Did you know that you have over 150 bursae in your body? Bursae, which are small, fluid-filled sacs, cushion your joints. Bursae are located in your hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow, and any of these bursae can become inflamed, leading to bursitis.
Because your joints may be afflicted by a variety of conditions, Jeffrey Miller, MD at Osteoporosis & Rheumatology Center of Tampa Bay, LLC, encourages you to come visit our office to confirm that your pain is caused by bursitis.
In the meantime, here are some helpful tips for managing bursitis at home.
Do you have bursitis?
Bursae act as cushions between the moving parts of your point — the bones, tendons, muscles, etc. However, repetitive motions can irritate the bursae. Inflamed bursae may cause the affected joint to:
- Appear swollen or red
- Feel stiff
- Hurt when you move the joint (bend the knee, rotate your shoulder, etc.)
- Hurt when you press on the joint
Bursitis can cause pain, even if you’re at rest.
Managing bursitis at home
No matter which joint hurts, you can do a lot to promote healthy joints at home. Keep these tips in mind:
- Rest your joint: Using it too soon can exacerbate your symptoms.
- Ice your joint: Cold compresses and ice packs can help reduce swelling.
- Elevate your joint: This trick also helps to combat swelling.
- Consider using an assistive walking device (such as a cane): This helps to relieve pressure on your hip or knee joints while your joint heals.
A few simple adjustments — such as not leaning on your elbows — can go a long way in keeping your joints healthy. Infections, diabetes, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis are also associated with bursitis, according to John Hopkins. You may need to manage these conditions to prevent future issues with bursitis.
When to seek medical interventions for bursitis
Sometimes bursitis can be managed with rest and ice, but that isn’t always the case. If you’re dealing with bursitis pain and need help managing the condition, contact Dr. Miller. Additional treatments for bursitis include:
- Medication, including anti-inflammatory medications as well as antibiotics
- Steroid injections, which relieve both pain and inflammation
- Surgery to drain the inflamed bursa
In addition to treating bursitis, Dr. Miller can also help you manage other conditions like gout that are linked to bursitis.
Preventing future instances of bursitis
Even after your bursitis is treated, you can continue to take steps to reduce your risk of developing inflamed bursae in the future.
Protect your joints
Use knee pads for extending kneeling, such as when you’re gardening. Practice safe lifting habits to avoid unnecessary strain on your hips. Protecting your joints from damage doesn’t just reduce your risk of bursitis; it can reduce your risk of other joint injuries, too.
Overuse and repetitive motions are a big risk factor for bursitis. Alternate your tasks to avoid overusing one particular joint. Cross-training can be particularly effective here.
Maintain a healthy weight
Carrying excess body weight can strain your joints, especially your hips and knees. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help you manage arthritis in these joints.
Exercise and regular stretching can also help you manage bursitis and reduce your risk of joint injury.
Do your joints hurt? We’re just a call away. To schedule your initial appointment, call our Tampa, Florida office at 813-336-3793.