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All You Need to Know About Ischial Bursitis

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People who lead a sedentary lifestyle are prone to experiencing pain in their sit bones, and one such condition that has increasingly become common among them is Ischial bursitis. Your sit bones refer to the lower portion of your pelvis, and its primary purpose is to help absorb your weight while you sit.

Ischial bursitis is a medical condition that causes pain in the sit bones. It is commonly diagnosed in individuals who spend a significant amount of time sitting on hard surfaces. Most cases of ischial bursitis improve when the pain-inducing activity is stopped, although problems can recur under certain circumstances.

What is Ischial Bursitis?

The inflammation of the bursae is known as bursitis. Bursae are tiny fluid-filled sacs found in many parts of your body, more specifically in the space between your muscles, bones, tendons, and joints. 

The ischial bursa, a fluid-filled sac found between the ischial tuberosity (the lower half of the V-shaped bone that aids in the formation of the pelvis) and the tendons that connect the hamstring muscle to the bone, can experience irritation or inflammation when you’ve been sitting for too long. Ischial bursitis, commonly known as weaver’s bottom or tailor’s seat, refers to inflammation in this area.

What are the symptoms of Ischial Bursitis?

People who sit for extended periods of time on hard surfaces or who exercise incorrectly by continuously overstraining the hip area, are more likely to develop this condition. Trauma to the hip can also cause this condition to develop.

Here’s a quick checklist of common symptoms in people afflicted with ischial bursitis:

  • Tenderness in the upper and lower thighs and buttocks
  • Inflammation of the lower buttocks and hips
  • Pain when exercising the hip or buttocks
  • Severe pain that gets worse when you sit down 
  • Inability to fully extend the hip
  • Aching or stiffness in the pelvic region 
  • Radiating pain from the buttock down the leg
  • Sitting pain 
  • Sleeping problems due to hip discomfort 
  • Redness or swelling surrounding the bursa

When to consult a doctor?

Since ischial bursitis is a painful and uncomfortable condition which may require treatment, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms. 

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

If your pain does not improve with self-care, your doctor may be able to suggest further options, such as a cortisone injection.

Fever is a clear indication that you should seek medical attention right away because it could indicate infection. Other symptoms include persistent warmth or redness surrounding the joint, as well as extreme soreness. Cellulitis (skin infection) in the area could also indicate that the bursa is infected.

What causes Ischial Bursitis?

The main cause of Ischial Bursitis is trauma (repeated injury or direct impact) to the affected area. 

Chronic bursitis: Minor trauma by repetitive activity is the most prevalent cause of chronic bursitis. An example is prepatellar bursitis (at the front of the knee) caused by extended or repetitive kneeling on a hard surface, such as while scrubbing a floor or laying carpet.

Acute bursitis: Blood can leak into the bursa as a result of a direct impact (for example, if you accidentally smack your knee onto a table). This results in inflammation, which is accompanied by discomfort and swelling.


Bursae near the skin’s surface are susceptible to bacterial infection, resulting in septic bursitis. Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most common germs that cause septic bursitis. Septic bursitis is more common in people with diabetes, alcoholism, certain kidney problems, reduced immunity, such as from cortisone drugs (steroid therapies), and skin lesions over a bursa. 

Autoimmune diseases 

Crystal deposits can cause bursitis in people with autoimmune illnesses including gout and pseudogout. When these crystals grow in a bursa, inflammation occurs, resulting in bursitis.

What are the risk factors of Ischial Bursitis?

The following have high risk of suffering from ischial bursitis: 

People who engage in the following activities are at a higher risk of developing ischial bursitis:

  • Bicyclists who ride frequently
  • Runners 
  • People who exercise in an incorrect manner
  • People who repeatedly leap or kick

What are the complications caused by Ischial Bursitis?

An inflamed bursa can limit your range of motion in the affected bones and tissues. Other complications that could occur include bacterial skin infection (cellulitis) and bacterial joint infection (septic joints).

What are the treatment options for Ischial Bursitis?

Home Treatments for Ischial Bursitis 

  • Any action that causes or worsens your pain must be stopped.
  • Apply ice or cold packs to the affected area.
  • To alleviate inflammation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) medications 
  • Mild stretching exercises.

Here’s an easy tip to follow to alleviate your symptoms:

  • Lie down on your back, with pillows beneath your head and hips, with your affected leg bent and knee pointed upward. 
  • Grab the area behind your knee and draw it into your chest slowly. 
  • Hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds. 
  • Repeat these steps 6–10 times more.

Medical Treatments for Ischial Bursitis

  • Your doctor may inject a corticosteroid into the bursa to relieve inflammation.
  • The bursa will be drained with a needle if your bursitis is infectious. Antibiotics will be prescribed by the doctor.
  • The majority of infectious bursitis can be treated safely at home. 
  • A surgical procedure to remove the bursa may be necessary in some cases.

What are the tips to prevent Ischial Bursitis?

To avoid the recurrence of Ischial Bursitis, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:

  • When lifting an object, bend your knees – Keeping your legs straight puts extra pressure on your hips.
  • Use cushions to ease the pressure while kneeling  – Using a cushioned seat or kneeling pad will help you stay comfortable, while evenly distributing your body weight.
  • Take breaks – Allow your body to recuperate by taking short breaks while exercising. 
  • Warm-up before exercising – Warming up before exercise improves blood flow to your joints and helps you avoid injury.

A Note from Apollo Hospital Group 

Ischial bursitis occurs when a fluid-filled sac called the ischial bursa becomes inflamed and causes pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers and mild  stretching can help, and this condition usually goes away on its own.

If your symptoms are persistent and are increasing in severity, surgery can be performed to address this issue. The first step in determining the severity of your issue is to contact your Apollo doctor. Apollo specialists will determine the best course of treatment based on your diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ischial Tuberosity vs. Ischial Bursitis: What’s the Difference?

The V-shaped bone at the bottom of the pelvis that makes contact with a surface when a person sits down is known as the ischial tuberosity. It is also known as the sit bone or sitting bones. 

Ischial bursitis, also known as ischiogluteal bursitis, is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac, or bursa, located between the ischial tuberosity and the tendon that connects the hamstring muscle to the bone.

Is Ischial bursitis a common ailment?

Ischial bursitis, often known as Weaver’s or Tailor’s bottom, fairly common.

What are the tests administered to diagnose Ischial Bursitis?

To check and confirm the onset of ischial bursitis, your doctor would run imaging tests, like ultrasound of the affected area and magnetic image resonance (MRI). 

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At Apollo, we believe that easily accessible, reliable health information can make managing health conditions an empowering experience. AskApollo Online Health Library team consists of medical experts who create curated peer-reviewed medical content that is regularly updated and is easy-to-understand.
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