Bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursae, or small sacs of fluid that cushion your joints. This condition can often occur with other inflammatory conditions including gout and rheumatoid arthritis. While the inflammation itself can be quite uncomfortable, this condition is not considered to be dangerous unless you tear the bursae sac. Should you be struggling with joint pain and develop a fever, suffer a locked joint or experience shooting pain, you should see your physician immediately.
Getting on top of bursitis often starts with resting the inflamed joint, because bursitis commonly occurs among those who have hobbies or professions that put constant pressure on a joint from one direction. For example, those who spend a lot of time working on their knees are at higher risk of bursitis in that joint.
Causes of Bursitis
There are several indicators for bursitis. Repetitive use is a strong indicator that the bursae sac will become inflamed and need time to calm down. Carrying too much weight can increase the risk of developing bursitis in the hips and knees. Those who suffer from diabetes are at higher risk of bursitis, as are those who currently suffer from gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
Those with thyroid conditions are at greater risk of bursitis, as are those who have had a bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria that contributes to the development of bursitis. Additionally, if you have recently had an injury, it may have caused general swelling inside the joint, which can put pressure on the bursa tissue.
Signs and Symptoms of Bursitis
Joint pain, swelling and redness are a common indicator of bursitis. It should be noted that the pain of bursitis can be quite severe, particularly if you have calcium deposits in your joints or have other risk factors for inflammation in any joint.
An inflamed bursae is a contained inflammation. If you develop a fever, or find that the joint and the area around it are hot, red or swollen, contact your doctor. Should the joint feel frozen or if you develop a general malaise, there may be a breach of the bursae. Any breach of this fluid sac will put you at greater risk of infection.
When bursitis inflammation gets bad, the first step is to rest. When the inflammation starts, do your best to ice the sore joint for 15 minutes every couple of hours. Make sure you wrap your ice pack in fabric and use a timer so you do not fall asleep with ice on bare skin. Frostbite is always a risk when icing a sore joint.
After 48 hours, a heating pad or a warm path may soothe your sore joint. As the inflammation comes down and the joint moves more easily, do some gentle stretching but avoid putting any repetitive pressure on the joint. Depending on where the bursitis pain is occurring, you may need to change up your sleeping position. As things loosen up, do your best to gently move your body into a new position at least once an hour through your day.