What is a Bursa?

A Bursa is a fluid filled sac that is near a particular type of joint. These bursae function to decrease the friction for tendons and provide a cushion around many joints. The knee, shoulder, elbow, and hip joints all have bursae.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a term used to describe an inflammation of the bursa. Pain is the most common symptom of bursitis, but you may also notice loss of motion, loss of strength, and the bursa may be very tender to the touch. Some cases of bursitis are easily seen when the inflamed bursa is near the surface of the skin.

What causes Bursitis?

 Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive motions after a change away from normal bio-mechanics  For example, if a person has a weak hip, this may cause them to walk by swinging their hips and expose the hip bursa to forces which lead to bursitis. Other repetitive motions, such as throwing a baseball, can cause bursitis. Bursitis can also be caused by direct trauma. For example, falling on the elbow, shoulder, or hip can result in bursitis.

How do we treat bursitis? 

The most common treatments for bursitis include:

  • Avoiding the painful activities
  • Rest
  • Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical Therapy

Which of these treatments fixes the cause of the bursitis?

Avoiding painful activities, resting, and taking medications DO NOT address the bio-mechanical cause of bursitis. These treatments are all helpful in providing some pain reduction, but they do not fix the cause of the bursitis. Most people want to get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible.

Physical Therapy is the best way to address the bio-mechanical cause of bursitis and get back to your normal life. Providing pain relief, strengthening weak muscles, increasing range of motion, and normalizing bio-mechanics are all parts of a comprehensive physical therapy program for bursitis.

If you are having pain and think you may have bursitis, ask your doctor if Physical Therapy is right for you. If you are in the San Antonio area and want to get back the life you deserve, and back to the activities you love, we can help. Call us at (210) 888-1278 or visit a Momentum Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab near you to see how we can help!