in reply to Sally001

Can't believe you had toothache as well. I had a sleepless night last week with a tooth infection, and ended up earlier this week with a root canal treatment. So, as well as naproxen, it was also antibiotics!Regards


Jackoh profile image
Jackoh in reply to Charlie1boy

Sorry to hear you’ve been having problems Paddy x

Charlie1boy profile image
Charlie1boy in reply to Jackoh

Thanks Jackie. At least I'm down to a half mg of pred, and, hopefully, I'll get the bursitis sorted next week if my GP agrees to an injection.How are you doing now?

Best wishes


Jackoh profile image
Jackoh in reply to Charlie1boy

Hi Paddy great news re your reduction and Hope you get on ok with doctor. All good here👍Xx

diana1998 profile image
diana1998 in reply to Sally001

I had bursitis badly in 2010 from going to the repetitive circuit gym Curves. Could hardly walk. Physio at hosp didn't help initially but she started me on acupuncture every week and this helped me enormously although it's not for everyone. In the meantime I saw a rheumatologist on NHS and he recommended gel, paracetamol (excellent) and gave me a cortisone injection. Not painful at all, a doddle. This really helped too. Biggest cure is ice and rest and you'll find it will get better albeit slowly for me. Some people are over it in a few weeks. Took longer for me. Couldn't lie on that side for 3 years! Fine now. Good luck, just be patient.

Dydee profile image
Dydee in reply to diana1998

I was thinking about checking into acupuncture for my low back pain that seemed to come on with the PMR. Insurance now covers 20 treatments as long as it brings improvement and ONLY for low back pain. What do you think?

diana1998 profile image
diana1998 in reply to Dydee

Definitely give it a go and see if it works. You'll know after six, but go to someone recommended. Good luck.

Dydee profile image
Dydee in reply to diana1998

I actually have to go to a practitioner on my insurance list. I have found one that is actually from China with really good reviews. I guess that's as good as I can do. LOL

Thelmarina profile image
Thelmarina in reply to Sally001

I know that feeling! When the odds against you are stacked so high you topple over but have to laugh because it’s too much and ridiculous. I promise this isn’t the gin speaking..🤣

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Charlie1boy

How much pred are you on? Naproxen in quantity isn't recommended with pred - it may be claimed to be better with regard to gastric effects but that is disputable. A local steroid shot is far and away the best approach providing it goes into the right place.

Charlie1boy profile image
Charlie1boy in reply to PMRpro

I'm on a half mg a day currently - thinking of reducing to nil at the month end because it is going well.I was surprised by my GP's decision to go with naproxen. It wasn't what I wanted, but I didn't argue!


PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Charlie1boy

Fair enough then. NSAIDs are suggested as first line approach option. But never works for me, doesn't even touch it!

HeronNS profile image
HeronNS in reply to Charlie1boy

Just to add to comments about naproxen. I used to get a prescription for it for migraine, so I wasn't taking it every day. Nevertheless two things happened. One was a stomach bleed which I didn't at the time connect with the med, and the other was when I complained of stomach pain my doctor prescribed something to protect the stomach (I don't remember what that was). At a certain point I pulled myself up short and decided there wasn't any point taking a medication which required another medication in order for me to be able to take it safely. This was over 20 years ago, naproxen was still only available on prescription. I've managed fine since then, with the allegedly more dangerous aspirin, tylenol, and (very occasional) codeine.

Charlie1boy profile image
Charlie1boy in reply to HeronNS

Yes, he prescribed omeprazole for stomach, which, after all I've read on here, I tried to resist, but eventually gave in.Throughout six years on pred reducing from 30mg, I'd never experienced stomach problems. Hope I've not spoken too soon!!!


PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Charlie1boy

The only time I've taken anything was when the rheumy was using high dose i.v. NSAIDS - I persuaded the pharmacy to let me have famotidine which here requires a script. But I won't be going there again when it took a week and I was nothing but bruises at the end. The single steroid shot was infinitely preferable!

