Best Treatment for Bursitis: Everything You Must Know
What is bursitis?
Bursitis is an inflammation of one or more bursae, small sacs of fluid that reduce friction and act as cushions between bones and soft tissues, such as muscles and tendons. A bursa’s job is to transfer the load from a tendon or muscle to the bone, thus reducing wear and tear. When the bursa becomes inflamed, it is known as bursitis.
Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive movements or activities that stress a joint constantly. Examples of this include gardening, cleaning, or painting. Some occupations, such as carpentry, plumbing, or housekeeping, may carry an increased risk of bursitis. Additionally, some medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, are linked to bursitis.
Symptoms of bursitis include pain, tenderness, limited movement at the joint, and swelling or redness at the site of the bursa. Bursitis is a chronic condition, so long-term management is essential to reduce the chances of flare-ups. This involves avoiding activities likely to cause or worsen bursitis and using appropriate rest, ice, exercise, and support.
If bursitis is left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain, decreased movement in the joint and disability. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent bursitis from occurring and obtain prompt treatment when it does. If you have any concerns, speak to your pain doctor.
New York Knee Pain Doctor is a group of state-of-the-art medical centers led by interventional pain treatment specialists in New York. You can find our medical centers in Midtown Manhattan and the Financial District, a short walk from the Seaport. Our medical centers are led by board-certified pain doctors who diagnose and treat the root cause of bursitis to alleviate pain.
Please schedule an appointment to explore the best treatments for bursitis.
What are the best treatments for bursitis?
Bursitis can be treated in various ways, depending on the severity of the condition. Simple home treatments include over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen, which are anti-inflammatory and reduce swelling. Ice can also be applied to the affected area, and gentle stretching exercises can reduce the pain. Sometimes, a doctor may inject steroids into the area to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Below, we describe the best non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments for bursitis.
RICE — Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
The RICE approach is one of the most effective methods of treating bursitis in the short and long term. Resting the affected area prevents further strain and gives it time to heal, while icing helps to reduce inflammation and swelling. Compression with a bandage can also help to reduce swelling and support the area, while elevation will help keep the inflammation down.
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Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy can also be beneficial. Physical therapists can work with you to identify the root cause of your bursitis, ensure you’re following the appropriate strength and stretching exercises, and help you strengthen your surrounding muscles. Occupational therapy involves adjusting your daily life or workplace to reduce strain on affected joints.
Corticosteroid injections are a great option for treating bursitis because they can reduce painful inflammation quickly and effectively. Corticosteroids are a type of steroid hormone naturally produced by the body. When a corticosteroid injection is injected directly into the bursa, it helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
Corticosteroid injections for bursitis can be done in the knee pain doctor’s office. The procedure usually takes just a few minutes and can relieve the pain and other symptoms of bursitis. You may experience soreness in the injected area, which is usually minor and temporary. The relief from corticosteroid injections is immediate.
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What doctor to see for hip bursitis?
If you think you have hip bursitis, you should see an interventional pain treatment specialist.
Interventional pain doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating pain, making them the ideal providers to contact for hip bursitis. Interventional pain specialists work with a team of pain specialists to create a custom plan of treatment to reduce pain, improve function, and provide long-term relief. They are skilled in using injections, nerve blocks, and other techniques that address the root cause of pain.
Your interventional pain treatment specialist will use various techniques to help ease your symptoms and reduce inflammation. They’ll likely start with something simple, such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. If your pain levels don’t improve, your specialist may recommend more advanced treatments, such as steroid shots, radiofrequency ablation, or platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Your interventional pain specialist will also take a comprehensive look at your entire body to determine the source of your pain. They may order diagnostic tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to ensure they get a clear picture of what’s going on inside your body. This helps them determine the best action and develop an individualized treatment plan.
Since hip bursitis can be challenging to manage, you should find a specialist you trust. They’ll be able to provide you with the education and support you need while helping you find the right solution to your problem.
What happens during physical therapy for bursitis in the shoulder?
Physical therapy for bursitis in the shoulder focuses on reducing pain and inflammation, restoring range of motion, and improving the strength of the shoulder and surrounding muscles.
The physical therapist will start with passive range of motion exercises to improve the joint’s flexibility and range of motion. After that, the therapist will use manual therapy techniques, such as massage and joint mobilization, to reduce pain and increase range of motion and flexibility. Finally, the therapist will design a strengthening program to help the shoulder muscles regain strength. These treatment modalities can reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness associated with shoulder bursitis.
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