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What is Bursitis? Bursitis is an inflammation or irritation that affects the tiny, fluid-filled sacs called bursae. These sacs ease rubbing and friction between tissues like muscles, tendons, skin, and bones. So when bursae become inflamed, bursitis occurs.
Generally, bursitis occurs near joints that perform repetitive motion. It commonly appears in places like the shoulder, hip, and elbow. But you can still suffer from bursitis by your knee, heel or the base of your big toe.
It is commonly met in adults, especially after age 40 and bursitis’ most common symptom is pain. The pain can start slowly or suddenly and is severe, most likely, you’ll feel the pain when stretching or extending the joint. Additionally, you can have a limited range of motion with no pain and the joint might be red, swollen or stiff.
When to See a Doctor?
You should seek medical help from, for example, a Miami orthopedic doctor if you have fever (over 102 F), trouble moving the joint, pain that lasts longer than two weeks, redness, swelling, or warmth in the area. Moreover, if you have a general illness or more than one painful area, it is advised to get medical care right away as these could be signs of an infection.
What is Bursitis, Causes and Risk Factors
Bursitis can be caused due to high-risk activities including tennis, golf, throwing, raking, carpentry, painting, gardening, and the like. Other examples may include:
- Leaning on your elbows for long periods.
- Lifting something over your head repeatedly.
- Sitting or standing the wrong way for an extended period.
Separately, you can suffer from bursitis due to an injury or trauma to the affected area, infection, or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders and gout. With age, the tendons won’t handle stress as well because they are less elastic and, thereby, easier to tear.
When it comes to risk factors, anyone can develop bursitis. However, some factors may increase your risk, including:
- Occupation or hobbies
- Other medical conditions (diabetes, gout, or overweight)
How to Prevent Bursitis?
You cannot prevent all types of bursitis, but it is critical to reducing the risk of developing it. Some examples include:
- Exercise – strengthens your muscle to protect your affected joints
- Take breaks more often – alternate your repetitive tasks with other activities
- Lift properly – bending your knees while you lift weights will prevent bursitis
- Use kneeling pads – reduce the pressure on your knees if frequent activities require a lot of kneeling
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Warm-up and stretch before different activities to protect your joints from injury
- Use good posture all day.
- Use orthotic shoe insert if one leg is longer than the other
- If a body part hurts, seek medical care
- Don’t sit still for a long time
Suppose you’re suffering from bursitis, you can treat it by taking anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. It is highly recommended to avoid the activities that caused your bursitis, to rest, put ice on the area, use crutches or a cane, or put a brace, splint or band on the joint.
Physical therapy is also beneficial in treating bursitis, as it helps you strengthen muscles and gives you increased range of motion in the joint. Usually, with proper treatment, the pain goes away within a couple of weeks, but recurrent flare-ups of bursitis are widely familiar. In rare cases, you may need to undergo surgery if other treatments aren’t helping you.