Caring for Bursitis
Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that lubricate and cushion pressure points between the bones, tendons and muscles near the joints. If you have pain when you move or put pressure on a joint, you may have bursitis, an inflammation of a bursa.
Bursitis often affects the shoulders, knees, elbows or hips. The pain usually goes away within a week or two with proper self-care, but flare-ups can occur if you don’t stop the activity that caused the condition.
Bursitis can have several causes:
Injury from sports activities, such as baseball, tennis, racquetball and running
Overuse of joints doing household chores, such as yard work, shoveling snow or house painting
Prepatellar bursitis resulting from kneeling on a hard surface for long periods
Olecranon bursitis resulting from repeated pressure on the point of the elbow; it often occurs when someone leans on a desk for a long time
Symptoms and self-care
Symptoms of this condition include swelling, redness and pain in the affected area, which is normally near a joint.
Here's what to do to relieve the pain:
Rest the affected area.
Put an ice pack on the area for 20 to 30 minutes three or four times a day.
Take ibuprofen, such as Advil, to relieve pain and inflammation.
Don’t put any pressure on the area until the swelling subsides.
Maintain your range of motion by moving the joint to keep it from getting stiff.
Gradually build strength in the area with gentle exercise.
Wait three to six weeks before returning to the sport or task that caused your condition.
If symptoms persist, your doctor may remove excess fluid from the swollen area with a needle and syringe or inject the area with a steroid drug.
Avoiding overuse or repetitive stress on a joint can help prevent bursitis.
March 21, 2017
Vitality magazine/October 2006
Godsey, Cynthia M.S., M.S.N., APRN,Lambert, J.G. M.D.,Sara FosterSara Foster RN MPH