Bursitis is a condition where small fluid filled sacks which act as cushions for our bones, tendons and muscles become inflamed. Common areas for bursitis are the shoulder, elbow or hip but can also occur at the knee, heel and big toe.
Many times bursitis is preceded by tendonitis which then rubs on the bursa and causes it to inflame, so one method of treatment is to first treat the tendonitis. This can be done by applying ice, pulsed ultrasound or transverse friction rub. Tendons typically don’t have a good blood supply so increasing circulation with the transverse friction rub can really help to heal the inflamed tendon. That coupled with the pulsed ultrasound and ice to reduce inflammation can be a good start in reducing irritation the bursa.
More recently two additional therapies have become popular in the treatment of tendons and therefore bursitis and those would be 1) cold laser therapy and 2) electromagnetic pulse therapy or EMP. Both stimulate healing in the tissue and especially with the EMP you can actually feel it working deep on the injured or inflamed tissue.
Left untreated, especially in the shoulder, can lead to significant loss in range of motion or a frozen shoulder. If a referral to an orthopedic is indicated Dr. Harrison will let you know. Sometimes an injection into the bursa by a skilled orthopedic can shrink the swelling in the bursa and allow our treatment to be more effective. In severe cases can only be corrected surgically.
Don’t delay. Putting of treatment can lead to a painful frozen shoulder or hip that will require painful surgery to get them moving again. Early treatment is a must for this condition.