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Bursitis- What is it?

Bursitis- What is it?

Bursae are small, fluid filled structures that are dotted around the body and provide cushioning and protection to tendons, mostly around areas where there is a bony prominence.

Sometimes there can be inflammation of a bursa which can cause pain and restricted movement and function.

The most common areas seen by physiotherapists are the shoulder (subacromial bursa) and the hip (trochanteric bursa).  Bursitis can also occur less frequently in the knee, elbow and around the sitting bones (ischial bursa).

Bursitis usually occurs due to biomechanical issues irritating the structure (poor rotator cuff strength, weakness in the gluteal muscles and tight hip flexors being the most common issues seen).  Your physiotherapist can assess what muscles may need stretching and which ones may need strengthening to restore more normal movement patterns and alleviate the irritation on the bursa.  Manual therapies, acupuncture and taping may also provide some symptomatic relief to assist your recovery.

Tara Lawson
Chartered Physiotherapist Warr Physio Clinic

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