Hip bursitis is a common injury that plagues runners and others who engage in a lot of high-impact activity. It's an irritation and inflammation of the bursae — little, fluid-filled sacs that cushion your hips. Once it sets in, the pain of hip bursitis can be difficult to treat. Thankfully, massage therapy can help, and in several different ways. Take a look at the benefits of massage therapy treatment:

Massage therapy can loosen and stimulate the gluteal muscles.

Hip bursitis is often caused or made worse by weak gluteal muscles. If your glutes are not doing their job of lifting your legs as you run, more strain will be placed on your hips, eventually leading to bursitis. In order to allow hip bursitis to heal, you need to get your gluteal muscles working better. Massage therapy can help with this. A good massage that focuses on the glutes will help relax and activate these muscles so that you'll use them more as you run and walk. Over time, this should take pressure off the hips.

Massage therapy can loosen the IT band.

The IT band, or iliotibial band, is a band of connective tissue that runs from the ileum — part of your hip — to the tibia, which ties into your knee. If your IT band is tight, it will rub over your hip when you move and walk, and this will contribute to your bursitis pain. A massage therapist can massage and loosen up your IT band. When it is loose, it will not rub over your hip nearly as much and will give your bursae a chance to heal.

Massage therapy will help relax your calves.

It sounds strange at first, but tight calves can actually lead to or contribute to hip bursitis. If your calves are tight, you often start running or walking with a bit of a shuffle. You don't lift your legs as much as you should. This, in turn, puts more strain on your hip bursae as there is more friction in the hip joints when you shuffle. A massage can loosen up your calves, which will cause you to step a bit higher, which will ease the friction in your hips.

If you're struggling with hip pain due to bursitis, make an appointment with a massage therapist in your area. Periodic massages can loosen up a lot of the tissue associated with your hips, which should benefit you as you heal.