By definition, bursitis is the inflammation ('itis' = inflammation) of small, fluid-filled sacs called bursa. These bursae reduce the friction coefficients at critical points in the body and usually where muscles or their corresponding tendons slide across bones that come together to form joints. Healthy non-inflamed bursae create a smooth, almost frictionless, gliding surface that makes normal movement painless. However, when bursitis occurs, movement across an inflamed or irritated bursa becomes both difficult and painful.

Bursitis is most commonly caused by repetitive movement and/or excessive pressure or mechanical stress as well as direct trauma such as falls, spousal abuse or careers that cause ongoing repetitive microtrauma like flooring or roofing installers. Sports activities also tend to be big factors in developing bursitis. Although bursitis can occur in many areas of the human body, the most common areas for bursitis include:

  • Prepatellar bursitis: Causes a form of Knee Bursitis known as Housemaid’s Knee.

  • Infrapatellar bursitis: Causes a form of Knee Bursitis known as Clergyman’s Knee.

  • Trochantaric bursitis: Causes hip pain that is often diagnosed as Hip Bursitis.

  • Olecranon bursitis: A form of Elbow Bursitis that is characterized by pain and swelling in the elbow.

  • Subacromial bursitis: Causes a form of shoulder pain is typically diagnosed as Shoulder Bursitis.

Bursitis often limits a person's range of motion and functional flexibility making even simple tasks of kneeling in a church pew, laying down tile or even reaching overhead to grab a shirt you hadn't worn in awhile. Traumatic injury to a bursa is a less-common, but equally problematic cause of bursitis. Bursitis can also be caused by a certain systemic disease processes such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Conservative Treatment of Bursitis

It is quite important that the treating physician understands the mechanism of injury or repetitive microtrauma that caused your condition in the first place. Modes of treatment include low level laser therapy, pulsed therapeutic ultrasound, Graston or soft tissue muscle work, controlled therapeutic home exercises and joint adjusting. Why joint adjusting? Because pathomechanics or abnormal joint motion is a condition that I have previously written about which is the Altered Instantaneous Axis of Rotation taking place at the joint where the bursa is located and has to be addressed. We are totally committed to your health and wellness, give us a call.

Disclaimer: The information found on this webpage is not a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician or legal advice from a licensed attorney. Any concerns or questions related to your injuries or pain patterns whether acute or chronic, and their legal impact and consequences, if any, need to be conducted with appropriate legal counsel. Any concerns or questions related to your injuries and/or pain patterns whether they are deemed acute or chronic, and their short term or long term physical impact and consequences, need to be conducted with an appropriate licensed physician. The information found on this page is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat and/or educate for purposes of treatment and/or educate for the purposes in the self treatment of your injury or injuries or pain patterns.