Bursitis pain occurs when small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae become inflamed as a result of repetitive motions between the bone and muscles, tendons, or skin. When the bursae are inflamed, more friction between the bone and muscles occurs, worsening the problem. Bursitis damage is worse in areas of the body with joints that have higher ranges of motion due to the repetitive use or because of increased pressure. As a result, bursitis is most common in the shoulder, knee, elbow, or hip. About 10-20% of those suffering from hip problems attribute the pain to bursitis. The pain is normally dull but can be more sharp depending on the severity.
What is causing my bursitis pain?
Bursitis is pain directly caused by repetitive stress or high pressure to a particular joint. Examples of activities that may cause bursitis include repetitive activities like throwing a ball, lifting something over your head, kneeling for long periods of time, or leaning on your elbows for too long. Many people find that manual tasks involved in their work contribute to bursitis though the condition can affect anyone of any age or occupation.
When should I seek bursitis pain treatment?
If you experience symptoms of irritation, stiffness, swelling, dull pain when active or at rest, or pain with/without joint movement, it’s important to seek out medical care to ensure a recovery that is quick and efficient. Bursitis can become more serious if an infection is involved.
How can physical therapy help with bursitis?
Your physical therapist will work with you one-on-one to develop a treatment plan that is unique to your condition and body. They’ll also factor in activities or hobbies in which you frequently participate to possibly adjust parts of your lifestyle in order to benefit your overall treatment. Physical therapists have many tools in their toolbox and may incorporate treatment techniques such as:
• Manual therapy to help relieve pressure on joints surrounding the bursa inflammation.
• Custom exercises to increase your range of motion and strengthen muscles surrounding the affected area. The exercises will vary based on the location of your bursitis. Ex: For bursitis of the hip, your physical therapist may have you perform exercises to stretch and strengthen the lower back as this area contributes to hip muscle tightness.
• Activity modifications to utilize the correct muscles when performing daily activities and decrease your chance of reinjury.
Physical therapists can provide the necessary tools to treat bursitis, allowing you to return to your daily activities pain-free and stronger than ever. To learn more about bursitis or to eliminate any current discomfort, book a physical therapy assessment today.
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