Have you ever been diagnosed with bursitis? It’s one of the most common injuries I see in clients. But you don’t have to just put up with the pain – there are ways that myotherapy can help.
What is bursitis?
Simply put, bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. Bursa are the soft fluid-filled cushion sacs that protect the bones, tendons and muscles around the joints. When they are functioning properly, they make it easy for tendons and muscles to move smoothly at the joint. When these fluid-y sacs become inflamed, they get swollen and enlarged, which can make movement difficult due to the physical space the bursa now takes up in the joint. The inflammation process also increases sensitivity in the area, giving you that familiar feeling of pain and aching in the joint.
You have over 150 bursa throughout your body, so that is more than 150 places bursitis can occur. That being said, the most common bursitis I see is in the shoulder and hip joints. Less common locations include the toes, knees and elbows.
What can cause bursitis?
There are a number of factors that can cause or lead to bursitis. The most common are injuries, repeated pressure and overuse of a joint. But there are some chronic conditions that can lead to bursitis such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even an infection that reaches the bursa.
What are the signs and symptoms of bursitis?
The most common symptoms you’ll come across are:
What is the medical treatment for bursitis?
Most of the time, doctors will refer you onto a musculoskeletal therapist such as a physiotherapist, osteopath or myotherapist (like me!)
In severe cases, they will do an injection of cortisone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, into the joint. Although this can make you feel better temporarily, it is a bit of a bandaid approach. If you don’t remove the cause of the bursitis, you’ll have to keep getting a giant needle into the joint – ouch! Cortisone injections aren’t a guaranteed fix, and can have a limited time of effect from very short term (days or weeks) to longer term relief (months or years). Some patients may not get any relief at all, even temporary. I always like to remind people who are considering the injection that my opinion is a biased one – I tend to only see the people who the cortisone shot hasn’t worked for, because if it works, they don’t need to come back for treatment for that same bursitis issue!
How can a myotherapist help with bursitis?
Wanting to avoid the big needle into the joint or just prefer to manage your condition naturally? A myotherapist like myself can work on the acute pain and address the causes behind the bursitis. There are plenty of ways that the different techniques of myotherapy can help, including::
By working on the aggravating factors and finding ways to modify them, we can reduce the pain and inflammation over the long-term.
Is the pain of bursitis holding you back from the things you love to do? Book an appointment today and we’ll get you back on track to health
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.