PMRpro profile image

If you google you should find stretching exercises that may help but really it is rest - avoiding the actions that make it worse (stairs, walking, squatting) - and icing may help. Using crutches to relieve that leg also helps.



Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to PMRpro

Stretching does help somewhat but I know I overdid it with painting the living and dining rooms. Silly me as I know better, and it took me a week to complete it. Lesson learned. Thank you for your advise; I have been resting and I will try icing it.

Sally good afternoon.

I really believe that you should go to your GP and ask for an X-ray. You might have a hernia, which only a physical examination by your doctor can diagnose.

According to your post, you have been very busy painting. You have been doing a lot of work which is not advisable for PMR suffers.

It maybe just a pulled muscle or ligament, but only a doctor can diagnose you.

In the meanwhile put a hot water bottle onto your groin area and REST.

YuliK 😷

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to YuliK

Thank you for your reply. My GP was the one who said I have Bursitis in my right hip and I have been dealing with this for 1 1/2 years now, maybe longer. I overdid it with painting so I will take it easier.

After checking with your Doctor, Accupuncture worked for me.

It also, could be sciatica.

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Baileyw06

Yes, the sciatica is involved as I know that pain as well. I will do stretches and rest and hopefully that will calm it down. How long did you have relief with Acupuncture? That doesn't sound as painful as getting a cortisone shot. Thanks for your reply.

Find a good physiotherapist, preferably one who has worked with PMR patients, or at least understands it. You may be experiencing referred pain from your spine, for example. Physio can help with that, and a physiotherapist is, from my experience, usually much better at finding the source of pains like that than the doctor.

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to HeronNS

Thank you for the advice, I may look into that.

Hi when I was diagnosed with burstitis in my hip I had good results using an ice pack, usually I find heat helps usual aches and pains but with burstitis it seemed to make it worse. I was very reluctant to try cold but also desperate with the pain, so pleased to say it worked for me

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Devoid

I was using heat and that didn't seem to help much so I will try the ice. Thank you for your reply.

Whitner profile image
Whitner in reply to Devoid

Yes, I found ice really helpful for my bursitis which I also had in my right hip but the cortisone shot was a miracle cure and didn't hurt! My rheumatologist did the injection and she was right on! Just the right spot.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Whitner

The worst bit when my rheumy does it is him poking until I squeal loudest! The injection itself is nothing in comparison

Whitner profile image
Whitner in reply to PMRpro


Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Whitner

I think it's time I talk to my rheumy about the cortisone shot; I can't handle this pain any longer. I'm glad your shot didn't hurt and that it worked great. I am looking forward to feeling better. 😊

Whitner profile image
Whitner in reply to Sally001

I hope the shot works for you too! Let us know how it all turns out. Pain is no fun at all.

It took me 4 Accupuncture treatments and there is no medication involved.

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Baileyw06

That sounds wonderful. How long were you pain free?

I have been pain free for about 2 months.

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Baileyw06

That is great.

I've not tried acupuncture but in the past I've had Steroid injections in my knees and apart from the weird sensation of watching a large needle going into your knee they didn't hurt.

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Bcol

Ooh that would be strange to watch, I don't think I could do that. I'm glad it worked for you.

Can you access an Osteopath? I have long term hip bursitis that flares up. Cortisone is one option, though they really want you to limit the number of shots as it weakens tendons etc. My osteopath has been the best thing to help me, actually. The cortisone didn’t do much (I sound like I’m knocking it, I’m not, my mom is really helped by cortisone in her hips!)

Hi Sally, i spent 2 years with chronic bursitis right down both sides and into my groin. I hardly slept, would sleep until about 1am then up every hour to stretch to get some relief then try to snatch another hour sleep. I had 3 cortisone injections, the gp did 2 and didn't hurt, a specialist did the other and I think my imprint is still on the ceiling, apparently depends how deep they go. The 1st worked the other 2 didn't, but when I was diagnosed with PMR and put on prednisone the pain went completely. It is the 1st place it returns if I have a flare. Are you sure it isn't part of your PMR?I sent from hardly able to get out of a chair to being able to do a full squat right down to my heels. Good luck the pain is just the so debilitating.

