SUBACROMIAL BURSITIS

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Subacromial bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs — called bursae — that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed.

The most common locations for bursitis are in the shoulder, elbow and hip. But you can also have bursitis by your knee, heel and the base of your big toe. Bursitis often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.

Treatment typically involves resting the affected joint and protecting it from further trauma. In most cases, bursitis pain goes away within a few weeks with proper treatment, but recurrent flare-ups of bursitis are common.

SUBACROMIAL BURSA ANATOMY

DISEASE EXPLAINED

SYMPTOMS

Feel achy or stiff

Hurt more when you move it or press on it

Look swollen and red

CAUSES

The most common causes of bursitis are repetitive motions or positions that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. Examples include:

Throwing a baseball or lifting something over your head repeatedly

Leaning on your elbows for long periods

Extensive kneeling for tasks such as laying carpet or scrubbing floors

Other causes include injury or trauma to the affected area, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection.

TREATMENT

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Subacromial bursitis generally gets better on its own. Conservative measures, such as rest, ice and taking a pain reliever, can relieve discomfort. If conservative measures don't work, you might require:

MEDICATION.
If the inflammation in your bursa is caused by an infection, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic.

THERAPY.
Physical therapy or exercises can strengthen the muscles in the affected area to ease pain and prevent recurrence.

INJECTIONS.
A corticosteroid drug injected into the bursa can relieve pain and inflammation in your shoulder or hip. This treatment generally works quickly and, in many cases, one injection is all you need.

ASSISTIVE DEVICE.
Temporary use of a walking cane or other device will help relieve pressure on the affected area.

SURGERY.
Sometimes an inflamed bursa must be surgically drained, but only rarely is surgical removal of the affected bursa necessary.

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