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What is Bursitis and how can an Exercise Physiologist help?

Small therapy weightBursitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the small, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae, can be painful and limiting. These sacs cushion and lubricate the joints, but when inflamed, they can cause discomfort and restrict movement. While medical interventions such as medications and physiotherapy are commonly recommended, the expertise of exercise physiologists can play a crucial role in managing bursitis symptoms and overtime progressing exercises to transfer to more functional movements to help you get back to doing what you enjoy.

Understanding Bursitis

Before delving into the role of exercise physiologists, it’s essential to understand bursitis. The condition often results from repetitive motion or joint overuse, leading to irritation and inflammation of the bursae. Common sites for bursitis include the shoulder, hip, knee, and elbow.

So how can Exercise Physiologists help?

Range of Motion Exercises

Bursitis can lead to stiffness and decreased range of motion in the affected joint. Exercise physiologists can incorporate targeted stretching and range of motion exercises to enhance flexibility and joint mobility. These exercises are crucial in preventing further irritation of the bursa.

Individualised Exercise Programs

Exercise physiologists are trained to design personalised exercise programs tailored to the specific needs and limitations. For bursitis, they can create routines that focus on strengthening the muscles surrounding the affected joint. This helps improve joint stability and reduce the load on the bursa.

Gradual Progression

Managing bursitis requires a careful balance between challenging the affected joint and avoiding excessive strain. Exercise physiologists can implement a gradual progression plan, ensuring that individuals build strength and endurance at a pace that allows for healing without causing harm.

Functional Movement Training

Bursitis often impacts daily activities. Exercise physiologists can implement functional movement training to improve the performance of specific tasks without exacerbating symptoms. This can include modifications to movement patterns and biomechanics to reduce stress on the affected joint.

Prevention of Recurrence

Exercise physiologists play a vital role in educating individuals on proper movement patterns and techniques. By addressing the root causes of bursitis, they help reduce the risk of recurrence, empowering individuals to take an active role in their long-term joint health.

While bursitis can be a challenging condition, exercise physiologists offer a valuable resource in its management. Through personalised exercise programs, targeted movement training, and a focus on gradual progression, exercise physiologists empower individuals to regain control over their joint health and reduce the impact of bursitis on their daily lives. By integrating these professionals into a comprehensive healthcare approach, individuals with bursitis can optimise their recovery and work towards a pain-free, active lifestyle.


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