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Bursitis Treatment

Bursitis Treatment
Causes and Risk Factors

Bursitis treatment
Treatments for bursitis depend on whether or not infection is present. In most cases, with treatment, the pain and swelling of bursitis clears up within 1 or 2 weeks. However, in general the goals of bursitis treatment are to:

  1. Prevent future cases of bursitis
  2. Reduce inflammation in the joint
  3. Relieve pain
  4. Restore proper movement

Usually bursitis responds well to home treatment. Other treatments your doctor may recommend include ultrasound, physical therapy, steroid injections and, rarely, surgery. If standard treatment is not sufficiently effective, the case may be referred to a specialist. Or, if symptoms of bursitis are severe or do not improve with treatment, additional tests may be helpful.

  1. Infective (septic) bursitis treatments

  • antibiotic medications
  • multiple aspirations of the inflamed fluid
  • surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac (bursectomy)
  1. Non-infective (aseptic) bursitis treatments

  • R.I.C.E. - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
  • anti-inflammatory and pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • short-term injection of cortisone into the affected area

Home treatment
Usually bursitis can be treated at home as bursitis usually responds well to rest, cold compresses (ice), and over the counter pain or anti-inflammatory medicines (people with ulcers should avoid anti-inflammatory medicines). The critical factor is rest; bursitis is likely to improve in a few days or weeks if you rest the affected area right away, and make use of some simple suggestions. Furthermore, a few simple precautions to protect the bursae at home or at work can prevent bursitis from developing or minimize recurrences. The following suggestions can help you treat bursitis from home:

Avoid tobacco smoke - First or second hand tobacco smoke impairs the production of collagen, which is a involved in wound and tissue healing.

Apply ice – Ice or cold packs can be applied for 10 to 15 minutes per session, as often as twice an hour, for up to 3 days. Continue applying ice (15 to 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day) as long as it relieves pain. Although heating pads may feel good, ice will be more effective because the cold reduces inflammation, which in turn will relieve pain.

Cushioning - Use cushioned chairs, foam for kneeling or elbow pads. Avoid resting your elbows on hard surfaces. Avoid shoes that don't fit properly or that have worn-down heels.

Gentle exercise - Do range-of-motion exercises each day by gently moving the affected joint through its full range of motion, even during the time that you are resting the joint area. This will prevent stiffness in your joint. Over time, as the bursitis improves and pain is reduced, continue range-of-motion exercises and add exercises that will make muscles in the affected area stronger.

Gradually resume activities – Be sure that your participation in activities takes less time than before the discomfort began. Increase the activity slowly, stopping if it hurts. Pre-activity warm up, and gentle stretching afterwards can help, as well as the application of ice after the activity to reduce the chance of pain and swelling. To avoid a recurrence, you might try to change your movements to avoid the specific actions that led to discomfort or pain.

Rest - Go easy on the affected area, avoiding direct pressure or movements that cause pain, and also be sure you are getting enough sleep.

Bursitis caused by infection is treated with antibiotics. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help ease the pain caused by bursitis. Doctors might also prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs depending upon the cause of bursitis. If the inflammation does not respond to the initial treatment, it may be necessary to draw out fluid from the bursa and inject corticosteroids. If steroid injections are recommended, be aware that too many over a short period of time can cause injury to the surrounding tendons. Do not rely on medication to relieve pain so that you can continue to overuse a joint.

  • antibiotics
  • anti-inflammatories
  • pain relievers
  • steroid injections

Physical therapy
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to treat bursitis. The idea is that bursitis may return if you do not keep your joints limber with frequent gentle movement and strengthen the muscles around the affected joint. Changing the way you do some activities can help prevent recurrence of bursitis. For example, stretching before exercise and building muscle strength with exercise are most frequently recommended during physical therapy. Some principles of physical therapy include:

Frequent gentle movement - Sitting still for long periods can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Get up and move about frequently.

Good posture - Avoid leaning on your elbows, for example.

Muscle stretching - It is critical to warm up your muscles before activity and to do gentle cool-down stretching after any physical exertion.

Muscle strengthening - Building stronger muscles with the correct exercises can help support and protect your joints. Wait until the pain and inflammation of bursitis has ended before exercising to strengthen muscles near a joint that has bursitis.

Vary movements - When performing repetitive tasks., take frequent breaks to rest, and alternate the repetitive task with some other type of movement.

Surgery is rarely required. However, severe bursitis can require surgery. The surgical procedure is called a subacromial decompression. This can be done using a small incision with a special, minimally invasive probe called an arthroscope (arthroscopic subacrominal decompression). During the surgery, the inflamed bursa, some of the bone and any spurs are removed to create a larger space for the rotator cuff tendons.

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Tags: surgical procedure, anti-inflammatory, arthroscopic, arthroscope, application, medications, ultrasound, injections, medication, treatments, antibiotic, injection, ibuprofen, treatment, alternate, procedure, infection, infected, Exercise, symptoms
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