Bursitis is a disease when a bursa around the joints becomes inflamed. The bursa is located outside the joint where there is the highest friction of the bones. Typically, during normal operation of the joint the synovial fluid filles the bursa. Sometimes, due to a number of reasons the bursa inflammation or damage may occur.
Bursitis usually occurs in the shoulder, elbow or knee joints. In the majority of cases young men in their forties, and especially athletes, face this medical problem. Human’s hip, wrist, and ankle may get affected as well. Bursitis is usually an occupational health problem, but it may as well affect overweight men and women or those wearing the wrong shoes.
Reasons of Bursitis
So what causes bursitis? The disease is caused by various reasons. Among the causes of bursitis, the doctors name active overload of the joint and the same kind of work that a joint performs. Bursitis can also be caused by various injuries that can affect the joints, bones, or tendons. The disease may occur as the result of inflammatory arthritis. Such bursitis is accompanied by the mobility and performance decrement of the joint. The disease may be caused by infection too. Arthrempyesis and infectional arthritis often arise as a consequence of the organism affection by pyogenic viruses that move inside of the body in blood or lymph. In addition, bursitis is caused by autoimmune diseases and organism intoxication. Sometimes bursitis happens without any apparent reason.
Types, Symptoms, and Signs of Bursitis
There are two types of bursitis symptoms. Its acute form is characterized by pain that occurs suddenly and increases as the foot moves. Bursitis pain concentrates in the affected joint. For example, someone who suffers from shoulder bursitis will not be able to raise his hands and put them behind his head. The diameter of the tumor can be up to ten centimeters, and it may redden, swollen and cause pain even when you have a rest. Chronic bursitis lasts much longer, but the pain is much weaker. The limbs functions are not violated, the swelling does not change. Keep in mind that pain in multiple joints is often misinterpreted and may become an underground for an incorrect diagnosis. If you experience such pain you should immediately visit a qualified specialist.
Types of Bursitis
Bursitis most often affects the olecranon, shoulder and knee joints. Less common is the bursitis of the hip. Many have faced bursitis that affects the feet, for example, Achilles bursitis. Each of these types of bursitis has its own peculiarities.
This type of bursitis is characterized by pain in the shoulder girdle. It is difficult to bend and unbend the shoulder joint, to move the hands, especially when you need to raise your hands. As a rule, this type of bursitis is diagnosed by palpation, but sometimes centesis of the shoulder bursa is performed.
Elbow bursitis is commonly called olecranon bursitis. The common cause of elbow bursitis is an elbow injury. It may be as well caused by infection of the tissues. The elbow becomes larger in size and looks like a hemisphere. If the elbow bursitis is accompanied by the infection of the tissues, the affected areas cause fever in addition to the common symptoms like pain and bursa enlargement. This type of bursitis is diagnosed by the X-rays.
Knee Joint Bursitis
As long as the bursa of the knee joint is located close to the skin it gets affected most frequently. Swelling of the lymphatic glands, bursa enlargement, and change of the synovial liquid functions are the signs and symptoms of this type of the disease. This type of bursitis is accompanied by pain and slower movements.
Heel Bursitis or Achilles bursitis
Achilles bursitis, heel bursitis, or retrocalcaneobursitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. In this case, the synovitis is frequently damaged by wearing the wrong shoes. The heel bursa swells and bursitis looks like a large painful swelling in the heel area. Very often, this type of bursitis looks like an infectious inflammation of the heel called the calcar. Therefore, it is hard sometimes to make a diagnosis.
Quite a lot of people, especially women, suffer from the swelling on the great toe. Later this swelling turns into the type of bursitis known as a bunion. The usual cause of this type the disease is the wrong shoes.
One more type of the disease is connected with the hips. Mainly elderly overweight women suffer from this type of bursitis, especially the subtype called trochanteric bursitis. Hip bursitis causes and trochanteric bursitis causes are mainly the same. They may be caused by different illnesses and congenital defects like badger legs, spinal curvature, and arthroses. The excessive enthusiasm for sports and severe physical stress on the hip joint can lead to the disease. Inactive life or sports traumas, surgeries on the hip, advanced age, pancreatic diabetes, and infections of the bursa usually contribute to the development of the disease.
Treatment of Bursitis
There are three typical methods of bursitis treatment.
- First of all, you need to define whether the cause of the disease is the infection. Infectious bursitis is treated with the antibiotic by intravenous administration. Sometimes you may need a special removal of the bursa liquid called aspiration, which is carried out via a syringe.
- The removal of the bursa, which is damaged and inflamed, and causes unbearable pain.
- Often the calcars are to be removed in order to cure chronic bursitis.
- The applications of camphor or ice, physical therapy, and massage are the options in the treatment of bursitis.
Complications Caused by Bursitis
In some cases, bursitis can cause serious complications like cicatrical adhesion and calcification. Moreover, it may be the introduction of infection to other organs (tendon rupture, apostasis, osteomyelitis, arthrempyesis, coxarthritis, and septic fever.
Bursitis treatment is very efficient only if the doctors apply a team approach to diagnosis and the application of therapeutic agents. All the medicine must be prescribed by the doctor only.