What Is Bursitis And How An Osteopath Can Help

Bursitis is a common condition that puts the shoulder or hip in pain. The bursa (a small sac of fluid) acts as a shock absorber between bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed or irritated due to repeated friction, injury, or overuse. An osteopath can help treat this condition using manual therapy such as joint mobilisations and manipulations in addition to massage and exercise therapy.

Can An Osteopath Help With Bursitis?

Can osteopaths help with bursitis? It’s a common question we get asked, and the answer is YES!

Osteopaths are trained in manual medicine and spinal manipulation, which means they can effectively treat many conditions, including bursitis, that affect the body’s musculoskeletal system.

Not only can they help to relieve the pain associated with bursitis, but they can also work to correct any underlying issues that may be causing or exacerbating the condition.

What Is Bursitis?

Bursitis is a condition that results when the bursae, small sacs filled with fluid that is located between bones, tendons, and muscles, become inflamed. This can cause pain and discomfort. The bursae’s purpose is to reduce friction between these structures so that they can move smoothly without causing damage to the soft tissue. When you have bursitis, it means that your bursae have become swollen and painful.

Bursitis can affect anyone at any age; however, it is most common in people who spend a lot of time sitting down or doing repetitive movements that put pressure on specific areas of the body, such as the elbows or knees. An injury may also cause bursitis, such as falling awkwardly onto your kneecap while playing a sport.

What Causes Bursitis?

The exact cause of bursitis is unknown. It appears to be a reaction of the body’s defence system (immune system) against irritation or injury within your joint capsule. The exact reason for this inflammation is unclear. Still, it may be caused by overuse or overstretching of the joint, trauma to a joint, infection, and genetics.

Symptoms of Bursitis

Bursitis can cause mild-to-severe pain that gets worse with movement. It usually affects just one joint at a time but can affect multiple joints.

The most common bursitis symptoms include:

  • pain or tenderness around the joint where the fluid has built up
  • swelling in and around the affected area
  • warmth and redness due to inflammation of blood vessels (vasodilation)
  • inflammation of soft tissue surrounding joints
  • pain that is worse when you move or touch the area.
  • pain that typically worsens at night or following a stressful event
  • pain in the morning is typically worse and can be relieved by resting, icing, and anti-inflammatory medication

Diagnosis of Bursitis

To be diagnosed with bursitis, your health professional will perform an exam and review your medical history. They may also order X-rays or other tests to determine the cause.

Bursitis can be treated with medications and rest, but osteopathy can help prevent symptoms’ recurrence and improve joint mobility.

The manipulation techniques performed by an osteopath restore normal movement to areas where tissue has been stiffened by inflammation or injury.

This helps reduce pain and inflammation while increasing mobility in the affected area so you can return to normal daily activities more quickly than if left untreated. Osteopathic treatment for bursitis starts with a thorough evaluation so we understand what’s causing your symptoms before recommending treatment options. If you need additional answers about how osteopathy can treat bursitis, talk to our team today!

Osteopathic Treatment for Bursitis

Osteopathic treatment is a form of manual medicine that can help you relieve bursitis symptoms. The benefits of osteopathic treatment are:

  • Decreased pain and swelling in the area around your shoulder, hip, or knee
  • Improved range of motion and mobility in your shoulder, hip, or knee


If you’re interested in trying osteopathic treatment for your bursitis, here’s how it works:

Your osteopath will examine your body. They will ask you questions about how long you’ve had bursitis and what activities aggravate the pain. They’ll also ask about any other symptoms you have.

Your osteopath will then give you a treatment plan. Osteopathy involves manipulating the affected areas in order restore normal movement. This can help reduce pain and inflammation while also increasing mobility. It may also include physical therapy, exercises, and stretches to help improve your range of motion.

What Else Can An Osteopath Do?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to bursitis treatment – what works for one person may not work for another. This is because everyone is different and will respond differently to a treatment.

For example, someone with chronic knee pain and associated bursitis may find that osteopathy can help make their symptoms. The same applies to someone with limited mobility due to muscle spasms. In these cases, osteopathy could be a good option for improving mobility and making daily tasks easier without pain or discomfort.

In addition, since osteopathy involves the manipulation of the muscles and joints to improve their function and help them heal properly after injury or degeneration has occurred over time, there is potential for these manipulations to also lessen some of the pain associated with bursitis – especially when done regularly enough so that inflammation doesn’t become too severe before treatment.


The good news is that there are effective treatments for bursitis discomfort. An osteopath can help relieve the symptoms associated with bursitis and get your body back on track for a healthy life.

Bursitis is a painful condition that can cause significant discomfort. It can be treated with osteopathy, a gentle and holistic approach to treating musculoskeletal pain. It can also be helped by rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy exercises. Bursitis may stay around for long periods of time, up to several months, if left untreated. If you have bursitis, contact us today for an appointment!