27 Sep Why Bursitis Is More Common in Specific Locations
Bursitis is a fairly common condition that people are more susceptible to as they age. Given that bursa are located throughout the body, you might be confused as to why the condition seems to be more common in specific locations – like the knee or shoulder. Kudos to you for your inquisitive mind.
In terms of the answer, let us first discuss what bursa are along with the job they perform in human physiology. Bursa are small, fluid-filled sacs that are located throughout the body. They reduce friction between a variety of soft tissues including tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Even the hard bones of our joints are protected by bursa.
As you have probably figured out by now, bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. When a particular bursa gets inflamed, it causes pain. Any additional pain may be the result of the bursa not performing as it normally would.
Stress Is a Big Factor
Stress is a big factor in bursitis. We are not talking mental stress here, but physical stress on certain parts of the body. For example, we see bursitis quite frequently in the shoulders and knees. These two particular joints endure a lot of punishment throughout the normal course of the day.
Every time you stand, walk, or run you are subjecting your knees to stress. Household chores like scrubbing the bathtub and doing the laundry put stress on the shoulders. The thing is that adults start doing these chores sometime during their late teens or early twenties. And once started, the chores become lifelong companions. They put an awful lot of stress on the joints.
It is possible to develop a case of bursitis by sleeping in an unusual position, standing for an unusually long amount of time, or even sitting in a car for a particularly long journey. People with bursitis in the shoulder frequently report sleeping on the same side as the painful shoulder.
The Body Wears Out
Repeated stress on a particular joint or muscle group can induce bursitis even in young people. But with age, those parts of the body tend to wear out at a faster rate. That’s why bursitis is so common in the knees and shoulders.
To be as direct as possible, the body wears out over time. We do our best to stay in shape through exercise, a healthy diet, etc. But in the end, the effects of age cannot be prevented. With age comes the opportunity for bursitis in those parts of the body that have seen the most stress.
Arthritis is another common problem that comes with age. Unfortunately, an arthritic joint is a good candidate for bursitis. That takes us back to the knees and shoulders.
Bursitis Can Be Treated
No doubt bursitis is a common condition, and we see our fair share of cases in our Weatherford, TX pain clinic. We are happy to say that patients need not be turned away without any relief. Bursitis can be treated effectively.
At-home treatments for bursitis include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines as well as rest and immobilization. If a patient does not feel better in 5 to 7 days, we recommend a visit to the doctor. Doctors can treat bursitis with soft-tissue injections involving steroid and anesthesia medications.
Bursitis is pretty common. It is most likely to occur in and around the knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders. Why? Because these particular joints endure a lot of stress over many years of service. As our bodies wear out, these joints are more susceptible to bursitis. If you are experiencing bursitis pain, remember that the condition is treatable.