Bursitis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa sac- the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion your bones, muscles, and tendons near your bones. It is a painful condition, having the most common location at the shoulder, hip, and elbow. But you can also have it at the base of the big toe, base, and heel of the foot. Bursitis mostly occurs in the joints that we use for repetitive movements. 


The pain can build up over time or can be sudden. It happens because of the overuse of certain joints that irritates the bursa sac. 


Symptoms 


The signs and symptoms of bursitis are;


  • Pain around muscles, bones, and particularly joints especially during movement

  • Limited range of motion of joints

  • Swelling around muscles, bones, and particularly joints

  • Redness, warmth around joints

  • Fever and chills as if you have an infection


Causes 


Bursitis occurs due to repetitive movement of a certain joint. A flare-up of bursitis can happen when you put too much pressure on a certain part of your body, such as kneeling down. Rarely an infection or injury can also cause it. 



Activities that can lead to bursitis are;


  • Carpentry

  • Gardening 

  • Raking 

  • Painting

  • Poor posture or a poorly positioned joint or bone 

  • Scrubbing

  • Shoveling

  • Sports like tennis, golf, and baseball


Risk factors


People at risk for bursitis are;


People of older age

People who do jobs or hobbies that involve repetitive tasks like rubbing floor, sports, manual labor, or music

Having health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, gout, or thyroid disease



Prevention 


Bursitis is not preventable. But to prevent its flareup attacks, the following tips may work;


Use knee pad


If your job or hobby requires a long time kneeling, use knee pads, so they protect your knees and provide extra cushion. 


Be Cautious while you lift the Weight


When you have to live an object, bend on your knees and then lift. If you do not bend your knees, you may end up putting extra pressure on the bursa of your hips. 


Use support


If you have to carry heavy loads, use a trolley or a wheeled cart because if you are without that, it may exert extra pressure on your shoulders, resulting in bursitis of the shoulder joint. 


Take frequent rest


If you have to do a job that includes repetitive movements, take a break in between, have a rest, and then continue. Also, avoid being repetitive if you can. 


Maintain a healthy weight 


When you are overweight, your joints have to bear extra pressure. It eventually puts you at risk of developing bursitis. Therefore you should maintain a healthy weight that does not put excess pressure on joints. 


Exercise regularly 


Incorporate exercise into your routine. Doing that makes your bones, muscles, and joints healthy and strong. Moreover, muscle strengthening can protect your affected joint too. 


Warm-up 


Before you start any exercise, make a habit of warming up. If you do not do that, you may end up hurting your joints or muscles. 


Treatment 


Medicines 

Mostly, the healthcare provider will prescribe you a painkiller drug like ibuprofen or naproxen to treat bursitis. 

 

Excercise 

Regular stretching exercise can help in treating pain due to bursitis, But make sure that you do that on the advice of a physiotherapist or an orthopedic surgeon. 

 

Topical applications 

Topical applications also help in getting rid of the pain. Mostly they contain analgesics like diclofenac or ibuprofen that give some relief. Moreover, topicals containing lidocaine may also help, as it numbs the area. 

 

Steroid injections

Your doctor may advise you administration of corticosteroid injections in the bursa that help reduce inflammation and pain.


Conclusion 


Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa sac- the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion your bones, muscles, and tendons near your bones. It is a painful condition, having the most common location at the shoulder, hip, and elbow.


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