Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that cushions joints, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected area.

The basics

Bursitis is a common condition that occurs when small fluid-filled sacs become inflamed, causing pain, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness around the affected joint. It is most common in older adults and people who participate in repetitive activities or sports that put stress on the joints. The good news is that most cases of bursitis can be successfully treated with rest, ice, and physical therapy. In more severe cases, medication or injection therapy may be necessary. With proper treatment, most people with bursitis can recover fully within a few weeks to a few months. However, without treatment, the condition can lead to chronic pain and limited mobility.

icon graph


Symptoms may include:

  • Pain around the joint
  • Swelling and redness
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain that worsens with movement or pressure on the joint

The symptoms of bursitis can vary depending on the location of the affected joint and the underlying cause of the condition. Bursitis typically presents with pain and swelling around the affected joint, which may be sharp and intense or dull and achy. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, as early diagnosis and treatment can help alleviate symptoms and prevent complications.

No items found.
Special Offer For New Patients

$100 Off Your Comprehensive Women's Pelvic Health Assessment

Uncover the root cause of your pelvic pain with a Comprehensive Pelvic Health Assessment with Senior Pelvic Physiotherapist, Caitlin McPhee for just $140 (usually valued at $240).
Claim This Special Offer
icon back of body

Therapies & treatments


Physical therapy is a common treatment option for bursitis, with a focus on exercises to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint and improve flexibility. The physical therapist may also use manual therapy techniques to decrease pain and improve joint mobility.


Massage therapists can use various techniques to help relieve tension, reduce pain and stiffness, and promote healing in the affected area. They may use gentle pressure, kneading, or stretching techniques to help release muscle tension.

Anti-inflammatory Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with bursitis. These medications are available over-the-counter or by prescription, and your healthcare provider can advise you on the appropriate dosage and duration of use.

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections may be recommended for bursitis that does not respond to other treatments. This involves injecting a corticosteroid medication directly into the affected joint to reduce inflammation and pain.

icon avoiding obstacles

Self-care strategies

Modify Your Activities

Avoid repetitive movements or activities that may worsen your symptoms. This may include changing your posture or technique for certain activities, taking breaks or reducing the frequency or duration of the activity.

Cold and Heat Therapy

Applying ice or a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain. Use a cold compress for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. After the initial inflammation has subsided, you can use a warm compress or take a warm shower to help ease pain and stiffness.

Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve range of motion and flexibility, and may also help prevent future flare-ups. Your doctor or a physical therapist can recommend specific exercises based on the location and severity of your bursitis.

Rest and Sleep

Getting adequate rest and sleep is important for allowing the body to heal and recover from bursitis. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and try to avoid activities that may aggravate your symptoms during the day.

Weight Management

Excess weight can place added strain on the joints and exacerbate bursitis symptoms. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce the burden on the affected joint and alleviate symptoms of bursitis.

Pain Management

Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to manage pain and reduce inflammation.

Seek pain relief for


Book an appointment today. No referral required.