What is bursitis?
Bursitis is a painful condition that involves the inflammation of bursae, which are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. The most common locations for the bursitis are in the shoulder, elbow, and hip, though you can also develop bursitis in your knee, heel, and base of your big toe. Bursitis typically affects the joints that perform frequent, repetitive motion.
What are the symptoms of bursitis?
- Joints that feel achy or stiff
- Tenderness to the joint when pressed on
- Swollen or red joints
See your doctor if you are having:
- Disabling joint pain
- Sudden inability to move a joint
- Excessive swelling, redness, bruising or a rash in the affected area
- Sharp or shooting pain, especially when you exercise or exert yourself
- A fever
What causes bursitis?
The most common causes of bursitis are repetitive motions or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. This may include:
- Throwing a baseball or lifting objects over your head repeatedly
- Leaning on your elbows for extended times
- Extensive kneeling for tasks such as laying carpet or scrubbing floors
Other causes include injury or trauma to the affected area, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and infection.
What are the risk factors for bursitis development?
While anyone can develop bursitis, your risk increases with:
- Occupations or hobbies that require repetitive motion or prolonged pressure on one area of the body
- Other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes, obesity
Can bursitis be prevented?
You can reduce your risk of bursitis development and reduce the severity of flare ups by changing the way you do certain tasks. Some examples include:
- Use kneeling pads
- Lift with proper form
- Wheeling heavy loads rather than lifting them
- Taking frequent breaks
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Warm up and stretch before strenuous activity
How is bursitis diagnosed?
Bursitis is often able to be diagnosed by your doctor after a thorough medical history and physical exam. If needed, some patients may additionally require:
- Imaging tests such as x-rays to rule out fracture, and ultrasound or MRI for direct visualization of the bursae
- Lab tests such as blood tests or analysis of the fluid found within the inflamed bursa
How is bursitis treated?
Most cases of bursitis will improve on their own, while others will require further treatment. Additional treatment will vary depending on the cause of the bursitis, but may include:
- Medications such as anti-inflammatories or antibiotics
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid injections into the bursa
- Assistive device such as a walking cane
- Surgical removal of the bursa
If you are dealing with any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, or feel that you are suffering from bursitis, Remedy Pain Solutions can help. Our physicians at Remedy Pain Solutions are specially trained to diagnose and treat the symptoms of bursitis, and are available for both in-person or virtual consultations. Contact Remedy Pain Solutions for a consultation today!