Effective pain relief of Bursitis.

By Russell Tuckerman, Principal Physiotherapist at East Gosford Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a painful swelling and inflammation of a Bursa (small fluid sac which protects other soft tissue and bone by absorbing friction and stress).

How does Bursitis develop?

Bursitis is caused when the friction and compressive forces on the Bursa increase because of muscle tightness, muscle imbalance, postural stress or overuse of around joints and muscles.

What is the best treatment for Bursitis?

Initial treatment for Bursitis involves reducing the inflammation and swelling in the Bursa.

This is often managed by your doctor with cortisone injection or NSAID’s.

The best treatment for Bursitis not involving drugs is Physiotherapy which helps to ‘unload’ the compressive and friction force on the Bursa. This type of treatment is an excellent adjunct  to cortisone injection or drug treatment as the work together to quickly reduce pain and swelling BUT more importantly prevent it coming back.

Is all Bursitis the same?

No, all Bursitis is not the same and Bursa’s have different protection roles in different joints. So what causes hip Bursitis, like sudden increase in exercise, tight hip muscles or poor core and gluteal strength can be different to what cause a shoulder Bursitis like repetitive overhead arm use and poor shoulder blade posture.

How do I resolve Bursitis, how is bursitis treated?

You have already started treating your bursitis, by understanding the cause of Bursitis, so you can actively do things to reduce the stress and friction on the Bursa.

We advise you see a Physiotherapist to be assessed for causing factors, and to be advised if a cortisone injection maybe helpful.

Resolving or treating Bursitis must involve technique to reduce the stress and friction on the Bursa like massage and specific stretches (Please Note: Some massage and stretches will make it worse). Once the ‘irritating stress’ is removed with hands on therapy, postural correction, strengthening, then postural control exercises are required to maintain this improvement.

This will allow your bursa to do its job and absorb friction and compressive forces without abnormal or excessive friction and stress and  you will stay pain free.