Joint pain is not an uncommon problem but swelling and tenderness around your joints is not necessarily a sign of arthritis. In fact it can be cause due to a condition known as Bursitis. Bursitis is a medical condition in which the small fluid-filled sacs known as bursa, which are a part of the human musculoskeletal system, become inflamed.
Bursa is located near muscles, joints and tendons or between bony prominences; essentially the areas of body where friction occurs. Bursae can be found around the elbow, big toe, heal or knee; in the shoulder; between the ribs and the shoulder blade; and elsewhere. A bursa functions as a cushion that reduces the mechanical stress of any movement. In case of bursitis, the bursa becomes inflamed and causes pain. Rest is usually recommended as a temporary fix to this condition.
Various Options For Bursitis Treatment
Signs and Symptoms
Bursitis, although uncommon, is an interesting medical condition. Signs and symptoms of bursitis include swelling, redness and pain. In case of acute bursitis, pain may worsen with motion. The bursa may also become tender to pressure or touch. Other signs and symptoms of this medical condition include reduced joint motion and warmth over bursae.
Bursitis can be caused because of different factors and may have different symptoms. The diagnosis of this medical condition is usually unambiguous. However, people who complain of swelling, pain and restricted motion are diagnosed with bursitis. Some tests such as x-ray, blood count, uric acid level, lupus panel and brusal aspiration may be recommended to confirm the condition.
In most of the cases, bursitis develops because of overuse syndromes such as prolonged or intense exercise. In severe cases of overuse, the recommended treatment is that of splinting, temporary rest, intermittent applications of ice and heat and anti-inflammatory medications. As the pain reduces, integrated exercises and physical therapy is used to address the problem.
Photo Credit: Dralexander.com/chronic-conditions-i-cure
In certain acute cases some fluid is removed from the bursa by injecting corticosteroids or through suction in order to calm the inflammation. If bursitis is due to some infection, the appropriate antibiotics can be recommended. Crystal-induced bursitis is similar to crystal-induced arthritis and therefore the same treatment that can alleviate the symptoms of crystal-induced arthritis can be used.
In case of Chronic bursitis, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and a range of motion exercises are used to address the problem. Splinting and rest may be comparatively contraindicated in case of chronic bursitis as in certain cases the adjacent joints may already exhibit restricted range-of-motion and fibrosis. If Bursitis does not respond to medications and usual modes of therapies, surgery may be required in order to preserve the function of surrounding structures.
Even though the diagnosis and treatment of bursitis are quite straightforward, the symptoms of bursitis are quite similar to that of arthritis. Because of this, the condition is often misdiagnosed as arthritis and proper treatment is not given. This may aggravate the condition and may even lead to further problems. Chronic and complicated cases of Bursitis may even lead to disability. Proper diagnosis of the condition is therefore very important. Timely diagnoses of Bursitis can aid in fast recovery.
Photo Credit: Mediadoresenterprise.com/2011/08/24/natural-bursitis-treatment