Strengthening Exercises for Ischial Bursitis

Ischial bursitis, also known as ischiogluteal bursitis, is a condition that causes pain in the buttock region. The pain is from tissue damage and inflammation in the ischiogluteal bursa, which is a little sac filled with a lubricating fluid near the base of the pelvis. The ischiogluteal bursa is positioned between the pelvic bone and hamstring tendon, so you may feel pain or discomfort when using your hamstring. Exercises can gently strengthen the muscles surrounding the ischiogluteal bursa.

Ischial bursitis pain is usually felt in the buttock area.


A bridge strengthens your hamstrings and glutes at the same time. Lie on your back and bend your knees up so your feet are flat on the floor. Push down with your feet into the floor to raise your buttocks up. Keep your arms flat along your sides on the floor. Hold the bridge for several seconds, then lower yourself down. Repeat 10 times.

Seated Hamstring Contraction

Working your hamstrings from a seated position using only your own body weight strengthens the muscles without adding any undo strain. Sit up straight in a chair and place your heels on the floor with your toes pointing slightly up. Pull down into the floor using your hamstrings, and hold for several seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Lying Hip Extension

A lying hip extension is another strengthening exercise that works both the glutes and hamstrings. Get on your stomach on the floor, point your toe and raise one straight leg up behind you. Only lift until you feel the muscles working; hold for two seconds and do 10 pain-free reps on each leg.


Engage in strengthening exercises only after your ischial bursitis inflammation is under control, meaning you've applied the RICE method -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation -- and got your doctor's approval to begin gentle exercises to improve your condition.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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