Frequently Asked Questions About Bursitis

frequently asked questions

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  • One of the defining traits of bursitis is that it can reappear even when the symptoms have subsided. As a result, it’s very hard to predict when you will be totally rid of the disease
  • The effects of bursitis and arthritis are very similar. Both cause inflammation, which can be debilitating, thus affecting your ability to move and perform physical activities normally

Q: How long does bursitis last?

A: The duration of bursitis is never really defined. It can take a few weeks before the pain subsides, but if the affected bursa has suffered extensive damage, it can take up to a few months. There are also several causes for bursitis, all of which can influence your recovery period.1

To know the estimated timeframe of recovery, as well as properly reach an accurate diagnosis, have your doctor examine the injury.

Q: What causes hip bursitis?

A: There are many possible causes of hip bursitis. Some of the most common ones include:2

Previous Surgery

A surgery performed at the hip or near it can increase your risk of hip bursitis in the future.

Age and Gender

Women are more likely to develop hip bursitis than men. However, both men and women have equal chances of developing it as they reach their middle and senior ages.

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis

Those who currently have rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop bursitis over time. This is because the synovial membrane, which is the bursa’s outer lining that surrounds a joint, becomes affected due to the inflamed joint caused by arthritis.

Similarly, those who have gout have an increased chance of bursitis due to the buildup of urate crystals in the synovial joints.

Injury or Trauma

Injuries such as falling or banging the hip on any hard surface can damage your bursa. It becomes filled with blood, and the lining becomes swollen, which can then lead to full-on bursitis.

Repetitive Motions

Movements such as running or sitting on hard surfaces for a long time can gradually damage your hip bursa, increasing your chances of bursitis. In short, any activity that puts constant pressure or strain on your hips can influence your risk of bursitis.

Bacterial Infection and Other Medical Conditions

In some cases, bacteria can enter your body, causing an infection. If your bursa is the unlucky target of the bacteria, it becomes a condition known as septic bursitis. This usually happens when bacteria enter the skin through an open wound.

Additionally, medications that suppress the immune system can allow bacteria to enter your body unprotected. Medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS and lupus, as well as alcoholism, can also weaken your immune system, allowing easy entry of bacteria into your system.

Q: How long does it take for hip bursitis to heal?

A: One of the defining traits of bursitis is that it can reappear even when the symptoms have subsided. As a result, it’s very hard to predict when you will be totally rid of the disease.3 It’s estimated that the total time for an inflamed bursa to heal can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. To improve healing, lifestyle changes and physical therapies will need to be implemented to help reduce the frequency of swelling.4

Q: Arthritis versus bursitis: What are the differences and similarities?

A: Is bursitis a form of arthritis? This question is often asked by people, and their confusion is understandable. These two conditions cause inflammation and pain in your joint areas, making them hard to distinguish.

While the pain caused by both diseases occurs in a small area, the real difference is which body part each of them affect. In arthritis, inflammation occurs at the joint itself while in bursitis, the inflammation occurs at the bursa.5,6 The bursa is a small sac filled with fluid that acts as a cushion for your bones, tendons and muscles that surround your joints.7

That being said, the effects of bursitis and arthritis are very similar. Both cause inflammation, which can be debilitating, thus affecting your ability to move and perform physical activities. However, bursitis is easier to treat than arthritis, because its main causes are injuries and repetitive movements. Arthritis involves health conditions such as high cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and smoking, all of which need more serious treatments.8

In bursitis, treatment usually involves resting and reducing movement to prevent the inflammation from worsening. Surgery may be required in extreme cases, but the procedure is simple — draining the fluid to reduce inflammation, and then resting the recently operated bursa.9

In arthritis treatment, you may need to lose weight to put less strain on your joints and use joint-assistive devices. If the pain becomes so severe and natural treatment options don’t work anymore, joint replacement surgery may be needed.10

MORE ABOUT BURSITIS

Bursitis: an Introduction

What Is Bursitis?

Bursitis Types

Hip Bursitis

Elbow Bursitis

Knee Bursitis

Shoulder Bursitis

Heel Bursitis

Septic Bursitis

Bursitis Causes

Bursitis Symptoms

Bursitis Treatment

Bursitis Prevention

Bursitis Diet

Bursitis FAQ

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