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11 Ways of Alleviating Bursitis Pain and Improving Everyday Comfort

Physiotherapist Cheshire

Bursitis, a common condition causing pain and discomfort, occurs when the small fluid-filled sacs known as bursae become inflamed. These sacs cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. Bursitis most commonly affects the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees, leading to significant pain and restricted movement.

To alleviate bursitis pain and improve range of movement and comfort, consider these effective strategies:

Rest and Activity Modification

Giving the affected joint adequate rest is crucial. Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain, such as repetitive movements or prolonged pressure on the joint. Modify your activities to reduce stress on the affected area, which allows the inflammation to subside.

Ice Therapy

Applying ice packs to the affected area can reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Use an ice pack wrapped in a cloth and apply it to the area for 15-20 minutes every few hours. This method is particularly effective in the initial stages of bursitis.


Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation. However, consult your healthcare provider before starting any medication to ensure it is appropriate for your condition and does not interfere with any other treatments you may be undergoing.

Physical Therapy

Engaging in a structured physical therapy programme can significantly enhance your recovery. Physiotherapists can provide targeted exercises that strengthen the muscles around the joint, improving support and reducing strain on the bursae. They may also employ techniques like ultrasound therapy and manual therapy to alleviate pain and improve mobility.

Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Gentle stretching exercises can help maintain flexibility and prevent stiffness in the affected joint. Strengthening exercises, tailored to your specific needs, can build muscle support around the joint, enhancing stability and reducing the likelihood of recurrence.

Proper Posture and Ergonomics

Maintaining good posture and using ergonomic equipment can prevent unnecessary stress on your joints. Ensure that your workspace is set up to promote a natural posture, and use supportive footwear to minimise strain on your hips and knees.

Corticosteroid Injections

In cases of severe pain, corticosteroid injections administered by a healthcare professional can provide significant relief. These injections reduce inflammation directly in the affected area, offering faster pain relief compared to oral medications.

Lifestyle Modifications

Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the strain on your joints, particularly in the lower body. Incorporating low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling into your routine can help keep your joints mobile without exacerbating the condition.

Alternative Therapies

Some individuals find relief through alternative therapies such as acupuncture or shockwave therapy. These treatments can complement traditional methods, providing additional pain relief and promoting healing.


In rare cases where bursitis does not respond to conservative treatments, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the inflamed bursa. This option is typically considered a last resort when all other methods have failed.

Preventive Measures

To prevent future episodes of bursitis, practice regular stretching and strengthening exercises, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid repetitive motions that stress your joints. Listening to your body and giving it time to rest when needed is also crucial in preventing flare-ups.

Bursitis can be a painful and limiting condition, but with the right approach, you can alleviate the pain and improve your range of movement and comfort. By combining rest, physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications, you can manage bursitis effectively and return to your daily activities with reduced discomfort.

If you are experiencing persistent pain, consult a healthcare professional to develop a personalised treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

For further information about how we treat Bursitis here at Cheshire Physiotherapy Centre, please call the practice on 0161 929 4744 or book an appointment by selecting the button at the top of this page.


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