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How Can Physiotherapy Help Bursitis?


Bursitis is a condition that affects the bursae - small, fluid-filled sacs - across various parts of your body. The bursa can swell when a lot of stress is put on a joint, causing pain and discomfort. The most common areas for bursitis to occur are the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. Bursitis can be diagnosed with an ultrasound, MRI and/or x-ray.

Physiotherapy & Bursitis

Physiotherapy can assist in the recovery of bursitis in a number of ways. Learning exercises to strengthen the stabilisers of the injured joint can assist in allowing for increased load and let you learn your limits while injured. Physiotherapy may also help improve the mobility of the injured joint. If you play a sport or exercise regularly, proper technique is very helpful to minimise the risk of regular flare-ups. Your physiotherapist can assist you in improving technique, which should ideally allow for pain-free exercise.

However, it is quite common for bursitis to frequently recur, which is why preventative measures are also important to take into consideration. Some preventative measures include:

  • Taking breaks when doing a task with repetitive motions that affect the joint

  • For knee or hip bursitis, avoid sitting or kneeling for too long as these positions put a lot of pressure on the joints. If you sit a lot for work, try and get up and walk around every now and then.

  • Use cushions or pads when putting a lot of weight in the joint - for example, if you kneel a lot for work or when exercising, consider wearing knee pads.

  • Ease into new activities or exercises to ensure they won’t result in a flare up.

It’s important to remember that everyone recovers differently - don’t try and rush back into work or sport if you’re still in pain. Our physiotherapists at Trilogy Physiotherapy will work with you to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

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