Sally001 profile image
Sally001 in reply to Renesch

Thank you all for your replies about bursitis remedies. It has calmed down in the past couple of days as I have been using ice and doing some stretches (as painful as it was to do them, it helped). Fingers crossed that it will stay away for awhile.

I had it August last year and went to a private physio who gave me acupuncture which helped ease it gradually over2- 3 months. Also did gentle yoga along with ice and heat packs. I feel for you, I’ve never known anything as painful and didn’t know where to put my leg and hip in bed but it did gradually subside and fade away. I hope yours goes quickly

I had bursitis when I was on 20 mg. I thought there was a connection with the medication but my rheumy was adamant that it was nothing to do with medication. I had an MRI which was clear and referred for physiotherapy. It was by phone and I was sceptical that it would be successful. Anyway after a few consultations and following tailored exercises on PhysiApp I was pain free. The best thing is that if the pain starts to come back I just do a few exercises and it goes. If one physio referral is not helpful, ask to be referred to someone else.

I’m sorry for your pain , but after a sleepless night because of hip and leg pain,( and a bit of gum pain ) this all makes interesting reading! Three weeks ago we had a stair lift put in which has been a life changer for me, but after reading these posts , acupuncture might have been a cheaper option! It didn’t work for me 30 years ago for a different complaint , but it’s helping my husband now with his arthritic knee and it most definitely helped my horse 20 years ago , so I think I’ll give it a try too. Good luck !

I've had bursitis in both hips on and off for several years. In late 2018 it started up again and this time wouldn't settle despite numerous trips to physios and chiropracters. They were unwilling to give me an injection because they saw it as only short term relief (which I would have loved!) and wanted me to try eliminating it through strengthening exercises instead. Eventually after almost a year of pain and sleepless nights they offered me shockwave therapy. It was 4 treatments each spaced a week apart. I was warned that the treatment would not give instant relief as the body healed itself over a period of a month or two after the treatment. I was lucky enough to just get the treatment in before the first lockdown in March last year. Over the next month after my treatment ended the pain gradually subsided and then disappeared completely. I was told that sometimes the shockwave therapy gets rid of the bursitis permanently, sometimes you may need another course of treatment in a year or so's time. Unfortunately mine has started up again in the last month or two, but I did have a year pain free. It might be worth looking into the shockwave therapy if it doesn't clear up. Hope you feel better soon, as you say, the painkillers just don't seem to touch it.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Florida56

I wonder why they think it is shortterm relief? I don't call a year or so short term - and as long as the PMR is active it tends to feed the bursitis as that is one of the areas PMR aims for.

Oh i relate to your pain,i have had this in both hips for 4 years it is horrible horrible pain.During night is worse for me,i have had physio steroid injections ect ect,the only time pain eases is when i have chest infection and am on 40mg of steroid,but can't stay on that permenant.Hope someone comes up with a cure or at least something to ease it.xx

...Thought my pain was hairline fracture. Suffered a week then son took me to ER. X-rays show I-have a slipped Disc. I was put back on 60 mg Prednisone...now 40, to taper to 0 by end of month. Start PT on. Monday. Still have pain after a week but just a fraction of how it was a week ago.

Have you ever had your hips x-rayed. I suffered for years with 'bursitis' that turned out to be my left hip needed replacing - bone on bone by the time they found out the real cause of pain and and no waiting game for the op......their misdiagnose.

Hi having read all these posts I like Dambuster was going to ask if you had had your hips x-rayed as the groan pain and bursitis are very tipical pain areas when hips are deteriorating. I had the first hip done ten years ago and I am waiting for the second. I do hope it is not but if things don't improve it may be worth getting checked out. I had 2 years of agony before seeing another GP who sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. The pain relief is instant. Good luck 🍀

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Hiibilly

Groan pain - love it! ;)

YuliK profile image
YuliK in reply to PMRpro

Freudian slip. 🤣

Hi, this is such a horrible pain and seems very common in PMR. It’s now called trochanteric pain syndrome and involves the bursa, sacroiliac joint (hence the groin pain) and inflammation of the ileac crest. I tried all the above but found a good pain clinic and had injections under X-ray and radio nerve ablation which destroys the nerve and have been almost pain free for over a year. I agree you need xrays first. Hope it eases soon.

