What is bursitis? That's usually one of the first things we hear when we bring it up. It sounds like some old fashioned condition your grandfather would complain about, right? But bursitis isn't just for the elderly. Dr. Matt Brandner answers your questions about what bursitis is, how we treat it, and how to prevent it.
What is Bursitis?
Bursitis is the condition of having enflamed bursas. What are bursas? Everyone has them in many areas of their body near where a joint and a muscle tendon meet. They are designed to be cushions to absorb shock and assure smooth motion. Sometimes, however, they get irritated and they enlarge and inflame. The most common bursitis irritations we treat are hip, shoulder and knee. With bursitis, you may experience stiffness and achiness in that joint. You may also experience redness or swelling. Bursitis often occurs gradually with repetitive motions but it can also occur suddenly because of an acute injury.
What Causes Bursitis?
On the most basic level, bursitis is caused by repetitive motion or being in positions that irritate your bursa. On a practical level this often looks like poor posture at work or home, repetative motions, leaning on your elbows or kneeling frequently, or injuring your joints. We also see some sports chiropractic patients who have bursitis from repetative athletic activities like throwing a baseball or softball.
Which Joints Does it Affect?
Bursitis can affect any of your joints, but we see it most commonly in your hips, shoulder and elbow. Other common areas are the knee, heel and the base of the big toe.
Could Your Occupation Put You At Risk?
There are some occupations that can put you at greater risk of developing bursitis. We see it in careers that involve repetative physical labor such as carpet laying, tile setting or landscaping. We also see it with hobbiests who enjoy gardening, painting, or even playing a musical instrument. Anytime you are doing frequent, repetative motions you are increasing your risk of bursitis.
How Can I Treat It?
One of the first things to do is get a chiropractic adjustment. This helps your joints get into the proper position again so your bursa isn't being irritated. Your chiropractor will also likely suggest that you ice the area as ice helps to relieve the pain and inflammation. At Sioux Falls Chiropractic we offer deep tissue techniques that can help break up adhesions or scar tissue that could contribute to your symptoms. Other treatments we offer at Sioux Falls Chiropractic include ultrasound, laser treatment to increase blood flow, and rehabilatative exercise.
Can I Just Use Medication to Get Rid of It?
Inflamation of your bursas can often be helped by NSAIDs such as ibuprofen because they reduce swelling in the area and relieve pain; but this relief doesn't treat the underlying issue which is often your body's biomechanics. This is one reason we always recommend getting an adjustment to help treat bursitis. Chiropractors don't just adjust backs, we adjust all joints in the body.
If you choose to see your medical doctor, he or she may prescribe rest, or injections of corticosteroids to reduce pain and swelling. Antibiotic therapy might be indicated if the bursa has become infected. Once again, this treats the infection and swelling, but it doesn't address the alignment of your joints.
Sioux Falls Chiropractic Can Help
At Sioux Falls Chiropractic we do our best to help you avoid costly medical interventions; and we are successful most of the time. In particularly stubborn cases surgery is sometimes required; but we have the ability to refer you on to a qualified surgeon if that is the case. Rest assured, bursitis is a very common and treatable condition. If you have joint pain and suspect it might be bursitis, make an appointment at Sioux Falls Chiropractic today!
If you're having pain, these stretches can help! Click below to view!