Diseases of the musculoskeletal system are among the most dangerous human health conditions, because they limit your motion functions. Most often these diseases affect joints. One of such joint diseases is bursitis. It is an inflammatory disease of bursa, during which synovial fluid is excessively produced and accumulated in a joint cavity. The causes of this disease can be minor injuries or wounds and secondary infection of the bursa by pyogenic microbes.
Most often bursitis affects shoulder, elbow or knee in men younger than 35 years old, especially athletes. Hip, wrist or ankle can also become affected. Usually it is an occupational disease, but sometimes it occurs to people who are overweight or those who wear wrong shoes.
Swelling caused by excessive amount of synovial fluid can be about 10 cm in diameter. It occurs because the volume of your articular bag abnormally increases. Exceeding of the normal size of bursa also happens because of blood accumulation in it. As a result of a strong impact on your joint you can experience rupture of blood vessels and bleeding. Gradually, blood components decompose and turn into a yellowish liquid. Visually it looks like a big bump on your skin in the affected area.
Swelling may develop in bursa located so deep that there is no visible change. This concerns, for example, infrapatellar or subacromial bursitis. In such cases doctors use X-ray scanning to find out the reasons of pain.
Causes of Bursitis
The cause of bursitis is usually a trauma alongside with infection. Bursitis is common among people involved in traumatic sports: cyclists, footballers or jumpers. Infection gets into joint cavity through abrasions or severe injuries. Chronic manifestation of this disease appear due to the constant irritation of the inflammatory focus.
There are other reasons for bursitis:
- mechanical overexertion of your joint and its damage;
- lifting weights or wearing too narrow shoes and high heels when you are overweight;
- various diseases associated with inflammation, such as arthritis, osteomyelitis, flu, sore throat, brucellosis, bronchitis, sinusitis, otitis, etc;
- metabolic disorders;
- calcification of tendons and surrounding areas;
- bursa or adjoining tendon injury;
- damage or pathological changes of your skin above your joint, leading to penetration of infection into the bursa;
- allergy and poisoning;
- autoimmune diseases.
Symptoms of Bursitis
The main symptom of bursitis is the appearance of swelling in the injured area of the body. This swelling can be about eight or ten centimeters in diameter. There are some more symptoms of bursitis, such as:
- accumulation of excess fluid in a bursa;
- pain that amplifies at night;
- joint contracture. Restriction of movement arises due to pain, swelling and deposits of calcareous salts in the join cavity;
- swelling and redness of skin;
- local or general increase of body temperature;
- malaise and weakness;
- surrounding lymph nodes become bigger.
Chronic bursitis can transform into hygroma because of the excessive fluid in the cavity.
Types of Bursitis
Specialists use several grounds for classification of this disease. By the nature of the disease they distinguish acute and chronic bursitis. According to the causes bursitis can be infectious or septic and aseptic, including traumatic form. By the nature of the pathogen doctors distinguish nonspecific and specific bursitis.
Types of bursitis, depending on the site of the lesion include:
- shoulder bursitis;
- hip bursitis including greater trochanteric bursitis;
- infrapatellar and prepatellar bursitis;
- foot and metatarsal bursitis;
- heel or retrocalcaneal bursitis;
- ischial, etc.
Type and recurrence of bursitis depends on the patient’s profession and his or her working conditions.
Treatment for Bursitis
How to treat bursitis? Conservative bursitis treatment of acute bursitis involves rest and stillness. If possible, you should immobilize the affected joint with the help of a plaster splint. In any case, visit a doctor. In clinic you will undergo some diagnostics procedures and your doctor will prescribe the best treatment for bursitis in your case.
Modern methods of treating this joint disease allow patients to undergo outpatient therapeutic course, in other words to treat bursitis at home. Rest, absence of physical exercises and a special diet are mandatory. Specific measures depend on the causes of the disease. They typically include the suppression of inflammation with antibiotics, painkillers and immunomodulatory drugs.
In addition to the medical cure your doctor can prescribe natural treatment:
- massage and physical therapy;
- ultraviolet irradiation;
- shock wave therapy;
- short wave therapy;
- paraffin or ozocerite baths;
- electrophoresis with various medications.
Physiotherapy must activate metabolism and prevent stagnation. It helps to relieve swelling and naturally reduce muscle tension in the affected area.
The movement of the patient limb is limited with an elastic bandage and a special holder. One of the home remedies for bursitis is to massage an affected joint with an ice pack through your clothing. These measures help to reduce pain. Lift your joint to prevent the development of edema.
After removing the inflammation you should gradually increase physical activity. Your doctor will select a complex physical therapy individually. With a favorable course of the disease it can be treated in a week, otherwise it can take up to 3 months. After successful treatment it is important not to forget about preventive measures.
Surgical Treatment of Chronic Post-Traumatic Bursitis
Chronic bursitis can require operative intervention. In this case calcium deposits are removed with a needle or during an operation. Sometimes if your joint is completely immobile, doctors can develop it under anesthesia. Modern methods allow minimizing the recovery period. The most extreme measure is bursectomy, which is a complete removal of affected bursa.
In the media you can find recommendations for the aspiration of fluid at home. Never do this!! This procedure must be carried out by a specialist, in a sterile environment. Keep in mind that sepsis causes death within a few days.