Bursitis is a common musculoskeletal condition that affects many individuals in Fort Collins, Colorado, and beyond. It can cause discomfort and limit one’s ability to perform everyday tasks. At Inner Vitality Chiropractic, we understand the impact of bursitis on our patients’ lives, and we’re here to shed light on how chiropractic care can be a valuable resource in managing this condition.

Bursitis Causes

Bursitis is primarily caused by the inflammation of the bursae, small sacs filled with synovial fluid that act as cushions and lubricators between bones, tendons, and muscles around joints. Several factors can contribute to the development of bursitis:

Repetitive Movements and Overuse

One of the most common causes of bursitis is the repetitive use of a particular joint or performing repetitive motions. This often occurs in occupational settings where individuals engage in activities like lifting, bending, or reaching frequently. Athletes, especially those involved in sports that require repetitive movements like tennis, baseball, or running, are also at risk. These repeated actions can irritate the bursae, leading to inflammation and the development of bursitis over time.

Age and Wear and Tear

As we age, our joints, tendons, and bursae naturally experience wear and tear. Over the years, these structures may become less resilient and effective in cushioning and protecting the joints. This age-related degeneration can make bursae more susceptible to inflammation and bursitis. Older adults are more likely to develop bursitis, particularly in weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips.

Trauma or Injury

Direct trauma or injury to a joint can also lead to bursitis. A fall or impact on a joint can damage the bursa, causing inflammation. For example, falling on your knee or elbow can result in trauma to the bursa in those areas, leading to acute bursitis.


In some cases, bursitis may develop as a result of bacterial infection, a condition known as infectious bursitis. Infections can occur when bacteria enter the bursa through a cut or puncture wound near the joint. This can cause a rapid onset of symptoms, including severe pain, swelling, and redness in the affected area. Infectious bursitis typically requires immediate medical attention and treatment with antibiotics.

Underlying Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and systemic lupus erythematosus, can increase the risk of developing bursitis. These conditions can trigger inflammation throughout the body, including in the bursae, leading to bursitis as a secondary complication.

Other Contributing Factors

There are additional factors that may increase the likelihood of developing bursitis, including:

  • Obesity: Excess body weight can put extra stress on joints and bursae.
  • Poorly designed or ill-fitting footwear: Inappropriate shoes can lead to abnormal stress on the feet, ankles, and lower limbs.
  • Certain medications: Long-term use of medications like corticosteroids can increase the risk of bursitis due to their potential to weaken the body’s natural inflammatory response.

Understanding these various causes of bursitis is crucial for both prevention and treatment. Depending on the underlying cause, different approaches, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, or lifestyle modifications, may be recommended to manage and alleviate the symptoms of bursitis effectively.

Expanding on the symptoms of bursitis will provide a more detailed picture of what individuals with this condition may experience. Recognizing these symptoms is essential for early diagnosis and effective management.

Symptoms of Bursitis

Bursitis is characterized by a range of symptoms, which can vary in severity depending on the individual and the affected joint. Here’s an expanded look at the common symptoms associated with bursitis:

Pain and Discomfort

  • The hallmark symptom of bursitis is pain, which typically occurs at or near the affected joint.
  • The pain may be described as a dull ache, tenderness, or a sharp, stabbing sensation.
  • Pain often worsens with movement or pressure applied to the affected area.

Swelling and Inflammation

  • Inflammation of the bursa causes swelling at the site of the affected joint.
  • Swelling can range from mild to pronounced, and it may make the joint appear visibly swollen or feel puffy to the touch.
  • The skin over the swollen area may become warm and red due to increased blood flow and inflammation.

Limited Range of Motion

  • Bursitis can lead to stiffness in the affected joint, making it challenging to move it through its full range of motion.
  • Individuals may notice difficulty in bending, extending, or rotating the joint, depending on the location of the bursitis.

Tenderness and Sensitivity

  • The area around the inflamed bursa can become tender to the touch.
  • Even light pressure or contact with clothing may cause discomfort and tenderness.

Increased Pain at Night

Some individuals with bursitis may experience worsening pain at night, particularly when trying to sleep on the affected side or when the joint is compressed in a certain position.

Pain with Specific Movements

  • The pain associated with bursitis often becomes more pronounced during specific movements or activities that involve the affected joint.
  • For example, individuals with shoulder bursitis may experience pain when lifting objects or reaching overhead, while those with hip bursitis may feel discomfort when walking or climbing stairs.


