Bursitis Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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To put in brief, the inflammation of the Bursa is known as bursitis. Bursa is the sac, which is filled with fluid and works to reduce the friction between various tissues such as bone and tendon. Bursa plays a vital role in reducing the friction between the moving organs of the body like shoulder, knee, hip and elbow.

There can be around 160 bursae in the human body, which are lined with some of the special cells known as synovial cells, which are helpful in the secretion of fluid filled with protein and collagen. This fluid act as an amazing lubricant, while moving the organs in the body.

Here we have tried to provide all the information about the problem of bursitis along with its causes as well as symptoms. Read on to know more about the ways to treat the problem of bursitis.

What are the Symptoms of Bursitis?

In bursitis, one can experience pain in tendon as well as bone. The movement may get difficult due to the swelling of the bursae sacs. Most of the times, bursitis affects joints, knee, elbow, shoulder as well as foot.

1. Bursitis in Shoulder

Inflammation of bursa in the shoulder area, which can be caused due to the injury to the surrounding area, which is known as the rotator cuff, can be a major reason behind the development of bursitis in the shoulder. This condition may cause intense pain in the front or side of the shoulder. Symptoms of bursitis in shoulder includes,

  • Uncomfort while overhead reaching or lifting activities○ Worsening pain especially in night
  • Pain and tenderness at the specific spots

2. Elbow

Bursitis in an elbow or the condition of olecranon bursitis, is considered as one of the common forms of bursitis. The symptoms include,

  • Increased pain in elbow due to increased tension in the bursa
  • Infection
  • Exposure to direct trauma or difficulties in bending and extending the elbow.

3. Knee

  • You may find swelling in the kneecap after a single blow. The swelling can take upto 10 days to appear after the blow
  • This is more common in people suffering with the problem of arthritis.
  • Pain can be felt in the mid-calf and can increase while climbing stairs or while doing other activities such as bending and extending.

4. Ankle

Inflammation of the bursa at the back of the heels is known as bursitis in an ankle. More commonly it is linked to wearing poor quality shoes as well as walking for a long time.
Bursitis in the ankle is more common in young athletes. Symptoms include,

  • Pain at back of heels
  • Increased pain after moving the area

5. Hip

The bursa in hip area is considered as largest in the body and lies in the hip joint. It can be linked to other problems such as hip arthritis or injury due to running or other activities.

Symptoms are,

  • Tenderness in the groin area
  • Pain in thigh as well as knee area○ Difficulty and increased pain in walking

Causes of Bursitis

According to the experts, major cause of the problem of bursitis is trauma due to repetitive action along with infection and conditions linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the major causes of bursitis are listed below.

1. Infections

Bursae, which are attached close to the skin are likely to get infected due to bacteria causing the condition known as Septic Bursitis. The people suffering with diseases such as diabetes, alcoholism along with people having a weak immune system or people having wounds on the skin surface are at more risk of getting the disease. It should also be noted that infection of septic bursitis occurs in 85% of men.

2. Rheumatoid Conditions

People suffering from the various rheumatoid disease can also suffer with the problems such as gout as well as pseudogout. These diseases trigger the formation of crystals in the bursa. These crystals, in turn, can lead to the inflammation of the bursa leading to bursitis.

3. Trauma

Repetitive injury can cause the trauma, which can trigger the inflammation of the bursa.

4. Chronic Bursitis

This is considered as one of the common cause of the problem of bursitis, which can cause minor trauma in the shoulder. Activities include repetitive work as throwing a baseball.

5. Acute Bursitis

A direct blow to the knee can cause the blood leakage into the bursa. This is known as acute bursitis, which can cause the inflammation as well as pain and swelling.
Treatment of bursitis

In the medical treatment of the problem of bursitis, if the bursitis is not infectious, your doctor can inject some corticosteroid medicines to reduce the inflammation of the bursa.

If an infection is present, it will be first dried with the help of inserting a needle. To reduce the risk of infection, your doctor may also provide some antibiotics, which can be taken in the pill form.

You can also be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics if your immune system is weakened completely or you are not having any results due to oral antibiotics.

Although the infection of bursitis can be cured at home in most of the cases, sometimes surgical treatment may also be needed to remove the bursa to stop the infection from spreading.

Prevention of Bursitis

Most common way to prevent the problem of bursitis is to stop performing the activity, which can cause bursitis at the first place. While cleaning the floors you can use kneepads to get adequate cushioning. If you are into doing more physical works such as plumbing and cleaning roofs as well as carpets, you should always wear the protection for your knees. It is important to choose shoes which are of right size and provides enough protection to your ankles.

To prevent bursitis, performing various rehabilitative exercises can also be used. These exercises can be used to improve the flexibility and helps in strengthening the muscles which are involved in the joint motion.

It is also necessary to be aware of your muscle tone in order to prevent bursitis from returning. Following a physical rehabilitative program can be highly helpful in improving the strength of your weakened muscles.