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Chiropractic Care for Bursitis - Common Questions

Published Date: 
October 5, 2022
A man in in pain from shoulder bursitis.

There’s a lot a chiropractor can do to treat bursitis pain and help ensure proper recovery.

Chiropractic Care and Bursitis FAQ

What is bursitis?

Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac in your joints that protects them against friction from the tendons and muscles. Injuries or infections to the bursa inflame it, causing pain and limited range of motion. Bursitis can occur anywhere in the body where the bursa is present. 

How do you get bursitis?

Bursitis is also known as the "working man's disease” because it commonly occurs due to repetitive motions of a joint. Hobbies and jobs that require repetitive motions, such as golfing and carpentry, cause bursitis. You can also get bursitis after a trauma such as an accident or a hard tackle in sports. Infections in the bursa cause a particular type of bursitis called septic bursitis

What are the symptoms of bursitis?

The primary symptoms of bursitis are pain and tenderness in the affected joint. However, each type of bursitis elicits different symptoms depending on the location in the body. Generally, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sharp pain
  • Prohibitive pain when moving the joint
  • Reddened and/or swollen joint
  • Fever and chills if the bursa is infected
A chiropractor is examining a man's knee for a bursitis injury.

Does bursitis eventually go away?

Bursitis eventually goes away after weeks of adequate rest. You should not exercise the joint a lot until you receive long-term relief from bursitis pain. In infectious bursitis, recovery takes longer. 

Can a chiropractor help with bursitis pain?

Yes! Chiropractors are certified healthcare practitioners who deal with pain in the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors employ chiropractic treatments to ease pain, reduce inflammation, and reinstate your joints’ range of movement. The spinal adjustments and adjunctive therapies work to realign the spine and relieve pressure on the bursa for pain-free joints. The chiropractors also help by recommending steps you can take to prevent bursitis recurrence. 

How does a chiropractor treat hip bursitis?

The two main types of bursitis in the hip are trochanteric bursitis and iliopsoas bursitis. To treat hip bursitis, a chiropractor examines the whole body to determine if the hip bursitis is caused by misalignment in other regions of the body. The chiropractor delivers high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments to realign the hip joint and soft tissue therapy to ease muscle tension and relieve hip pain.

Can a chiropractor help with shoulder bursitis?

Yes. Chiropractors treat subacromial bursitis, the type of bursitis affecting your shoulder. A chiropractor realigns the rotator cuff and the acromion bone to provide respite from pain. See a chiropractor for shoulder bursitis treatment since it may cause shoulder pain that shoots down the arm, causing immense discomfort. 

A man is holding his elbow because of pain from bursitis.

Can a chiropractor treat bursitis of the elbow? 

Yes, a chiropractor treats inflammation in the olecranon bursa, which causes elbow bursitis. A joint examination is imperative to diagnose the extent of the inflammation before using gentle thrusts to realign the joint and relieve elbow pain.

What other methods does a chiropractor use to treat bursitis?

Chiropractors leverage soft tissue therapy, active release technique, TENS, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) therapy, and massage therapy in addition to spinal manipulation to treat bursitis. The complementary treatments reduce inflammation, deliver pain relief, and improve joint function after treatment. 

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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