Symptoms of bursitis
Symptoms of bursitis may mimic those of tendinitis, because both conditions occur in and around the joints. Generally, the symptoms of bursitis range from localized joint pain and stiffness, to a burning pain around the affected joint. The pain usually intensifies during and after activity, and may be followed by joint stiffness the morning after the exertion.
Noticeable swelling or skin redness may not be present and vary by location of the bursa. For example, a case of hip bursitis pain may not be evident and can manifest over a section of the thighbone just below where the bone joins the hip. Gentle movement of the affected joint can reduce the stiffness, whereas excessive movement may exacerbate existing symptoms or bring back the pain and stiffness. Specific symptoms of bursitis include:
Characteristic bursitis pain is often described as:
If the affected bursa is not allowed to rest and heal, bursitis typically gets worse, and chronic bursitis or infection may occur.
When to seek help
During cases of bursitis, the bursa are inflamed but not infected. If swelling spreads despite treatment or if you develop fever, chills, or increased warmth, you should see a doctor right away. These are signs of possible infection. You may also want to notify your doctor if you are at a greater risk for infection due to other health conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or HIV/AIDS, or if you take medications such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants. In general, consult your doctor if you notice or experience:
Typically bursitis worsens if the affected bursa is not allowed to rest and heal. The symptoms of bursitis may be similar to those of tendon injuries, so you should consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. To learn more about how doctors diagnose bursitis, and which tests you can expect during an office visit, continue reading. The next section covers Diagnosing Shoulder, Hip and Knee Bursitis here.
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