Bursitis

December 2016


Definition


Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa, the small pockets located around the joints, between the tendons and bones. The latter contain a liquid called "synovial liquid" which facilitates the sliding of the tendons and muscles. These bursae are located particularly in the knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, ankle and Achilles tendon. The shoulder is the joint most commonly affected by this type inflammation. Bursitis can be acute or chronic and is caused by injury, overuse of the joint, an inflammatory arthritic disorder or infection.

Symptoms


Symptoms of bursitis include:
  • a pain in the area of the joint
  • redness;
  • swelling;
  • a feeling of warmth;
  • limited movement of the affected joint;
  • muscle atrophy, in extreme cases, due to functional impairment generated;
  • thickening or enlargement of the bursa.

Diagnosis


Bursitis can be diagnosed by a GP. Since a regular injury to muscles and joints, as well as an inflammation, have properties that are similar to those of bursitis, the doctor may need to perform an X-ray or ultrasound to be able to differentiate.

Treatment


Anti-inflammatory drugs, splinting, plenty of rest, and the application of an ice pack several times a day are usually sufficient to treat bursitis. If symptoms persist, the doctor may inject corticosteroids directly into the painful joint. In more severe cases, the doctor may remove fluid from the bursa to further analyze the condition. After recovering from bursitis, it is a good idea to perform exercises specifically designed for the affected joint with a physical therapist in order to regain proper mobility and recover potential muscle loss.

Prevention


Wearing knee pads and elbow pads is sometimes advisable in certain sports or some trades.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on June 3, 2013 at 01:32 PM by Jeff.
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