In each of your joints, little fluid-filled sacs 一 called bursae 一 cushion your bones, muscles, and tendons. While you might not think about this part of your anatomy often, it’s hard to ignore them if they become inflamed. Inflamed bursae, also known as bursitis, are painful and can limit your range of motion.
While you have over 150 bursae in your body, Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy knows that certain joints, such as your shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips, are more prone to developing bursitis.
In this blog, Dr. Taimoorazy discusses strategies you can implement to reduce bursitis pain, including the injections we offer here at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute in Beverly Hills and Northridge, California.
Is it bursitis or arthritis?
Before embarking on any treatment plan 一 whether at home or in a medical setting 一 it’s important to start with an accurate diagnosis. Some symptoms of bursitis overlap with symptoms of arthritis.
Both of these conditions cause joint pain, but one of the key differences between arthritis and bursitis is that arthritis typically develops as a result of normal wear and tear on the cartilage in your joints. Bursitis affects your bursa and is often a short-term problem. Physical exams, a review of your symptoms, and X-rays or other imaging can help confirm the appropriate diagnosis and rule out other conditions.
Finding relief from bursitis at home
Bursitis often develops as the result of overuse, either from a sport (such as pitcher’s elbow) or on-the-job tasks such as painting or carpentry work. If your joints hurt, you may find that the following self-care measures help alleviate some of your discomfort:
- Elevating the affected joint above the level of your heart
- Use cold therapy for acute pain
- Use hot therapy for ongoing pain
- Use a brace to hold your joint in place
- Take over-the-counter pain relief medication
While these self-care measures can help, you may need to seek medical intervention, especially if you develop an infection. In some cases, the fluid-filled sacs can become infected, which can lead to the hallmark signs of fever, swelling, redness, and warmth.
Treatment options for bursitis
Once Dr. Taimoorazy confirms that bursitis is the source of your discomfort, he creates a treatment plan to address infection and pain. Common treatments for bursitis include:
- Physical therapy (if you need help regaining your range of motion)
- Joint injections, including corticosteroid injections
Steroid injections are particularly beneficial because they reduce pain (thanks to a local anesthetic) and reduce inflammation (thanks to steroids).
In addition to helping reduce the inflammation and pain associated with a current flareup of bursitis, Dr. Taimoorazy also helps you adopt joint-friendly habits that can prevent future incidents of bursitis. This includes strategies such as wearing knee pads if kneeling while working, maintaining a healthy weight to reduce pressure on joints, trying occupational therapy to reduce work-related bursitis, and using cushions when leaning on elbows.
Bursitis hurts, but you don’t have to deal with it alone. To learn more about our treatment options, including steroid injections, call us today at 424-302-0289. You can also request an appointment online 24/7.