Skip to content

Bursitis

The bursitis is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the bursa . The bursa is a small bag of fluid whose main function is to protect and cushion the bones, muscles and tendons. The causes of this condition are very broad and varied, such as repetitive movements or an injury. It usually occurs on the knees and shoulders, although it can affect many other areas of the body.

What is it?

Bursitis is a disease that, although in the vast majority of cases is not serious, it is very painful . It occurs when small fluid-filled sacs, known as synovial sacs, become inflamed; the role of these bags is to provide cushioning to the bones, tendons, and muscles around the joints.

The areas of the body in which bursitis occurs most frequently are the man, the elbow and the hip. Treatment is generally very simple; All you have to do is rest the affected joint and take certain medications provided by your doctor.

Types

There are two types of bursitis.

  • Acute: it is known as such a condition whose symptoms occur in a short period of time and, in addition, these are mild in nature; redness and warmth in the area. The cause is usually direct trauma or repeated movements that have rubbed the bursa.
  • Chronic: it is the most serious type of bursitis. It arises as a result of having suffered several acute bursitis in the same joint; It can also occur when the healing process does not take place properly. In this case, the symptoms last for several weeks.

Joints affected by bursitis

Bursa inflammation tends to occur most often in the following joints in the body.

  • Anterior Achilles tendon: It is also known as Albert’s disease. The inflammation is located in the bursa that is located at the back of the ankle. In some cases it can make the task of walking noticeably difficult.
  • Posterior Achilles tendon: the inflammation occurs in the bursa that is located at the back of the Achilles tendon. It occurs mainly in young women due to the pressure of the soft tissue of the heel against the back of the shoe.
  • Knee: The knee is one of the joints most affected by bursitis. In this case, the inflammation occurs in the bursa that is located between the shin and the three tendons of the muscles located in the inner area of ​​the knee. As for the causes, the most frequent are: overweight and arthritis .
  • Hip: more common in older people, the cause is usually an injury to the area, or a disease that affects it, such as arthritis.
  • Elbow: this type of bursitis is located in the bursa that is located between the skin and the bones of the elbow. In a large number of cases it is due to direct trauma or a series of repetitive movements, as is the case with tennis players or golfers.

Causes of bursitis

The swelling and inflammation of the small pockets of fluid in the joints can be due to a wide variety of causes. Below we indicate which are the most common.

Activity

A high percentage of patients with bursitis, the cause is found in activities that require repetitive movements that end up overloading a certain joint . A good example is knee bursitis caused by spending a lot of time on your knees to do household chores like scrubbing the floor. In the same way, it is a relatively frequent condition in baseball players; the bag of fluid can become inflamed in the shoulder when repeatedly throwing the ball.

Injury or trauma

Another probable cause of bursitis is having suffered a certain injury or trauma to the affected area . In this case, the inflammation of the synovial bag usually occurs in the hip or shoulder.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes severe pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joints. Although it can occur in any area of ​​the body, it is more common on the wrists and fingers . It is an autoimmune disease, so it is the immune system itself that attacks its own tissues.

Although there have been numerous studies in this area, the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are not known for sure. Certain factors such as hormones, age, and genes can pose a risk.

Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes great pain to those who suffer from it. Its most common symptoms are swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness in the joints . The cause of this condition is the accumulation of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid usually dissolves in the blood and is expelled through the urine; however, it occasionally accumulates in needle-shaped crystals. Thus, when it forms in the joints, it is very painful .

In the vast majority of cases, it affects the big toe first. Then it can occur in other areas of the body such as the ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists.

Symptoms of bursitis

Bursitis is a disease that gives rise to a series of very characteristic symptoms and signs, making it relatively easy to diagnose. It is important that at the slightest suspicion of bursitis in a certain area of ​​the body, a doctor is consulted since the treatment is easier and has a better prognosis if it is established in the initial phases of the condition.

Symptoms that occur in the vast majority of patients with bursitis are the following: pain that increases in intensity when the affected joint is moved or pressed, swelling and redness in the area, and stiffness.

If proper treatment is not established, as the disease progresses, other more serious symptoms may occur, requiring urgent medical assistance: severe pain in the joint that feels like a sting, inability to move the affected area, excessive swelling , skin rash and fever .

As we have pointed out, bursitis mainly affects four joints in the human body: shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. Thus, depending on the area in which the bursa is inflamed, as well as the age of the patient and his state of health, the symptoms may be more or less intense.

Diagnosis

As we have indicated, before the slightest suspicion of bursitis, it is important to go to the doctor to make a diagnosis and, depending on it, the most appropriate treatment.

In the first place, the doctor takes a clinical history of the patient , depending on the symptoms that he presents, as well as his state of health; Certain diseases such as diabetes significantly increase the risk of this condition.

Then, if necessary, you can request imaging tests. One of the recurring tests is the X-ray image; It cannot safely establish the diagnosis of bursitis, but it is helpful in ruling out other conditions. You can also request an ultrasound , which does allow to detect this pathology.

Sometimes the doctor will order a blood test or analysis of the fluid from the inflamed synovial bag to determine what is the direct cause of the inflammation.

Treatment of bursitis

In a high percentage of cases, burstitis gets better on its own . Simply following a series of basic precautions such as resting, applying ice to the area to help reduce inflammation, or taking pain relievers can greatly relieve symptoms and pain.

If the inflammation of the synovial bag is caused by an infection, the doctor prescribes an antibiotic to the patient to treat it. In the most severe cases, where the pain is very sharp and intense, a corticosteroid injection can be of great help. It is a treatment that acts very quickly.

Although it is not the most common, some patients require the removal of the affected bursa by surgery.

Risk factor’s

In general, anyone can get bursitis. However, there are a number of factors that significantly increase the risk of suffering from this disease.

  • Age: bursitis occurs especially in people over 50 years of age, so age is a risk factor.
  • Professions: as we have pointed out, one of the main causes of bursitis is the performance of repetitive movements, which is typical of certain professions; profiles such as musicians, gardeners, painters, carpet installers …
  • Conditions: suffering from certain diseases is also a risk factor for bursitis, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism .

How to prevent bursitis?

The truth is that there is no 100% foolproof method to prevent this disease. However, there are a series of basic precautions that reduce the risk of suffering from it, as well as minimize the severity of the symptoms.

  • Knee pads: knee pads are of great help to reduce pressure on the knees if for professional reasons you have to be in this position for a long period of time.
  • Posture: body posture is essential to avoid bursitis as much as possible, especially when lifting weights. Thus, when lifting any type of load, the correct thing to do is bend the knees.
  • Breaks: when carrying out any type of task that requires repetitive movements, it is advisable to take periodic breaks.
  • Weight: of course, it is essential to maintain a healthy weight since being overweight is precisely one of the causes of overexertion in certain joints such as the knees.
  • Exercise: and, finally, physical exercise is key to being in good health. Playing sports frequently helps to strengthen muscles and thus protect affected joints.

Conclution

Bursitis is a condition that in the vast majority of cases is not serious and with proper treatment heals quickly, and without leaving any type of sequelae. However, given the symptoms that we have indicated in previous sections, it is important to see a doctor to prevent the inflammation of the synovial bag from increasing ; otherwise, it can affect the surrounding bones, muscles, and joints.

In a case of bursitis, there are a series of home remedies that are very effective to greatly calm the pain: rest, ice the area, take hot baths, and place a small pillow between the legs to protect the knees. at bedtime.

Website | + posts

Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.