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Dealing With Bursitis: What Is Bursitis And How Can It Be Treated?

Bursitis is a common condition that affects active patients. Simply, “bursitis” results from pain and irritation in a structure called the “bursa.” Bursae are normal structures that are found in many areas throughout the body, particularly around moving parts of the body, such as joints, ligaments, and tendons. Bursae typically provide an essential lubricating function, helping tissue slide smoothly around the body’s many moving parts. Often due to injury or overuse, these bursae can become inflamed and swollen resulting in painful and restricted motion in the involved body part. Areas that are commonly afflicted by burisitis include the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. Most cases of bursitis are treated very effectively through non-surgical methods. Consider these tips if you feel you may be afflicted with a case of bursitis. If pain persists, consult your doctor for further evaluation.

Swimming can have benefits for your shoulder joint pain and inflammation.

  • Rest– Most cases of bursitis that come from overuse are successfully resolved with simple rest or avoidance of the aggravating activity.  If certain body motions or activities cause pain, make a conscious effort to avoid them, such as avoiding excessive overhead motion with an afflicted shoulder or avoiding excessive gripping and lifting with a sore and painful wrist.  Use of a sling or splint may be helpful for a few days to rest to involved area.

  • Ice– Applying a cold pad or ice pack to the painful area for 15-20 minutes 3-4 times per day can help directly relieve pain from inflammation.  Avoid using heat in these instances.

  • Anti-inflamatories– Common over-the-counter medicine, such as Alleve or Advil, used regularly for 5-7 days can be effective in relieving pain and swelling from bursitis.  Use the medicine as instructed on the bottle, and be sure to use it regularly for several days.

  • Physical Therapy– Most cases of bursitis result from overuse of the involved body part.  Therapy exercises can be helpful in restoring normal muscle function in the area, or in alleviating tightness in involved ligaments or tendons.

  • Cortisone injections– Cortisone is a steroid anti-inflammatory medicine that can be injected into the involved area with minimal risk of side effects if used properly.  Cortisone injections can lead to immediate relief of pain and swelling in the bursa.  Oftentimes, cortisone can help relieve pain to a point that a patient can then start therapy exercises that will relieve the problem long-term.

Call Dr. Matthew T. Boes orthopaedic surgeon today!

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