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Bursitis is an extremely common, painful inflammatory condition, often affecting the shoulder and hip.


Bursitis refers to a painful inflammation of a bursa, which is a fluid filled sac. There are multiple bursa in the body, mostly located near joints, and they are designed to act as a cushion for tendons, ligaments and bones, so that they aren't rubbing against each other. As the bursa becomes inflamed, it loses it's ability to glide smoothly with your movements and becomes painful and swollen. The friction of the swollen bursa can then inflame other surrounding structures such as tendons.

The most common sites of bursitis are at the shoulder (subacromial buritis) and hip (greater trochanteric bursitis).

shoulder bursitis


What Causes Bursitis?

  • Repetitive Actions - this is the most common cause, and is usually due to a muscle weakness or incorrect movement pattern at a joint, with repetitive movements
  • Trauma - direct impact to the bursa can cause significant inflammation and swelling within the bursa, making it dysfunctional
  • Systemic Diseases - certain autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis can make someone more predisposed to developing bursitis

Chiropractic Treatment for Bursitis

Bursitis can generally be treated conservatively by your chiropractor, with symptoms settling within 1-2 weeks, however recurrence rate can be high, especially if the causative factors/activities have not been addressed. Your chiropractor is highly trained at assessing the biomechanics of your body at the site of bursitis, and addressing possible causes through specific rehabilitation exercises and movement retraining. Other treatments used to assist in pain relief, include, joint manipulation/mobilisation, soft tissue manual therapies and range of motion exercises.