Capsulitis and Bursitis both cause joint inflammation but are very different in their treatment.

Capsulitis is the inflammation of the joints capsule that can be caused by repetitive movements, movements that surpass our physiological limit or a fall, hit and even bruising.

Pain is often felt when pressure is applied to the joint. For example; a knee capsulises pain will be experienced when the patient is standing. Pain can also be experienced when the joint is mobilised to its limit passively. People who have

Capsulitis can also express symptoms such as; the effect joint area swelling or heat radiating from the joint.

When the patient is in the acute phase of Capsulitis an Osteopath cannot treat the him or her. The osteopath treatment can not be performed on a area that is inflamed. However, the surrounding areas can be treated with quiromassage.

In chronic cases such as fibrosis and adherence, the technique “cyriax” can be applied 3 times for 2 minute periods followed by passive mobilisations and stretching.

Ice sessions are recommended for capsulitis rather than heat.


Bursitis is the inflammation of the protective sacks of synovial fluid that sit around joints. These ack protect the joints and facilitate movement.

Bursitis can be caused by a number of reasons, a viral infection, a fall or hit, degenerative diseases, repetitive movements and contusions. In the case of a vital infection an Osteopath will not treat the patient and the patient should be advised to seek medical attention.

The main symptoms of bursitis are;

Pain when the pressure or weight is removed from the joint

Pain when moving

Pain when the joints physiological limits are reached

Pain described as a hot sensation in the area.

To test if a patient has bursitis pressure is applied to close the joint and observe if there is a “bouncing” sensation to the joint. As the symptoms are very similar for Capsulitis and Bursitis and therefore the correct tests must be carried out before Bursitis is identified. Even if the tests prove positive it is recommended that the Osteopath treat cautiously, ice and advise medical attention. A draining massage can help with both capsulises and bursitis but on recommendation of a doctor.

For more information regarding Capsulitis and Bursitis or our osteopathy or massage sessions in Barcelona Eixample click here.