Bursitis Explained in Under 300 Words
Bursa = A thin fluid filled cushion found between two structures such as bone and tendon to reduce friction.
Itis = Inflammation
There are more than 150 bursae (pleural for bursa) in the human body and yes they are normal… In fact they are essential.
Rub your hands back and forth with some force and feel the heat and pain created by the friction. Now put a plastic sleeve (the type used to protect an important document) between your hands and try again. Bursae act in a similar way to the plastic sleeve to reduce friction. Without them our tendons, muscles, ligaments, etc would wear out and become very painful.
Bursitis occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed due to excessive friction, compression or a direct blow. The bursal tissue becomes thickened and the volume of fluid within the bursa increases. A swollen bursa becomes very painful when subjected to further friction or compression.
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Some Well Known Bursae:
Hip – Greater Trochanteric Bursitis – Pain on the outside of the hip when lying on the affected side (compression) or walking/running.
Knee – ITB Syndrome – Pain on the outside of the knee when running.
Treatment for Bursitis:
The inflammation and resulting pain of bursitis can be settled by resting from the aggravating activity, ice, anti-inflammatory medication and/or cortisone injections.
It is important to understand that bursitis occurs for a reason. Physiotherapists are experts at determining the cause of your bursitis and implementing a specific treatment plan to ensure your pain does not return. Treatment may include load management, correction of muscle tightness or imbalances, correction of faulty movement patterns, strengthening and stretching exercises.