  • In some cases, individuals with bursitis may experience a cracking or popping sensation, known as crepitus, when they move the affected joint.
  • Crepitus can be caused by friction between inflamed tissues around the joint.

Weakness in the Affected Limb

  • Chronic bursitis, if left untreated, can lead to muscle weakness in the area surrounding the affected joint.
  • Weakness may result from pain and limited use of the joint over time.

Fever (Infectious Bursitis)

  • If bursitis is caused by a bacterial infection (infectious bursitis), individuals may experience fever, chills, and a general feeling of illness.
  • Infectious bursitis requires immediate medical attention and treatment with antibiotics.

Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for seeking timely medical evaluation and appropriate treatment. Early intervention can help manage bursitis effectively and prevent complications. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan, which may include rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or, in some cases, procedures to remove excess fluid from the affected bursa.

Expanding on the topic of chiropractic care for bursitis provides a more detailed understanding of how chiropractic interventions can play a valuable role in managing this condition.

Chiropractic Care for Bursitis

Chiropractic care is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders, including conditions like bursitis. Chiropractors employ non-invasive, drug-free techniques to alleviate pain, improve joint function, and enhance the overall well-being of their patients. Here’s an in-depth look at how chiropractic care can benefit individuals with bursitis:

Chiropractic Adjustment

  • Spinal and Joint Alignment: Chiropractic adjustments involve the skilled manipulation of the spine and joints to restore proper alignment. Misaligned joints can contribute to abnormal stress on the surrounding bursae, leading to inflammation and bursitis. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce this stress and improve joint function.
  • Pain Relief: By addressing joint misalignments, chiropractic care can alleviate pain and discomfort associated with bursitis. These adjustments can provide immediate relief and promote the body’s natural healing processes.

Soft Tissue Techniques

  • Massage Therapy: Chiropractors often incorporate massage therapy to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation around the affected joint. This can help reduce inflammation and promote healing in the inflamed bursa.
  • Stretching Exercises: Chiropractors may prescribe specific stretching exercises tailored to the affected joint. These exercises can improve flexibility, reduce stiffness, and enhance range of motion.

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Ergonomic Guidance: Chiropractors work with their patients to identify and address lifestyle factors that contribute to bursitis. This may include ergonomic adjustments at work or home to minimize repetitive stress on the affected joint.
  • Exercise Recommendations: Chiropractors can provide guidance on appropriate exercises and physical activities that support joint health and prevent further irritation of the bursa. They may recommend exercises that strengthen the muscles around the joint, providing additional support and stability.

Pain Management

Non-Invasive Pain Management: Chiropractors offer drug-free pain management strategies that are particularly valuable for individuals who prefer non-pharmaceutical approaches or have concerns about medication side effects.

Education and Self-Care

Patient Education: Chiropractors educate patients about bursitis, its causes, and strategies for self-care and prevention. They empower individuals to take an active role in managing their condition.

Comprehensive Approach

Addressing Underlying Causes: Chiropractors take a holistic approach to healthcare, considering the patient’s overall health and lifestyle. They aim to identify and address any underlying factors that contribute to bursitis, such as poor posture or biomechanical issues.

Collaboration with Other Healthcare Providers

Multidisciplinary Approach: Chiropractors may collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as orthopedic specialists or physical therapists, to provide a comprehensive and coordinated treatment plan for individuals with bursitis.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of chiropractic care for bursitis may vary depending on the individual’s specific condition and its underlying causes. Chiropractors often tailor their treatment plans to the unique needs and preferences of each patient.

Individuals with bursitis should consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment approach. Chiropractic care can be a valuable complement to other therapies, helping individuals manage pain, improve joint function, and enhance their overall quality of life when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

In conclusion, bursitis is a painful condition that can significantly impact one’s daily life. However, with the right approach to care, relief is attainable. Chiropractic care at Inner Vitality Chiropractic in Fort Collins, Colorado, offers a holistic and non-invasive solution to bursitis. Through chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue techniques, and personalized lifestyle modifications, our dedicated team aims to reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance your overall well-being. If you’re seeking effective bursitis management and a path to a pain-free life, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Your journey to improved joint health and greater comfort begins here.