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Is there a link between Bursitis and under active thyroid?

By Anonymous May 8, 2010 - 11:32am
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I suffer from repeated trochanteric bursitis in both hips which causes difficulty in sleeping as I cant sleep on my back or front. I am on 200mg of thyroxine a day as well as other +-medication for high blood pressure and irregular heart rythm. I am 52 and 13 stone, 5`4". I drive part time for a living and dont do much excersise as it makes it worse, so i dont know whats causing it except possibly the medication i am on. Sometimes it doesnt trouble me although I can always feel the sore spot on the outside of my hips, on the bone, like a bruise would feel. I have tried Ibuprofen but it doesnt help. To conclude, its worse at night, doesnt bother me much through the day once ive been up a couple of hours. I have a deep memory foam mattress which is immensly comfortable, yet still my hips hurt.I do use a pillow between legs at night. I have lost a stone and am continually losing weight to help it in case thats the cause. Please can you help?

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EmpowHER Guest

I have hip bursitis. My doctor gave me a steroid injection which helped for 3 weeks. I have found that using an anti inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen regularly to reduce the inflammation and help with pain while ALSO doing stretches provided by my physical therapist help tremendously. I have had this for a year and PT was 1 year ago. I didn't realize how much the PT could have helped and fell out of the habit of doing the stretches. I did some research online and learned how important they are. Now I am disciplining myself to religiously do the stretches and exercises morning and night. There are many exercises you may find on line for hip bursitis. (Just use a reputable website like Mayo Clinic or another that you trust.) Also, stop what you are doing when pain becomes worse. Use ice for 10-20 minutes when pain is bad. Try not to lift anything heavy. Sleeping is difficult as you say. Use an ice pack for a few minutes in bed before falling asleep. I am feeling better. After 2 weeks of strengthening my muscles and working to get inflammation down, it is working! (Also, heat does not help Bursitis, only arthritis. A hot shower, although it feels good in general, does not help the inflammation). I hope this helps someone! Read all you can about it and get started today! :)

April 19, 2018 - 7:15am
EmpowHER Guest

My situation is almost identical to Anonymous. I have hip bursitis in both hips, bothers me most when I sleep, and does not usually interfere with my daily activities. I have had it for two years. I have tried every conventional treatment and some not so conventional treatments to no avail. I have had Hashimotos disease for over ten years. I also went through menopause about two years prior to getting bursitis. I'm thinking it is hormone related. I was considering giving up gluten to try to improve thyroid function to see if it would in turn help my bursitis, but would like to hear if anyone else has improved their thyroid by going gluten free before I go to the trouble. I see that Anonymous posted her question in 2010. If you are still monitoring this post, I would love to hear if you have had any success in curing your bursitis and/or thyroid condition. Thanks!

November 14, 2017 - 6:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am in the middle off a pretty painful sciatica episode which includes sharp pain in my hip flexors. I saw an ortho about the suspected bursitis. He looked at my x-rays and immediately concluded it was a lower back issue as I have some degenerated discs there and sent me on my way. My PC suspects I also have hashimotos and I'm trying to get in to see an endocrinologist. I have had the hip and buttock pain before and a spine surgeon just looked at the x-rays an without further exam said you are 62 with normal DD in your lower back. Since the Hashimotos was thrown into the equation thus past summer I have inquired about the significance of it in relation to my pain and the doctor is like whatever. I am getting very frustrated. I have even showed some research to my daughter who is a clinical AT and she dismissed it as denial on my part. So long story full I "feel your pain".

November 6, 2017 - 4:51am
EmpowHER Guest

I've had trouble with bursitis in my left shoulder off and on for years. I had my thyroid removed in 2000. (The doctors thought it was cancer at first, but it turned out to be Hashimotos disease. Unfortunately, my parathyroids were also damaged during the surgery.) Now I have bursitis in both shoulders. I went to the orthopedic doctor this week and got cortisone shots in both shoulders. I had cortisone shots in my left shoulder and therapy abut 6 years ago. Anyway, the doctor told me this time about the connection between thyroid disease and bursitis. This was the first time I had heard that.
I also noticed that you mentioned an irregular heartbeat. In the last few years I've had episodes of rapid heart beat. My heart rate would go up to 175 and stay that way for hours. I had to go on a beta blocker. I wonder, is this related to the thyroid disease, too?

July 12, 2014 - 10:23am
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Anon - Thanks for your question. For those who don't know, trochanteric bursitis is inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sac near a joint) at the outside (lateral) point of the hip known as the greater trochanter. When this bursa becomes irritated or inflamed, it causes pain in the hip. This is a common cause of hip pain.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, thyroid disease can be a cause. Here's the full statement on causes:

Trochanteric bursitis can result from one or more of the following events:
* Injury to the point of the hip. This can include falling onto the hip, bumping the hip into an object, or lying on one side of the body for an extended period.
* Play or work activities that cause overuse or injury to the joint areas. Such activities might include running up stairs, climbing, or standing for long periods of time.
* Incorrect posture. This condition can be caused by scoliosis, arthritis of the lumbar (lower) spine, and other spine problems.
* Stress on the soft tissues as a result of an abnormal or poorly positioned joint or bone (such as leg length differences or arthritis in a joint).
* Other diseases or conditions. These may include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis, thyroid disease or an unusual drug reaction. In rare cases, bursitis can result from infection.
* Previous surgery around the hip or prosthetic implants in the hip.
* Hip bone spurs or calcium deposits in the tendons that attach to the trochanter.
Bursitis is more common in women and in middle-aged or elderly people. Beyond the situations mentioned above, in many cases, the cause of trochanteric bursitis is unknown.

Anon, I've had bursitis - in my shoulder - and tried to tough it out with rest and over the counter medications, and it didn't work. I ended up seeing my doctor and getting a cortisone injection with provided both immediate and long term relief. You may want to look into what options are available to you. Here's what the Cleveland Clinic suggests:

Treatment goals include reducing pain and inflammation, preserving mobility, and preventing disability and recurrence.

Treatment recommendations may include a combination of rest, splints, heat, and cold application. More advanced treatment options include:

* Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
* Corticosteroid injections given by your health care provider. Injections work quickly to decrease the inflammation and pain.
* Physical therapy that includes range of motion exercises and splinting. This can be very beneficial.
* Surgery, when other treatments are not effective.

You may also find EmpowHER's reference page on bursitis helpful as well as the Cleveland Clinic reference on trochanteric bursitis:

Good luck, I hope you get some relief soon. Bursitis is very painful. Pat

May 9, 2010 - 11:14am
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