Don’t Be Held Back by Joint Pain

by | Mar 26, 2013 | Health

Bursitis is a painful joint injury, and while the risk increases in individuals over 40, it affects millions of people of all ages and activity levels. It can be caused by overuse, age, injury, or infection. Bursas are small, lubricant-filled sacs that decrease wear between muscles, tendon, and bone. Bursitis develops when the bursa are inflamed, leading to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Normally bursas are very small and filled with a minute amount of fluid. When a bursa is overused, however, it compensates by increasing in size and in the volume of fluid. The most common joints affected by bursitis are the knee, shoulder, elbow, and hip.

If you think you may be suffering from bursitis, it is important to see a Westlake Orthopedics specialist. If you have bursitis caused by an infection, you will need antibiotic treatment. For bursitis caused by strain or injury, doctors offer several treatment options. You may be able to treat the problem from home by avoiding activities that strain the joint and by icing the injured area and taking over-the-counter pain medicine.

Usually these methods are enough to treat the condition. However, if the symptoms last more than a week, a Westlake Orthopedics doctor may recommend steroid injections or physical therapy. You can receive several steroid injections directly into the affected area, but you will probably not receive more than one a month due to side effects and the potential that it can hide other conditions that need to be treated. Physical therapy methods employed in the treatment of bursitis are varied. You may receive ultrasound or electric treatments on the joint, which stimulate blood flow. Massages also stimulate blood flow and encourage tissue regrowth.

In some cases, especially those caused by injury, these methods are not enough to treat the joint, and a Westlake Orthopedics specialist may draw the fluid out of the inflamed bursa with a long needle. On very rare occasions, usually when bursitis is caused by infection or chronic pain that does not respond to other methods of treatment, surgery is required. Bursitis surgery is relatively non-invasive. In cases of an infected bursa, it may be lacerated and drained by hand to prevent the bacteria inside from entering the blood stream. Sometimes, if the joint can function without it, the bursa is removed entirely. These cases are rare, and the condition can usually be treated with rest, medicine, and proper exercise. Talk to a Westlake Orthopedics specialist to rid yourself of chronic joint pain and get back to the activities you love.

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