Bursitis Treatment in Tuscaloosa, AL
What Is Bursitis?
Strategically located around your joints are small sacs of lubricating fluid—called bursae—that provide cushioning for the tendons, bones and muscles in and around your joints. The bursae prevent the joint components from rubbing against each other, minimizing friction and irritation and allowing your joints more fluid mobility.
Over 150 individual bursae are located throughout your body, and bursitis can erupt when any one of them becomes inflamed. Bursa inflammation most often occurs when the bursa is located near a joint that performs repetitive motions. The bursae near your elbows, shoulders, knees and hips most commonly cause bursitis inflammation and pain, but bursitis is also often seen in the foot, especially in the heel or at the base of the big toe. Types of bursitis are identified according to the joint involved—for example, hip bursitis, knee bursitis, elbow bursitis, anterior or posterior Achilles tendon bursitis, etc.
Bursitis pain can occur suddenly, or it may build up gradually over time. With proper treatment, bursitis can be resolved within mere weeks, but it is not uncommon to experience recurring flare-ups.
If you think you may be suffering from bursitis, schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Tuscaloosa who specializes in bursitis treatment. Call (334) 781-7319 or contact Alabama Functional Medicine online.
What Causes Bursitis?
Bursitis usually develops over time through overuse or repetitive use of a specific joint. Sometimes, what causes bursitis is nothing more than a minor impact or mild pressure that is prolonged (e.g., kneeling for long periods, excessive sitting, etc.) which occurs from everyday work or routine activity. Acute, sudden injury to the joint can also lead to bursitis, but this is seen less often.
Other causes of bursitis may include:
- Incorrect posture injuries
- Abnormal positioning in the joint or bones (e.g., leg length differences, changes due to arthritis, etc.)
- Other diseases like gout, thyroid disease, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Infections, especially systemic infections like sepsis
- Abnormal drug reactions
The etiology of bursitis is not always obvious, and the cause of your bursitis may remain unknown. It is most often seen in adults over 40, as aging is one of the primary risk factors for the condition. Calcium deposits or calcification of the joint can occur over time in response to ongoing bursa inflammation. Understanding what causes bursa inflammation can help you avoid recurring flare-ups of the condition.
Bursitis Symptoms & Diagnosis
How do you know if you have bursitis? The tell-tale symptoms of bursitis are swollen, tender areas near joints. Additional bursitis symptoms include:
- Pain at rest and during movement
- Reduced mobility in the joint
- Tenderness to touch
- Fever or warmth in joint area
If your healthcare provider suspects bursitis may be responsible for your painful symptoms, a physical examination and review of your medical history—especially your history of infection, disease, trauma, or repetitive movement using a specific joint—is always the first step. Needle aspiration of fluid from your inflamed bursa may be used to identify possible infections or disease states underlying your condition.
How to Treat Bursitis
The initial treatment for bursitis is to rest the joint area that is experiencing bursitis symptoms. Immobilization of the joint and cold therapy may also be necessary for immediate bursitis pain relief. Treating bursitis effectively, however, will almost always involve isolating what is causing your condition. If it is caused by a disease or infection, your healthcare provider can treat that underlying condition (e.g., antibiotics for infections). If it is being caused by certain work or sports activities, you will need to avoid the activity to relieve the inflammation and injury. Other treatments for bursitis may include:
- Corticosteroid injections into the bursa to relieve inflammation and pain
- Medications, usually NSAIDs, for pain relief
- Physical therapy to strengthen the supportive musculature around the joint
- Supportive devices (e.g., walker, cane, sling, etc.) to relieve stress or pressure on the joint
- Surgical drainage of inflamed bursae
- Surgery to remove the affected bursa, if bursitis is chronic
Certain lifestyle and diet changes can promote healing and reduce inflammation, including:
- Avoiding alcohol
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining proper fluid levels
- Adopting a low-fat diet, low in salt, free from processed and refined foods, and eliminating sweeteners and foods high on the glycemic index since sugar depresses immune function and increases inflammation
How to Prevent Bursitis
There are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of developing bursitis, particularly due to an overuse injury.
- Warm up and stretch prior to strenuous activity
- Perform strength-training exercise to strengthen the supportive musculature surrounding your joints
- Maintain a healthy weight to further avoid stress on problematic joints
- Learn to lift weight properly and avoid lifting excessive weight
- Use knee or elbow pads to avoid pressure injuries
- Take frequent breaks from repetitive activity and excessive sitting or kneeling
Changes in your diet and lifestyle, together with rest, medication, physical therapy and avoiding or modifying certain activities can effectively slow damage to your bursae and manage the painful, disabling symptoms of bursitis. Request more information about bursitis and your treatment options today. Call (334) 781-7319 or contact Alabama Functional Medicine online.
Alabama Functional Medicine
Address7040 Sydney Curve
Montgomery, AL 36117
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