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Everything You Need To Know About Bursitis

Learn what bursitis is, what causes it, and how routine chiropractic care can provide natural relief.

New Patient Special
Woman bending over planting vegetables in garden

When your favorite activity such as gardening or while working at a repetitive task leads to stabbing pain in your joints, you may be suffering from bursitis. Pain in your shoulder, knees, elbow, or other joints during movement or when the area is touched is a common symptom of bursitis that affects numerous people.

Often caused by repetitive motions, injury, or by putting prolonged pressure on certain joints such as kneeling. Bursitis is a painful condition that hinders your quality of life by restricting your motion and activity level.

Thankfully, there’s an all-natural treatment for bursitis provided by the chiropractors here at Spine Stop Chiropractic to help you get back into the action. Our goal is for you to continue to enjoy your favorite activities year-round.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs near the joints that cushion bones, muscles, and tendons to reduce friction within the joints.1 Although often thought of as similar to arthritis (a group of chronic diseases) as both arthritis and bursitis cause pain, inflammation, and discomfort during movement, bursitis, unlike arthritis, is often a temporary condition caused by repetitive motion, pressure, and at times, sudden injury.

Bursae can become inflamed from overuse such as during sports, manual labor, or repetitive motions; prolonged postures such as kneeling when gardening or sitting at a desk for long periods of time; and/or inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and infection leaving you with a limited and extremely painful range of motion in the affected area.

Where does bursitis occur?

Bursitis commonly affects the shoulders, elbows, knees, feet, and hips (although it can be found in any joint in the body). There are over 150 bursae throughout the human body, and so there are numerous types of bursitis each having its own effect on the area, however, the five most common forms and their effects are:

  • Prepatellar Bursitis - Chronic or acute inflammation around the kneecap, known as the patella, normally caused by repetitive kneeling, squatting, and pressure on the knees.
  • Olecranon Bursitis - Normally chronic inflammation of the bursae around the elbow caused by repetitive motion such as tennis, painting, etc., and/or resting on your elbows for extended periods of time.
  • Trochanteric Bursitis - Affects the bursae in the hips often developing slowly and at times appearing alongside other medical conditions, such as arthritis.
  • Retrocalcaneal Bursitis - Chronic or acute bursitis that may cause pain and swelling in the heel of the foot.
  • Subacromial Bursitis - Chronic or acute bursitis causing pain, limited mobility, swelling, and tenderness. Often caused by overuse or repetitive shoulder movements such as overhead lifting.

With bursitis occurring in several areas of the body and being remarkably similar in symptoms to arthritis, it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of bursitis to receive proper treatment and avoid further damage to the bursae.

Symptoms of bursitis may include:

  • Pain and discomfort in the affected joint - often a dull aching pain
  • Sharp stabbing pain during movement or when the area is touched
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Redness and warmth around the affected area
  • Fever, and chills, if an infection is present
  • Tenderness

Bursitis is a temporary condition lasting anywhere from a few days to months, however, without treatment and continued repetitive use, flare ups and damage to the bursae may occur causing the bursa to become thick, which can make swelling worse leaving you with limited mobility, constant pain, and weakened muscles (called atrophy) in the area.2

Therefore, it is essential to treat bursitis at the first signs to prevent further damage and restore your range of motion in the area.

How can chiropractic care help me?

When suffering from bursitis, your goals are to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain while strengthening the area to avoid future flare ups and injury all while returning to the lifestyle and activities you love.

Chiropractors specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions such as bursitis using a range of innovative chiropractic techniques designed to reduce pain, restore mobility, and improve your quality of life. This is done through personalized treatments focusing on the entire body, not just the affected area.

For example, when suffering from pain in your knee due to bursitis, you may begin to limp, hold your body at an unnatural angle, and/or favor the opposite leg when walking. This can cause a misalignment in your hips, spine, buttocks, etc. leading to further painful issues. A chiropractor looks at the entire body to ensure everything is in alignment allowing the nerves, tissues, muscles, and joints to receive healing without interruption.

Bursitis is also often the factor of a misalignment of the spine which limits the nerve transmissions throughout the body causing other areas to become inflamed and painful. A chiropractor helps adjust the spine and other areas of the body to ensure proper function and communication throughout the body which, in turn, speeds healing.

This whole-body approach helps to restore bodily movement and range of motion while strengthening affected areas to avoid future flare-ups and pain. With the exceptional chiropractic care provided at Spine Stop Chiropractic, you can return to your normal activities without pain and restore your range of motion thereby improving your quality of life.

Routine chiropractic care helps get to the root cause of your bursitis and is a natural and safe way to find lasting relief from the swelling and pain while helping to prevent flare ups and damage to the bursae.

Chiropractic Benefits for Bursitis Include:

  • Alleviate pain and inflammation in the affected area
  • Prevent aggravation of the existing condition
  • Restore flexibility and range of motion
  • Discover and repair the underlying root cause of bursitis
  • Enhance biomechanics (structure of bones, tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft tissue) where the affected bursae are located to promote healing
  • Prevent bursitis flare ups in the future
  • Lifestyle consultation including a personalized therapy plan

We understand that not everyone is familiar with chiropractic care, so all new patients receive a consultation, examination and if necessary, an x-ray. Then our doctors will review your condition and walk you through an easy-to-follow treatment plan that’s unique to you.

There’s no pressure when you visit our office. Our friendly staff want to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

  1. Deepan S. Dalal , MD, MPH, Brown University-Bursitis-
  2. Williams CH, Jamal Z, Sternard BT. Bursitis. [Updated 2022 Jul 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:
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Frequently Asked Questions

Calm your nerves with answers to the most commonly asked questions among new patients.

Do I have to be popped during my treatment?

Simply put, no. There are many adjusting techniques chiropractors use to remove nerve interference. Let the doctor know if you're concerned about being "popped."

Does it hurt to be adjusted by a chiropractor?

Most patients report painless adjustments. However, some experience involuntarily stiffness due to resisting the adjustment. This usually stops once they're able to relax.

How long does the average office visit take?

The first visit usually requires 30 to 45 minutes of a new patient's time. The following appointments usually last 10 to 15 minutes.

What's the difference between a chiropractor and a medical doctor?

Chiropractors remove nerve interference by correcting the spine's position. A medical doctor often refers patients to prescription drugs or surgery for pain management.

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