Bursitis – Inflammation and Swelling of Bursa - Dream Health

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Saturday 2 August 2014

Bursitis – Inflammation and Swelling of Bursa

Bursitis is the inflammation and swelling of a bursa which is fluid filled sac formed under the skin especially over the joints and acts as a cushion between the bones, muscle, skin and the tendons which decreases friction, rubbing and irritation.

It could also be an inflammation of one or more bursae of synovial fluid in the body which tend to get lined with synovial membrane that secretes a lubricating fluid. There are over one hundred and fifty bursae in the body which rest at the points like muscles and tendons that move across bone and a healthy bursa functions smoothly without causing friction, with normal movement that is painless. In the case of bursitis, movement tends to get difficult with the inflamed bursa being painful.

Besides this, the movement of tendons and muscle over the inflamed bursa aggravates the inflammation resulting in stiffness of muscles. The symptoms of this ailment are pain combined with swelling and tenderness in the affected area of the body which usually occurs in the shoulder, elbow, knee and hip areas. Other areas like the ankle, foot and Achilles tendon which is the large tendon attaching the heal bone and the calf muscle, may also get affected.

Incorrect Posture/Improper Stretching 

It is often caused due to repetitive minor impact on the area or due to sudden or more serious injury though age could also make its contribution to the cause of bursitis since as the tendons tend to age they are unable to tolerate the stress; their elasticity is low and prone to tear easily.

Moreover, injury or overuse of the joint at the time of functioning could also increase the risk of getting affected with this ailment such as activities like throwing and pitching, tennis, golf, shovelling, carpentry, raking, gardening etc.

 Incorrect posture at work or home or improper stretching or condition before exercise, could also lead to bursitis. In less common cases, bursitis may also develop due to stress or inflammation from other ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, thyroid disorders, psoriatic arthritis or unusual medication reaction which may increase the risk and an infection at times may lead to inflammation of a bursa,

More Common in Adults after Forty

Bursitis is more common in adults who have crossed the age of forty and it can be treated in various ways like resting the injured area, avoiding activities which would aggravate the affected area, placing ice pack over the area when injured or taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medication.

 If the person suffering from bursitis does not seem to get relief after following the above treatment, the need to visit the physician would be essential for further treatment and relief from this ailment.

Steroid is often used to decrease the inflammation and pain which is injected directly on the affected area, though injection are often but not always effective and may be repeated.

Multiple injections in several months are avoided due to the possibility of side effect from injection.Physical therapy could also be tried which includes range of exercises.

Surgery could be the last resort when bursitis does not respond to any of the treatment options.

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