Is Elbow or Shoulder Bursitis Impacting Your Daily Activities?

Is Elbow or Shoulder Bursitis Impacting Your Daily Activities?

There are certain parts of our bodies that we depend on for daily life. As anyone that’s experienced elbow or shoulder discomfort knows, your everyday life can be put on hold when your body doesn’t cooperate. If you’re dealing with swelling or pain in your elbow or shoulder, you may be struggling with bursitis.

It’s not unusual to feel some discomfort every now and then in certain joints, like the elbow or shoulder. Yet, when pain becomes a daily occurrence, your regular daily life can become much less regular.

When it’s difficult to work or enjoy the sports and hobbies you love because of elbow or shoulder discomfort, it’s crucial to put your health first and consider possible causes. One potential reason for pain and discomfort in these areas can easily be missed: bursitis.

What are the Symptoms of Bursitis?

You may not be familiar with bursitis, but it’s a common condition that affects more than 200,000 people in the United States per year. If you’re worried you may have this condition, rest assured that this illness is treatable. While you should always consult a healthcare provider like MidAmerica Orthopaedics if you’re feeling pain and discomfort, there are a few symptoms to look out for that can signal a case of bursitis:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Stiffness
  • Redness

If you’re experiencing these symptoms in your shoulder or elbow, you may be dealing with a case of bursitis.

What is Bursitis?

For as common as bursitis can be, many people aren’t familiar with this condition. The symptoms can overlap with many symptoms for different conditions, making a consultation with a doctor or specialist vital.

Bursitis gets its name from the bursa sac that becomes inflamed or irritated. These bursa sacs are all over the body and function to reduce friction between the tissues of your body, such as muscle, skin, bone, and tendons.

Developing bursitis at major joints such as the elbow and shoulder is not uncommon. This condition often affects people after their 40s and can usually be brought on by repetitive pressure on a joint. All those tennis matches might be great aerobic exercise, but they can also cause bursitis, particularly as age begins to wear down the elasticity in your tendons.

Other possible risk factors for developing bursitis are:

  • Injury affecting a bursa sac
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Infections affecting the bursae
  • Improper posture

Luckily, bursitis isn’t difficult to diagnose nor treat.

Diagnosing and Treating Bursitis

While it can be concerning to experience irritation on a part of your body you rely on that is caused by a smaller part of your body you may not have previously heard of, bursitis need not cause you any lost sleep.

When it comes to the diagnosis, your healthcare provider can likely diagnose bursitis through a simple physical exam. Though, it’s important to visit a qualified professional with experience in treating elbow and shoulder conditions to ensure no details of your case are missed, such as in the event of infectious bursitis that can be more serious.

The good news? Bursitis is simple and straightforward to treat. Once you’ve gained your diagnosis, you’ll likely be given instructions on treating your bursitis as you would most cases of joint inflammation: rest, anti-inflammatories, and lots of ice.

Depending on the particulars of your case, there may be a need for antibiotics in the case of infection or other medications to reduce swelling and manage any discomfort.

The Bottomline About Bursitis

While bursitis can be uncomfortable, painful, and interrupt your daily life, it’s ultimately a treatable condition that will allow you to get back to your routine in time. However, as with many conditions, even something simple and treatable can morph into a serious condition without proper management. Bursitis can become a recurring condition if it’s caused by any underlying conditions.

Equally important is the diagnosis and treatment of bursitis to ensure it doesn’t return. Receiving an accurate diagnosis with an appropriate treatment plan is crucial in making sure your elbow and shoulder are back to cooperating when it comes to the work you need to do and the activities you love.

At MidAmerica Orthopaedics, we ensure the highest standard of care and expertise to make sure you get the medical treatment you need, when you need it. If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms we discussed in your shoulder or elbow, contact us to speak with one of our specialists at 708-237-7200 or schedule an appointment online.

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