Bursitis and tendonitis are painful conditions that are characterized by swelling and discomfort around the affected joints.
What are Bursitis and Tendonitis?
Bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs providing cushion to a joint’s bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis is common among people of all ages and is rarely serious. The inflammation of bursae may be caused by overuse of the muscles, or repetitive movements over time. Bursitis commonly affects knees, shoulders, elbows, and hips.
Tendonitis is the inflammation of tendons, which are thick flexible cords connecting muscles to bones. Tendonitis is a degenerative process occurring from overuse of the tendons and delayed healing. Tendonitis can also happen with an acute injury like falling or exercising. In the case of chronic tendonitis, the tendons may rupture or tear with a subsequent injury.
Common causes of bursitis and tendonitis are repetitive injury and pressure. People with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, or diabetes are at a higher risk for tendonitis and bursitis.
Very rarely, bursitis occurs due to infection, which can also cause inflammation or pain.
The symptoms of bursitis and tendonitis are similar and include inflammation and pain over the joints. In some cases, pain and inflammation are followed by fever.
The treatment for bursitis or tendonitis begins with relative rest. Activities that put stress on muscles and joints should be reduced so that inflammation can subside.
When rest is not sufficient or is not improving the symptoms, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can also help address the injury. In more extreme cases, health care providers can provide prescription anti-inflammatories for this use.
In the case of tendonitis, treatment includes rest, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, “RICE” rest-ice-compression-elevation, and physical therapy, depending on the severity and etiology of the disease. Other treatment options include injecting corticosteroids or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the muscles.
Mechanical treatments including massage, taping, and physical therapy can also help switch from treatment to activity. Surgical procedures may be advised in complex or refractory cases.
Physical therapy is suggested in conjunction with the treatment to aid the healing process. A physical therapist will also educate the patient on which exercises he or she can continue without damaging the tendons.
In some cases, electrotherapy or ultrasound is used to reduce the pain and inflammation of the joints.
In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.
When to visit a doctor:
If you are having joint pain or swelling that does not improve with rest, see a medical provider for further evaluation and care.
Treatment for bursitis and tendonitis is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.