The bursa is a small sac filled with fluid that serves as a protective layer between bones, muscles, and tendons. When these sacs become inflamed due to overuse, infection or injury, they start to lose their ability to reduce friction; this can cause immense pain and discomfort in the affected area and often results in a condition called bursitis. There are ways to prevent bursitis, but if you have already show symptoms or have been diagnosed with the condition, you will need to be under the care of an orthopedist for treatment. Before bursitis sidelines you, here are some preventive tips, as well as possible treatment options.
Bursitis can recur, especially if you have an active lifestyle or you engage in strenuous exercise or activities. However, there are some simple ways to reduce your risk and even prevent yourself from developing bursitis. They include –
- Modifying activities and behaviors. Since overuse is one of the most common causes of bursitis, start by taking the initiative to avoid or modify activities that cause you discomfort. Consider substitutes for common activities, such as taking the elevator instead of the stairs, or swimming instead of running.
- Seek consultation. You may consider visiting with an occupational therapist to ensure you are performing strenuous tasks properly; you may also want to consult with a technique coach to ensure your form is correct to prevent damage or strain.
- Proper stretching and warming up before strenuous exercise is a very practical way to prevent bursitis as well as other strains to the bones and muscles.
- Build strength. Work to build up core and large muscle group strength to provide added support to vulnerable joints.
- Employ the RICE method. After strenuous activities, the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method can alleviate inflammation and strain.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on your joints.
- Pursue a “bursa friendly” diet. Opt for foods that are rich in vitamin B such as broccoli, spinach and bananas. Foods high in vitamin C are known to strengthen the bursa sac as can foods rich in Omega 3s.
- Get a medical diagnosis. Finally, if you start to notice signs of bursa pain or inflammation, plan to visit your orthopedist as soon as possible to confirm diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
In most cases, mild bursitis disappears after a few weeks and does not require advanced medical care. However, if the pain persists or your orthopedist has diagnosed you has having bursitis, you may be prescribed one of more of the following treatment options.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Naproxen or Ibuprofen, which can alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Pain management injections. Your orthopedist may recommend corticosteroid injections in the affected area to help reduce inflammation.
- Continue with RICE, especially after a long day or strenuous workout.
- Physical therapy exercises that include stretching and strengthening the muscles in the affected area may also help relieve symptoms. Your physical therapist may also use ultrasound and apply heat to relax joints and speed up healing.
- Regenerative medicine, particularly platelet rich plasma and stem cell therapies, use your body’s own healing factors to regrow or improve the health of the bursa and alleviate joint pain
- Drainage and surgical options. In cases of severe bursitis, your orthopedist may use a needle to drain the bursa. In severe cases, some patients may require surgery to treat the affected bursa.
Bursitis Treatment in Boynton Beach
With the proper measures, bursitis can be prevented. However, if you have bursitis or any other joint pain, it may be time to seek an orthopedist’s care. In Boynton Beach, Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches treats all sorts of orthopedic conditions. Our experienced team of board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists are ready to help. To get in touch with us, call (561) 733-5888 or you request an appointment online.