Bursa-ting my bubble

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo after a few months of consistent, injury free training fate finally caught up with me over the weekend in the strangest of ways and the result is a mild case of bursitis.

All was going well, I’d put in a solid 10 mile run on Saturday morning with five at tempo. After some ongoing work on our house renovation I had taken my 18 month old daughter to her swimming lesson. I was in the pool with her when somehow, I’m still not quite sure exactly how, I managed to bang my left knee on the bottom of the pool. Later that day it had bruised up but I was pain free and didn’t really think any more of it.

Come Monday morning I woke up early and put in an easy five miler with no dramas. Then I stretched and showered and the pain in my knee began. As the day progressed it worsened and my knee was visibily swollen. It was painful to walk or stand on it. I was getting sad.

A visit to my friendly physio yesterday confirmed that there was indeed an injury, although hopefully not to serious. His diagnosis was an inflamed bursa, or patella bursitis, with inflammation at the front of the knee cap. No running for a week. Boo.

KneeUltrasoundThe main treatment seems to be rest, but maintaining movement in the joint, regular icing and some oral ibuprofen to help decrease the inflammation. In some cases if there is fluid on the joint it can be drained or if pain still persists a cortisone injection can be administered, but it doesn’t look necessary for me at this stage. While at the physio I had some light ultrasound applied which apparently can help in some cases – hopefully me!

Bursitis can affect any joint in the body but is commonly experienced in the knee, elbow, shoulder, fingers or hip. The injury itself is actually the swelling and irritation of a bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a muscles, tendons, and joints. The inflammation can be caused by overuse or by trauma.

Once the initial treatment is effective and pain and symptoms are reduced then patients are able to start on strengthening exercises to minimise the chance of recurrence.

Have you suffered bursitis before? Any tips or tricks to speed up treatment?


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Filed under Injuries, Opinion

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