What is the Deal With Bursitis?

February 10th, 2020


Bursae are small fluid filled sacs that decrease friction and provide a cushion between a bone and other moving parts such as muscles, tendons, or skin. These fluid filled sacs are located all over the body including shoulders, hips, knees, heels, and elbows. Bursitis is defined as the inflammation of the bursae.

Causes of Bursitis

  • Repetitive motion
  • Prolonged positions that put pressure on the bursae or joint
  • Trauma/injury 
  • Joint stress from abnormal gait
  • Arthritis
  • Infection

Symptoms of Bursitis

  • Aching or stiffness around the affected joint
  • Localized swelling, redness, or tenderness in the area
  • Increased pain with activities that cause compression or tension over the site

Reduce Bursitis Symptoms

  1. Protect the joint by using cushions or pads on your knees, heels, etc
  2. Rest, compression, elevation
  3. Anti inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  4. Gentle isometric strengthening exercises
  5. Passive motion through pain free range
  6. Stretching and soft tissue mobilization

Treatment Options

  1. Medications – Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) can help relieve pain and inflammation
  2. Local glucocorticoid injection (Steroid) – This can help with inflammation
  3. Drainage – In severe cases, when the bursae gets infected, it may require drainage to treat the underlying infection.
  4. Physical Therapy – Through a personalized evaluation, a physical therapist can determine the exact daily activities that are causing the bursitis. Through activity modification and a physical therapy plan of care, people with bursitis can return to all their daily activities without pain.

Let Respire Physical Therapy handle your bursitis so you can enjoy the activities you love. Call 703-671-1871 to schedule an evaluation!

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