Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles located around your joints. When these sacs become inflamed, you may experience a painful condition known as bursitis. Some of the most common areas where bursitis can develop is in the shoulders, elbows and hips, but it can also affect other joints in the body including the knees, heels and even the base of your big toe. While it is common for bursitis to flare-up from time to time, the pain is likely to go away after a few weeks if the proper treatment protocols are followed. 

Causes of Bursitis 

The most common causes of bursitis are injuries or natural wear-and-tear to your bursae. Here are some other factors that may lead to bursitis: 

  • The condition is common in adults over the age of 40 as tendons begin to lose elasticity and are more prone to tearing. 
  • Using the joint too much or repetitive movement will put pressure on the area. Some examples include playing sports that involve throwing a ball repeatedly or leaning on your elbows and keeping the knees bent for an extended period of time. 
  • Infections caused by bacteria can cause the bursae to become inflamed and result in pain. 

Symptoms of Bursitis 

Some general symptoms of bursitis may include:

  • Feeling achy or stiff around the affected joint
  • Pain when moving or pressing on the affected joint
  • Swelling and redness around the affected joint 
  • Depending on the type of bursitis you have, you may experience pain when bending arms or legs, difficulty walking or difficulty lying on your hip

Treatment Options for Bursitis    

While bursitis will generally get better on its own, conservative measures can help relieve your discomfort. Some common treatment options include: 

  • Resting
  • Icing the joint 
  • Taking pain medication 
  • Physical therapy exercises 
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Using assistive devices 
  • Surgical drainage of the affected bursae (only in extreme cases)

At Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania, our board-certified physicians and licensed physical therapists work alongside you to provide high-quality care and services that target the source of your pain to improve your quality of life.  

For tailor-made physical therapy treatments in and around Philadelphia or the Greater Philadelphia Area, contact us at the location of your choice, or fill out our online form and we will get back to you soon.