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Effective Bursitis Treatment for Joint Pain Relief and Long-Term Management


Bursitis treatment helps treat painful conditions, typically affecting the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee and heel joints. In worst case scenarios, bursitis can result in serious infections, and in most instances, it requires long-term management and behavioural changes to prevent recurrence.

Here are a few things you need to know, including causes and symptoms, as well as the bursitis treatment options that are available at our clinic. If you are experiencing symptoms of bursitis, it’s best to visit us as soon as possible. Call 9489 7744 or enquire via our website to book a consultation.

What is Bursitis?

It is a condition where a bursa or bursae (plural) located near the affected joint becomes inflamed or irritated. A bursa is a small sac of fluid that acts as a cushion for your joint and reduces friction during movement. When a bursa is inflamed, it fills up with excess fluid, resulting in pain and discomfort. At Fairfield Physiotherapy, we diagnose and manage bursitis, and provide professional advice to help prevent it from reoccurring.


What causes Bursitis?

Bursitis is commonly caused by overuse or injury of a joint. Movements that put pressure on a joint can cause bursitis if done repetitively or with incorrect form. Our physios often see patients with this ailment as a result of their work e.g. carpet or tile laying and even repetitive typing, though it can be caused by sport injuries also, which is common. Ageing or pre-existing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or diabetes can also increase a patient’s likelihood of developing bursitis.

  • Knee bursitis (prepatellar bursitis) can be caused by prolonged kneeling, or frequent bending of the knees.
  • Elbow bursitis (olecranon bursitis) is caused by resting the joint on hard surfaces or injury caused by external force e.g. taking a hit to the elbow during sports.
  • Hip bursitis (trochanteric bursitis) can be caused by such as lying on the hips for long durations or poor posture while standing or sitting.
  • Shoulder bursitis (subacromial bursitis) caused by overuse is often linked to other related injuries including rotator cuff inflammation, though patients may also develop it as a result of a fall.
  • Heel bursitis (retrocalcaneal bursitis) can be caused by running, jumping, or even wearing shoes that are too tight at the back of the heel.

Infectious bursitis is also another form, occurring when the bursa becomes inflamed due to bacterial infection. Skin infections e.g. cellulitis, blood or joint infections can cause infectious bursitis. While infectious bursitis is relatively rare, our physios are able to identify when it may be present and refer you to your GP for further investigation and appropriate bursitis treatment.

What are the symptoms?

Patients usually experience several of the following symptoms:

  • Pain near the affected joint
  • Swelling near the affected joint
  • Feeling heat or warmth near the affected joint
  • Difficulty moving the affected joint, or pain while moving
  • Redness near the affected joint

Patients suffering from infectious bursitis may also experience a raised temperature (fever).

Treatment for Bursitis

Recommended treatment will depend on the cause and the severity of the condition. For non-infectious bursitis, reducing the movement of the joint by resting or by wearing splints or slings is part of the management. A visit to your GP may be advised as medication for pain relief may be necessary.

The role a Physio plays in Bursitis Treatment

In addition to eliminating the initial pain and discomfort, treatment also includes long-term management and prevention of recurrence. That’s where physio can play an important role in helping you regain mobility in the affected area and correct behavioural and postural factors that may have caused the condition.

Our physiotherapists use a range of methods from joint mobilisation to prescribed exercises to promote recovery of movement. We also provide postural assessments to identify and reduce risk factors, along with recommended bursitis treatment techniques and training programs for athletes.

If you are experiencing symptoms or recovering from bursitis, then visit Fairfield Physiotherapy to find out how our physiotherapy services can help you make a sustainable recovery. Call 9489 7744 or book an appointment through our online booking system.