Bursa refers to a small sac which is present in our joints and other parts of the body. They are filled with synovial fluid; this fluid ensures that a person is able to move his joints freely. At times, swelling and inflammation occurs in the bursa, and this causes a condition known as bursitis.
Bursitis is also known as the housemaid’s knee in a layman tongue. It mostly occurs in the joints of knees, elbows, shoulders and hips. However this article specifically discusses knee bursitis and it’s causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and prevention.
There could be a number of causes of knee bursitis. Following are some of the most common ones:
- Excessive Strain – Excessive strain on the knee joints or any other joint can cause knee bursitis
- Repetitive Pressure – Continual pressure on the affected joints, such as gardening, shoveling, or carpentry
- Traumatic injury – Sports activity, fall or accident
- Improper diet – Some deficiencies can also cause weak joints and ultimately result in knee bursitis
- Age – the wear and tear of tendons over the years can contribute to reducing elasticity of the knee joints. As a result this may cause inflammation and develop into knee bursitis
These are some of the main symptoms of knee bursitis:
- Intense pain after prolonged work or an injury
- Pain occurring in joints of the knees
- A limited range of motion
- Stiffness in the joints may be experienced before the pain increases in intensity
- Pain experienced around the bursa
- Either gradual or sudden pain is felt especially in cases where calcium deposits occur in the bones
A careful examination of your knee by a physician can diagnose the condition. In most cases, the bursa will swell and the pain and inflammation will increase, if not taken care of. The physician will also determine whether or not your condition of knee bursitis involves infection.
Our diagnosis guide can assist you in self-diagnosing any knee pain issues. You should go through it first to see if there may be other causes or conditions that feel similar to bursitis.
The treatment of bursitis is determined by observing its condition. At times, it may involve infection while at other times it may not. The condition which does not involve infection is treated by the RICE method which is explained here.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers may reduce knee pain as well. If prescribed, Paracetamol could be effective. However, it does not have any effect on the inflammation.
Knee bursitis is a result of overusing the joints. The following preventive measures could be of great help to avoid its occurrence:
- Protection of knees – using knee pads while working or exercising. Visit our comprehensive knee brace guide to see what braces work best for you.
- Proper diet.
- Daily exercises to strengthen the muscles and joints. You can these knee pain relief & knee strengthening exercises.
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