Bursitis is common but often not considered when there is joint pain. That’s because bursitis can mimic other conditions, and it’s frequently underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. However, bursitis is fairly common, can affect anyone, and can cause you a great deal of pain.
Your joints are protected by small, gel-filled sacs, called bursae (singular is bursa). Bursae are found in and around your joints and are designed to cushion your bones, ligaments, and tendons as they move against each other. Bursitis is a condition in which one of these sacs become inflamed, injured, or infected. In most cases, the first symptom of bursitis is pain, especially when pressure is applied to the bursa or when you’re using the affected joint. The area may appear red, and it may become swollen as the bursa accumulates more fluid, which can further aggravate your pain.
The most common causes of bursitis are trauma, overuse of an affected joint, and positions that constantly put pressure on a bursa. Your risk of developing bursitis is increased if you have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis. Common sites for bursitis to occur include:
- Shoulders, often from painting, throwing, and other overhead movements.
- Elbows, most commonly from resting on your elbows.
- Knees, from repetitive motions and chronic kneeling.
- On your foot, commonly on your heel or at the base of your big toe.
- Hip bursitis is especially common from walking, running, and climbing stairs.
Hip or Trochanteric Bursitis
Bursitis of the hip is also called trochanteric bursitis. It affects the bursa that protects the bony outcropping at the top of your femur (thigh bone), called the greater trochanter. In some cases not only is the bursa affected, but the nearby gluteal tendons may become inflamed or torn. Trochanteric bursitis may negatively affect your quality of life because the pain can limit your movements, such as rising from your bed or chair, prolonged sitting, and repeated use of your hip, such as walking or going up stairs. In addition, because bursitis is generally painful on pressure, lying on your affected side can impact the quality of your sleep.
Risk factors for developing trochanteric bursitis include:
- Overuse or repetitive motions. Running, climbing stairs, and even standing for long hours can be a risk factor.
- Trauma to the point of your hip, often occurring from falls, bumps, accidents, or contact sports, such as hockey or football.
- Spine issues, such as arthritis of the lower back, scoliosis, or poor posture.
- A difference in leg lengths.
- Bone spurs (small bony growths) of the hip.
- Previous hip surgery
Effectively Treating Bursitis
At BodaHealth, we understand how frustrating bursitis can be. Not only is it painful, but it also limits your activities. For that reason, we are committed to helping you heal as quickly as possible. Our role at BodaHealth is to provide treatments to relieve your pain, decrease inflammation, and speed the healing process.
We offer a treatment at BodaHealth called shockwave therapy that supports healing and reduces the pain associated with bursitis. Shock wave therapy involves mild, low-energy pulses to the affected area, usually in a series of 3 – 6 treatments. Scientists believe that shock wave therapy works because it triggers a response for your body to repair itself. Recent research has concluded that shockwave therapy is an effective treatment for trochanteric bursitis, including when there is tendon damage involved.
Acupuncture is also a recommended treatment to effectively reduce the pain associated with bursitis. It can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, and increase circulation in the area, all as ways to support healing. Our practitioners may also use electric acupuncture or something called micro current, which delivers a painless electric current to the area as a way to further decrease inflammation and speed recovery.
At BodaHealth, we also provide massage, osteopathy and exercise therapy. Massage and osteopathic care may be used to increase circulation, loosen tight muscles, and improve your range of motion while you heal. Our exercise therapists and clinical Pilates practitioners can safely help you avoid muscle atrophy and help correct alignment issues as you heal. As you improve, they can help rebuild strength and expand your range of motion to improve function and prevent recurrences.
We also believe that healing from the inside is important. Your treatment plan may include dietary recommendations, a Chinese herbal formula, vitamins, or naturopathic supplements as ways to help decrease inflammation and boost your healing process.
At BodaHealth, our practitioners are dedicated to providing you the best care possible, safely, naturally, and without the use of prescription medications. They are experienced, caring, and here to help you. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you recover from your bursitis.