Physical Therapy for Bursitis: What to Expect

Bursitis is a painful condition that results from inflammation of the bursae, or fluid-filled sac that cushions the joints, bones, tendons, and muscles. A common condition, bursitis affects almost 3 million individuals in the United States. While it can occur in many parts of the body, it is most common around joints that endure repetitive motion. The good news is that bursitis is treatable. Let’s take an in-depth look at this condition, its causes, symptoms, and physical therapy for bursitis.

What Causes Bursitis?

As previously mentioned, bursitis results from inflamed bursae. Common location for bursitis is the hip joint where trochanteric bursa may get inflamed due to tight muscles such as ITB or repetitive motion of walking up and down stairs.  Trochanteric bursitis becomes chronic when pain persists for more than 3 months. 

What Are the Symptoms of Hip Bursitis?

  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Pain when getting out of the car
  • Difficulty getting out of the car after driving for a long time
  • Intermittent or chronic pain
  • Pain that radiates to the knee, thigh, groin, or buttocks; this may vary from dull to sharp
  • Tenderness on the outside of the hip
  • Pain when walking up and down stairs
  • Walking with a limp
  • Stiffness after sitting for a long time. 

Diagnosing Trochanteric Bursitis

To determine the presence of bursitis, your therapist will examine the affected area, including range of motion, muscle strength and flexibility, balance, squatting, gait and walking on stairs.  MRI may be ordered by a physician to confirm a hip bursitis.  The examination will include your medical history, typical daily activities and level of intensity, prior injuries or surgeries and work related activities. 

Physical Therapy for Trochanteric Bursitis

Physical therapy for trochanteric bursitis involves the use of ice, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, soft tissue mobilization, hip active range of motion, muscle stretching focusing on ITB, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps.  You will be advised to sleep on non-affected side and avoid activities that aggravate your pain.  Home exercise program will consist of stretching and strengthening exercises.  NSAIDs such as aleve or advil may be prescribed to manage acute pain.

Are you one of the millions of people currently suffering from bursitis? You could benefit from an exam and orthopedic rehabilitation with Excel Physical Therapy. You deserve to alleviate your pain because no one should suffer unnecessarily. Make an appointment with us today to find out more.

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