Bursitis. What is it? How can it be treated?

Bursitis is extremely common affecting approximately 3 million Americans per year (reported cases). Bursitis is commonly described as inflammation of the fluid-filled pads (bursae) that cushion our joints. There are 360 joints in the human body supporting the larger of these joints are about 160 bursae. These fluid filled sacs cushion and lubricate the between the bones, tendons, and muscles near these joints.

Any bursa can become inflamed due to overuse, an injury, or an infection brought on by conditions like gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Commonly affected areas include:bursitis of elbow, inflamed bursa

  • Elbows
  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • and Ankles

How do I know if I have bursitis?

When someone has bursitis regular movement becomes difficult, they will also find the area around the inflamed bursa painful to the touch. Here are some of the common signs:bursitis of the knee

  • Pain that intensifies when you move or apply pressure
  • Visible swelling in the affected area, sometimes accompanied by redness and heat
  • Loss of movement
  • A feeling of tenderness of the affected area even without moving

In cases where bursitis is caused by an infection this is called Septic bursitis which is signaled by visible redness and heat at the infected area in some cases the person may also have a fever.

How can bursitis be treated?

  • Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory (NSAID) medication
  • Steroid or Cortisone Injections (for the shoulder and knee )
  • Genicular Nerve block (for the knee)
  • Greater Trochanteric Steroid /Cortisone Injections (for the hip)
  • Physical Therapy
  • A combination of rest, ice, compression and elevation

At Newbridge Spine & Pain we commonly treat bursitis of the hip, knee and shoulder all individual cases are unique as such treatment plans can vary from person to person.