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Exercises for Bursitis

Exercises for Bursitis


Exercises for bursitis are important for healing so a person must know when to exercise and which ones to do. If the individual does not know when to exercise, he or she may start too soon or wait too long, causing the exercise to become harmful or ineffective. Moreover, doing the wrong type of exercises may cause more damage.

When to Exercise

A person who has any type of bursitis should start exercising the affected area as soon as the bursa starts healing. The healthcare professional will advise the patient when to start. Exercises should start out as simple stretches, and gradually increase to more strenuous workouts.

It is extremely important not to over exert the muscles, tendons, and tissues surrounding the inflamed bursa. Once the pain abates due to pain medication, the individual can easily over exert the affected area without realizing it. The inflamed joint area should not be used for the first 24-48 hours of the initial flare up.

Which Type of Exercise

Bursitis exercises fall into three categories. Range of motion and stretching exercises are used to reduce pain and keep the joint flexible. Strengthening exercises are used to help regain full functioning of the joint. The fitness exercises help to prevent re-injury.

Samples of Bursitis Exercises

The following are samples of a range of motion for shoulder, strengthening for hip, and fitness exercise for knee:

  • Scapular active range of motion: Stand, shrug shoulders up, and hold for 5 seconds. Then squeeze shoulder blades back and towards each other, and hold for 5 seconds. Next, pull shoulder blades downward towards buttocks. Rest. Then repeat routine 10 times.
  • Side-lying leg lift: Lie on the uninjured side. Next, tighten the front thigh muscles of the top leg. Lift that leg 8-10 inches away from the bottom leg, keeping the leg straight. Lower the leg slowly. Do three sets of 10.
  • Wall squat with ball: Stand with back to wall, with shoulders and head against wall. Look straight ahead while keeping shoulders relaxed and feet 2 feet away from the wall, about a shoulder’s with apart. Place a basket-sized ball behind back. While keeping back upright, slowly squat to a 45-degree angle. Hold position for 10 seconds. Next, slowly slide back up the wall. Build up to three sets of 10.

“Exercises for Bursitis.” Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. June 17, 2011

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Quote: “I tell people to walk their fingers up a wall in the corner. The object is to try and get your armpit in the corner. That way you know you’re getting effective exercise.”

Source:  Edward Resnick, M.D., director of the Pain Control Center at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies Rodale

Quote: “The first thing you do with any joint pain is rest that thing. Stop the activity that’s causing the pain and rest the joint. Forget that old sports adage about working through the pain.”

Source:   Alan Bensman, M.D., physiatrist Minnesota Center for Health and Rehabilitation Minneapolis

Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies Rodale



” Management and treatment – Bursitis, Tendinitis, and Other Soft Tissue Rheumatic Syndromes..” Home – UW Medicine – Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies: Quick Fixes, Clever Techniques, and Uncommon Cures to Get You Feeling Better Fast. 20th anniv. ed. New York: Rodale Press, 2009. Print.


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