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What is bursitis and how is it treated?

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Did you know that a risk factor for bursitis can be a stroke or not stretching properly before sports? Read more about its causes in the following article.

Bursitis is an inflammation that occurs in the bursa, a cushioning area that lies between tendons, bones, and muscles.

When it occurs, this condition will restrict movement in these areas and can cause considerable pain, and it is important to contact the healthcare system for help.

Although this condition usually affects people with certain types of jobs (especially those that require repetitive motion), it can also occur in other people.

Want to know more about this condition? In this article, we take a look at its main causes and treatment. Continue reading!

Causes and symptoms of bursitis

As we mentioned above, bursitis is bursitis. Mucous sacs are found in the areas between the joints and their function is to prevent friction between muscles, bones, and joints during movement.

There are approximately 150 bursae, but bursitis most commonly occurs in:

  • Hips
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrist
  • Heels
  • Knees
  • The towers

The origin of this condition is still unknown, but according to the US National Library of Medicine, it can be due to several causes.

In addition to an overload, bursitis can also occur due to obesity, after a trauma (from a fall, blow, or an accident), as a consequence of an infection, or as a result of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Different types of bursitis

Bursitis can be divided into three types, depending on the degree of prevalence over time. These are as follows:

1. Urgent

Acute bursitis affects a joint and the area becomes red to the touch. As we mentioned before, it can be a consequence of an overload, trauma, or gout.

2. Chronic

If someone with acute bursitis does not treat it, it can become a chronic problem. Therefore, it is important to consult a specialist as soon as you notice symptoms of this.

3. Trochanteric bursitis, the most serious type

Trochanteric bursitis is very disabling. It is usually older people who suffer from this, through a fall or blow, or because the mucous sacs weaken over time.

According to doctor Duque from the Hospital de La Princesa (Madrid)non-surgical treatment is the first treatment option to improve symptoms and avoid more serious problems. The doctor recommends:

  • Infiltration of glucocorticoids and local analgesics
  • Avoid activities that aggravate the situation
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
  • Use a cane or crutches for a period
  • Physiotherapy to increase hip flexibility and strength

If a doctor recommends surgery (this is very rare), the most common technique is to remove the bursa using an arthroscopy. After that, rehabilitation should be carried out for several weeks together with a lot of rest.

How to prevent bursitis?

There is no completely effective way to prevent this condition. However, since this inflammation sometimes occurs due to repeated joint movements, one should be careful with certain habits.

Some ways to reduce the risk, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic, are as follows:

  • Apply heat to the pain
  • Stretch the muscles at the end of physical activity
  • Take breaks when performing repetitive tasks
  • Protect the area with knee or elbow protection (special protection)
  • Use both hands to hold heavy tools
  • Do not spend long hours sitting
  • Lose weight so as not to overload the knees
  • Maintain proper posture
  • Start with new activities or exercises
  • Apply ice to the affected area

However, it should be remembered that in some cases the disease can arise for reasons that are not directly due to the affected person and their lifestyle. In such cases, preventive measures are insufficient.

How to treat bursitis

If you suffer from bursitis in the upper extremities (such as shoulders, hips, or wrists), certain exercises can help reduce pain and increase mobility and strength in the affected joint.

These should be carried out under the supervision of a physiotherapist, and never on your own, as this can worsen the condition.

It is important to follow the doctor’s recommendations

It is important to follow all guidelines established by the doctor and physiotherapist. In the case of chronic bursitis, it may also be beneficial to consult a psychologist, as the condition is quite disabling.

It is possible to maintain a good quality of life in these cases, as long as there is sufficient psychological help to improve the patient’s mindset.

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