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Bursitis and Tendonitis

Bursitis and Tendonitis are often condfused. While they are different conditons with different causes many of their symptoms can be similar.
 
 

What is bursitis?

Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a tiny fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. There are 160 bursae in the body. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.

What is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is inflammation, irritation, and swelling of a tendon, which is the fibrous structure that joins muscle to bone.

Causes of Bursitis and Tendonitis

Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or infection. Sometimes the cause cannot be determined. Bursitis commonly occurs in the shoulder, knee (washmaid's knee), elbow, and hip. Other areas that may be affected include the Achilles tendon and the foot.

Tendonitis can occur as a result of injury, overuse, or with aging as the tendon loses elasticity. It can also be seen in systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. Tendonitis can occur in any tendon, but some commonly affected sites are the shoulder, the wrist, the heel (Achilles Tendonitis), and the elbow.

Symptoms

Bursitis

  • Joint pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth over the affected joint

Tendonitis

  • Pain and tenderness along a tendon, usually in proximity to a joint (hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, or pain in other joints)
  • Pain is worse with movement or activity
  • Pain at night

Treatment of Bursitis and Tendonitis

Bursitis

Your health care provider may recommend temporary rest or immobilization of the affected joint.

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may relieve pain and inflammation. Formal physical therapy may be helpful as well.

If the inflammation does not respond to the initial treatment, it may be necessary to draw out fluid from the bursa and inject corticosteroids. Surgery is rarely required.

Exercises for the affected area should be started as the pain resolves. If muscle atrophy (weakness and/or decrease in size) has occurred, Your health care provider may suggest exercises to build strength and increase mobility.

Bursitis caused by infection is treated with antibiotics. Sometimes the infected bursa must be drained surgically.

Tendonitis

The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Rest or immobilization of the affected tendons is helpful for recovery. This may be achieved using a splint or a removable brace. The application of heat or cold to the affected area can help. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibruprofen, can also reduce both pain and inflammation. Steroid injections into the tendon sheath can also be very useful in controlling pain and allowing physical therapy to start.

Rarely, surgery is needed to physically remove the inflammatory tissue from around the tendon.

After recovery, strengthening exercises for the muscles surrounding the affected tendon may prevent recurrence of the injury

 Tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis) is an inflammation of a tendon. Generally tendonitis is referred to by the body part involved, such as Achillies tendonitis (inflammation of the Achilles tendon), or patellar tendonitis (jumper's knee; inflammation of the patellar tendon). Chronic overuse of tendons leads to microscopic tears within the collagen matrix, which gradually weakens the tissue. Tendonitis can also be associated with systemic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
 
 
 
 
 
   

This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

05/27/2011

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