The bursa is a bodily sac filled with a type of lubricating fluid, which is found between the tissues of different parts of the body, including muscles, tendons and bones. These fluid sacs help decrease friction, irritation and chafing in different areas of the body. When these sacs become inflamed, a condition known as bursitis can develop, causing the individual to experience pain symptoms as well as restricted motion in the affected area.
Bursitis is generally caused by repeated or repetitive minor impact on any area of the body. It can also be caused by a sudden and/or serious injury. Bursitis is more commonly seen in adults, particularly after the age of 40.
People who are older may be more susceptible to developing bursitis due to aging tendons. As we get older, our tendons cannot tolerate as much bodily stress as they could in our earlier years, and can be more prone to tear easily due to a loss in elasticity.
Individuals who frequently use their arms and legs in strenuous activities at work or during recreational activities are also at an increased risk of developing bursitis. Some activities that can cause bursitis include common tasks like painting, shoveling, raking, carpentry and sports like tennis and golf. Poor stretching, conditioning and posture can also put an individual at a higher risk of developing bursitis.
Stress and inflammation originating from other conditions like gout and rheumatoid arthritis have also been known to cause bursitis.
Bursitis is known to affect the knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and Achilles tendon. Its symptoms can be quite painful and can interfere with the individual’s normal daily activities.
Pain is the most common symptom of bursitis. This pain usually develops gradually over time, though some people experience sudden and, sometimes, severe pain if they have calcium deposits. Individuals with bursitis often lose mobility in their affected limbs. This is most common in the shoulder, which is also referred to as adhesive capsulitis or “frozen shoulder”.
If you are planning to start a new exercise regime, you can decrease your likelihood of developing bursitis by gradually building up force and repetitions over time. If you begin to feel an unusual pain while exercising, ease up and give your body a break.
There are several bursitis treatment options available to Austin area patients. The most common approach to resolve bursitis is to avoid repetitious activities that will aggravate the affected limb. Resting the injured area and icing the injury with a cold compress or ice pack can also provide relief. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can also be helpful in diminishing pain and any present swelling.
If you are experiencing persistent bursitis, your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce the inflammation. Steroid injections are often used in bursitis treatment because they are fast-acting and very effective. Steroid shots can be administered directly at the site of injury and can be repeated several times throughout the year if necessary.
Physical therapy may also be used to treat bursitis. Range of motion exercise and splinting can help restore mobility to the affected limbs over time. In rare cases, surgical intervention may be required if the bursitis is severe and not responding to conventional treatments.
Schedule an Appointment for Bursitis Treatment in Austin
If you are experiencing pain, tenderness or swelling around your shoulder, hip, knee or elbow, it may be the result of bursitis. At the Diagnostic Pain Center, we frequently see Austin patients who have overused a joint through activities like tennis or pitching too many innings of baseball. Other patients develop the condition as a result of work, for instance, people who lay carpet all day or kneel for very long periods, such as when gardening.
Dr. Robert S. Marks and Dr. Sauman A. Rafii will work with you to identify the cause and source of your pain and develop a treatment plan that controls bursitis pain while allowing you to continue doing the activities you love. Give us a call today at (512) 981-7246 to schedule an office visit.