Non-traumatic onset bursitis is commonly related to your biomechanics or in other words “how you move”. In these cases, you should be assessed by a health professional who understands how subtle changes in how you move can cause overuse and injury. Experienced physical therapists are the ideal health professional for discovering “what” has caused your bursitis, “how” to fix it, and “what” you need to do to prevent reoccurrence. Until you seek the advice of your doctor of physical therapist, we recommend that you apply ice to the area to decrease bursa inflammation. We generally recommend that you apply a large ice pack on the affected area for roughly 20 minutes. You should repeat the ice application 2 to 3 times a day until your physical therapist advises you otherwise. Bursitis symptoms can have other causes as well. If you suspect bursitis, be sure to consult your physical therapist in Buffalo. It is not uncommon that many people with bursitis also have other conditions, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, which can make it hard to diagnose. You can also have torn tendons or ligaments that are causing the bursa to become irritated. After assessing your biomechanics, your physical therapist may also recommend specific exercises (stretches or strengthening) to improve your pain and ability to move, plus prevent a recurrence. Untreated bursitis can result in calcification (bony growth) within the bursa resulting in even nastier pain and disability. Your physical therapist may use electrotherapy modalities to hasten your healing rate and reduce your bursitis inflammation. Bursitis responds better to different forms of electrotherapy, which can be discussed with your physiotherapist. Sometimes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are prescribed. They are usually ineffective since the bursa is isolated from your blood stream. Gel applications appear to be more effective. Ideally you will need to reduce weight placed through the joint and adjacent bursa. This is obviously a commonly difficult thing to avoid when the bursa is on the lower limb however some athletes such as gymnasts do weight bear through the upper limb. Weight loss may be recommended if you are overweight to reduce the stress placed through any weight-bearing joint and bursa. Hydrocortisone injections appear to be effective treatment for bursitis. Unfortunately, there are potential side effects that should be discussed with your doctor. The most effective injections are those performed under ultrasound guidance.

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