Ischial Bursitis Treatment

Ischial Bursitis, also known as ischiogluteal bursitis, occurs due to irritation or inflammation to the fluid-filled bursa sacs which act as a cushion between bones and soft tissue in the pelvic/gluteal region, causing swelling and pain.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of ischial bursitis aims to:

What is Ischial Bursitis?

The ischial bursa is a deeply located bursa lying between the buttocks and the Ischial tuberosity or sitting bones of the pelvis.  A Bursa is a fluid-filled sac between bone and tissue which cushions and facilitates smooth movement. The ischial bursa reduces friction between the bony underside of the pelvis and the hamstring muscles.

Bursitis refers to inflammation and irritation of the bursae. Inflammation is usually a result of damaged blood vessels or ‘microtrauma’ from prolonged seated periods, which can also trigger bursal thickening. Ischial bursitis develops as a result of this, causing swelling, pain and discomfort in the buttocks and upper leg. The condition is one of four main types of hip bursitis.

The condition is sometimes referred to as ischiogluteal bursitis or ‘beaver’s bottom’, as the condition was first diagnosed in beaver’s who typically sit on hard surfaces for long periods.

Question mark

What are the causes?

Though ischial bursitis is a relatively rare condition, it’s triggered and worsened by increased pressure and force to the buttocks, underside of the pelvis and upper leg. Some common factors which influence injury include:

  • Sustained pressure due to prolonged periods of sitting
  • Trauma – significant fall on the buttocks
  • Repetitive stress due to sports – e.g., cycling, running, soccer, etc.
  • Infection

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the pelvis/buttocks/upper leg
    • Gradual or sudden onset (depends on severity)
  • Swelling at the injury site
  • Limited range of movement
  • Bruising/tenderness/blotchy skin
  • Tingling/numbness hamstring (similar to sciatica)
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reduced upper leg strength
  • Pain with direct pressure on the buttocks (e.g. sitting, cycling, etc.)
Painful Glutes

Treatment for Ischial Bursitis

If you suspect you have ischial bursitis, it is important to see a physiotherapist or medical professional. You may also be referred for imaging tests to determine the location and extent of the condition, or to rule out a differential diagnosis.


Physical therapy is highly beneficial in restoring movement and reducing inflammation. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • Ice
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

If the pain and reduced movement is severe, strenuous activity should be avoided. Avoiding hard or narrow seating may help.  Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication.  Additionally, they might recommend for you to use supportive braces or straps.

How to book an appointment?

If you have ischial bursitis, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess your condition to tailor a unique rehabilitation plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by ischial bursitis? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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