I've experienced this several times and have found the only things that help are rest and icing combined with over the counter pain meds. Due to the risks associated with NSAIDs I take them sparingly, but I do take them initially, particularly after breakfast, and then switch to Tylenol. Once the pain has settled somewhat I begin gentle exercises, which can be found on the internet. I particularly like the information on spine-health.com.

This routine has worked for me, unlike the GP's advice to walk as much as possible because it's arthritis!

I was diagnosed 7 months ago. 4 months of physio didn't make much difference. Saw an osteopath today (I will try anything to get rid of this pain) and he says that although there may still be some bursitis involved, I have a twisted hip! He performed massage, acupuncture and manipulation. Have exercises to do and ice/heat/ice packs daily. If not better in 3 sessions will refer me for an MRI. I live in hope ! Currently on 6mg p red after 18 months.

ICE,ICE,ICE..gentle pt. warm soaks later. MJM

The only thing that helped me was the cortisone shot. It is a miracle cure if done correctly.

I had this shortly after my original diagnosis of PMR & could barely walk due to the pain. Sports physio & acupuncture....particularly the acupuncture....was a great relief!

Steroid shot to the left hip's bursa helped my pain immensely but the remaining pain in the calf, sometimes going down to the foot has been discouraging in as much as I am scheduling hip replacement. Somehow I doubt that my GP doctor can help me on this pain. Any suggestions? I will repost if necessary.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to pegpowell

What sort of pain in the calf? When is it worst?

I got rid of mine with acupuncture. Have had it twice (bursitis) second time it had only started that day. I hobbled in in pain and walked out pain free. The first time it had been around a couple of weeks and I thought it was arthritis. He pressed certain points and said no it’s bursitis. That took two trips to eliminate. Not had it for years now. 😊

I hear ya! Hubby and I have been doing some maintenance painting at our rental and I'll be 79 next month but up and down the ladder anyway. Knee swells up and I take a few days off then back at it. You can't stop living or moving just cause it brings discomfort. We work a couple hours then go home till we are up to it again. LOL I have had injections for bursitis in my hips and they work fantastic. Usually last a really long time till I sit too much again and it comes back.

I feel for everyone that has written with advice we are all in the same boat if it isn't one thing it is something else that is sent to try us. I try to go natural all the time as the drugs isn't the answer they are just a quick fix. They won't cure anything It is up to the person concerned to do what they have to do and what is best for them. I have had a bad neck - the pain has been terrible and at times I get it in the groin and goes into my thigh. I have had a neck x ray , a brain scan - been to a Physios and myo therapist the Physio gave me neck exercises to do and I feel it has helped me' so it has improved but I also spray Magnesium liquid onto the area it is great for pain and cramps. It has helped me a lot , I have told other people about it and they say it has worked for them. so maybe worth a try. I buy a bag of Magnesium Flakes - 1 cup of distilled or tank water to a cup of Magnesium flakes - heat water to near boiling point then cool for awhile mix in cup of Magnesium flakes and stir until dissolved - add liquid to spray bottle. Ice was mentioned it is good as well but not to comfortable to apply during winter months.

My first thoughts when seeing your issues and the issues of all the supporters and helpers out there was, I wondered how many of us have had Covid vaccines in the last few weeks. Personally my PMR has been under control and I am on a steady 3mg prednisone per day. Not perfect but was able to walk and golf 2 or 3 times a week, walking the course. At 75 I can't complain.

Then 12 days ago I had the Moderna shot. And since then all my old pains came flooding back. Today I can barely walk.

I wonder if others have made this connection.

I have upped the Pred to 10mg and we will see.

Lots of ice, tea and sympathy.

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