Bursitis is a relatively common problem that can cause chronic joint pain. Many people live with the arthritis-like symptoms, such as stiffness and joint pain that this disorder causes.
Bursitis is caused by inflammation in the bursa of a joint. A bursa is a small sac filled with lubricating fluid that is located between two bones in a joint. A bursa serves as a cushion between the two bones, which reduces wear and tear. Unfortunately, when the bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and stiffness.
Bursitis can be caused by a variety of factors. It is associated with repetitive motion in that joint. In addition, it can be caused by other disorders that involve inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and thyroid disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Bursitis usually begins with joint pain. This can happen suddenly or gradually build up. The pain occurs within joints that have a bursa, including the elbow, shoulder, knee and hip.
The pain from bursitis is usually worse with movement, then stiffness can gradually develop. For this reason, many people who suffer from this disorder stop moving the affected joint. However, if a shoulder is not moved regularly, bursitis can lead to adhesive capsulitis, or “frozen shoulder,” in which the shoulder is unmovable. Sometimes surgery is required for this condition.
Treatment for Bursitis
There are several different treatments for bursitis. To prevent the disease, it is important to warm up before doing physical activity, while avoiding strenuous and repetitive motion. Once bursitis has developed, it can be treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. Doing gentle range-of-motion exercises as advised by a doctor or physical therapist can prevent stiffness.
Bursitis is a common and painful issue. However, it usually can be treated non-invasively. It is important to immediately stop the activity that caused the irritation and inflammation so that the joint can completely heal.
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Editors; Bursitis; WebMD; Accessed March 22, 2015
Staff; Bursitis; Mayo Clinic; Accessed March 22, 2015