The best exercises for bursitis are strengthening and resistance type exercises. Stretching exercises also are a typical part of a recommended program. Exercises for bursitis that include some type of isometrics are also beneficial. Depending upon which part of the body is affected, exercise equipment may also be incorporated into an exercise routine and may be beneficial.
Although some physicians may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications for patients with bursitis, alternative treatments may be preferred by some individuals. Exercises for bursitis may help to strengthen tendons and muscles weakened by prolonged bursitis. Bursitis is a condition that inflames the bursa, a pouch-like structure joining tendons to skin and bone. When inflammation occurs surrounding a joint, pain and immobility may result. Without treatment, the joints may become weakened over time and function may become limited.
Any type of exercises for bursitis should begin with gentle stretching. This applies to all types of bursitis, including knee bursitis, hip bursitis, shoulder bursitis, and elbow bursitis. Flexing, then relaxing, muscles that surround the inflamed areas will help to avoid further stress. For bursitis of the knee, walking may help. Stair climbing may also help to strengthen the joints and tendons, but should be done under a doctor's supervision.
Other types of exercises for bursitis and tendinitis include swimming and cycling. Swimming is a good way to strengthen several muscle groups, including arms, shoulders, and legs. In addition to bicycle riding, a stationary bike may be used. This is a good alternative for days when the weather does not permit outdoor activity. Cycling is a good form of exercise to help with bursitis of the knee and ankle.
For bursitis of the shoulders, a set of shoulder shrugs may help alleviate stiffness and improve circulation. Rolling the shoulders in a backward motion is generally the preferred method. A physical therapist may instruct the patient further.
More exercises for shoulder and elbow bursitis include something called the pendulum swing and wall climbing. The shoulder swing is a simple range-of-motion exercise in which the individual swings his arm in circles while supporting the other hand on a flat surface. Wall climbing simply means the individual slowly crawls his fingers up the wall, allowing the arm and shoulder muscles to gentle become stretched. This should be done slowly and carefully to avoid further injury.
It's a good idea to apply ice to the affected area after any exercise workout. This helps to reduce inflammation and swelling that often occurs with bursitis. An ice pack can be applied for about 15 to 20 minutes, with the individual using caution not to let the ice come in direct contact with exposed skin.