Bursitis is a condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles around a joint. This can cause pain and tenderness in the affected area. Bursae are found throughout the human body and are located near joints in the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle.
Certain activities that require repeated or prolonged movement of a joint can increase your risk of developing bursitis. These activities can include gardening, painting, or sports like golf or tennis. Age is also an important risk factor for bursitis, as the bursae may become less able to absorb shock over time.
The main symptom of bursitis is pain, which is usually most noticeable when you move the affected area. Other symptoms can include:
Your doctor will review your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms. They may also recommend imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, to determine the location of the bursa and whether there is any damage to the joint.
Treatment for bursitis usually starts with rest and avoiding the activities that trigger pain. Your doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain. Physical therapy may also be recommended to improve flexibility and range of motion in the affected area.
In cases where the bursa is infected, antibiotics may be prescribed. Surgery may be recommended in cases where the bursitis is severe and does not respond to other treatments.
To prevent bursitis, it is important to keep your joints flexible and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Making sure to take regular breaks while engaging in repetitive activities can also help prevent bursitis. Wearing protective padding when participating in contact sports or exercising can help reduce the risk of bursitis.
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