17 Apr Bursitis


What is Bursitis?

In many joints of our body we have little fluid filled sacs a bit like water balloons that sit between two surfaces of the body which are called Bursa. Some sit between the skin and bone, some between bone and muscle and some between other structures including muscles, ligaments and tendons. These Bursa help to lubricate joints and prevent rubbing and friction between above structures whilst moving.

The term Itis refers to inflammation.

Therefore, Bursitis is when bursa become inflamed, irritated and a bit grumpy. When bursa get inflamed and grumpy they can enlarge which can further cause pain on movement.


How common is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a common presentation seen by Physiotherapists as it can affect many areas. In fact, in the hip, Trochanteric Bursitis affects approximately 1 in 4 women over the age of 50 years of age (Mellor et al 2018).


What Causes Bursitis?

Bursitis can be caused by several things. Most common causes are …

  • Repetitive use of a joint especially if it is a rapid change from your normal lifestyle. This may include lots of overhead activity or a rapid increase in the amount of walking you do.
  • This may include a fall on your outstretched hand (FOOSH), a pull/wrench of the shoulder or a heavy knock to the shoulder


What are the main symptoms of Bursitis?

In our body we have many many Bursa and thus you may experience symptoms in varying regions. The most common regions to experience Bursitis related pain is your shoulder, hip, around the knee and at the back of your heel. Bursitis commonly has the following symptoms regardless of what Bursa is affected…

  • Dull, widespread, sometimes vague achy pain.
  • Swelling/Oedema around joint.
  • Warmth or redness around the joint.
  • Worse with anything that compresses or stretches the Bursa. This can include contracting muscles and moving the joint.
  • Often pain is more noticeable at night and you may have difficulty sleeping.


What can I do to help my Bursitis?

The team at Fleurieu Physiotherapy and Wellness can thoroughly assess your problem and identify the best way to help you restore movement and function. Regardless of location, treatment will likely include education regarding RICER to assist in the reduction of inflammation and a paced strengthening program around the joint to assist pain free movement. Other treatment may include soft tissue therapy or dry needling to surrounding muscles that have become tight or tender.


What does RICER stand for?

Rest: Initially you will avoid or minimise aggravating activities such as painful movements.

Ice: Applying an icepack x 10 mins to the affected area can help reduce inflammation. Note: Ice can burn and thus we recommend placing a tea-towel between the ice pack and skin.

Compression: Where able a compression band should be used to reduce inflammation.

Elevation: Where able the affected area should be elevation to reduce inflammation.

Refer: You should seek advice from a trained professional. Here at FPW we can assess your problem and provide you with the best advice, exercises, and treatment to give you the best outcome.


If you have pain in any joint that you believe is Bursitis it is best to make an appointment with your Fleurieu Physiotherapy and Wellness physiotherapist for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. Simply click the ‘book-online’ tab to make a booking.


No Comments

Post A Comment