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What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is an inflammation and swelling of the bursa. A bursa is a fluid filled sac or sac-like cavity that is formed under the skin over a joint, and functions as a cushioning between tendons and bones to prevent friction.

This can be felt in multiple joints, main ones being the shoulder, elbow and hip. More frequent in joints that perform frequent repetitive movements.


Bursitis Facts

  • Other joints where bursitis occurs: knee, heel and the base of the big toe
  • Bursitis can sometimes cause a fever
  • If you completely avoid movement of a joint you may develop a frozen/stiff joint – keep moving within manageable pain levels.
  • Bursitis can heal on its own but may take a while and reoccur often. It is better to get it checked by a specialist.
  • It may take a couple months for bursitis to solve itself if you do not seek help.


Causes of Bursitis

Bursitis may occur due to injury or repetitive movement of a joint. Sports that involve repetitive movements such as running, darts, tennis, and swimming may cause you to develop a bursitis. It may also occur due to a fall or if you do a job that involves kneeling, carpet fitting or gardening for example.

In some rare cases you may also develop a bursitis from an infection or as a complication of certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.


Symptoms of Bursitis

  • Pain – dull, achy pain
  • Swelling, redness or bruising of the join
  • Tenderness when moving or pressing on the area affected
  • Stiffness
  • Sharp or shooting pain


How can Physiotherapy help and why choose us?

Physiotherapy is the best way to get that little extra help to get your joints pain free and moving properly when you start feeling those bursitis symptoms.

At Total Restore Physiotherapy our therapists are very familiar with this pathology and they are eager to help you not only get better but also to understand what has caused your pain and how to prevent it from occurring again.

After a thorough assessment and biomechanical analysis, our physiotherapists will get to the route of your problem and make an individualised treatment plan for you.

This may involve the following modalities:

  • Education & advice
  • Soft/Deep tissue release
  • Manual therapy

    • Joint mobilization/manipulation
  • Active/Passive movement
  • Acupuncture in surrounding muscles
  • Tailor-made Home exercise program
  • Ultrasound/Electrotherapy
  • Taping techniques for pain relief

Self-help advice:

  • Rest – minimize repetitive movement to the joint that has been affected. Avoid activities that may put extra pressure on the joint. DO NOT stop moving the joint completely.
  • Take breaks if repetitive movement is unavoidable.
  • Cryotherapy – Use ice to help with inflammation when that ache is feeling unbearable. Apply pressure with an ice pack (or bag of frozen veggies) to the painful joint, keep there for 10 minutes and repeat when you think necessary throughout the day. DO NOT keep on for more than 10minutes at a time to prevent freezer burn.
  • Elevate – Keep the joint elevated to avoid blood pooling.
  • Painkillers – Take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, if you think necessary
  • Nutrition – Maintain a healthy diet, minimising extra weight on your joints.
  • Always do a good warm-up before playing sports or exercising
  • Use padding if the painful joint is one that you need to kneel on such as your knee or elbows.
  • BOOK and appointment with your physiotherapist!


Call us on 0161 833 3008 if you are suffering with knee pain or bursitis and want to make an appointment with one of our specialist trained physiotherapists. Our clinic is located in the centre of Manchester, 2 minutes walk from Deansgate, on St Ann’s Square.