Bursitis is a painful condition causing swelling and stiffness in the joints and a loss of mobility.
This condition most commonly affects the elbows, knees, hips, shoulders and ankles. For most patients, the pain increases significantly with pressure or movement. However, tenderness and swelling persist even without movement.
Historically, the treatment methods used for bursitis have been limited to rest, ice, immobilization and over-the-counter medications. Today, laser therapy for bursitis provides a safe, noninvasive and highly effective alternative for treating this chronic condition.
What Causes Bursitis?
Bursitis is caused by inflammation of the bursae. Bursae are sacs filled with joint-lubricating synovial fluid. These sacs, which are located in and around the joints, act as buffers to prevent bones, tendons and muscles from rubbing directly together, and they provide a smooth surface over which these tissues can slide during joint movement. The human body has more than 150 bursae scattered throughout the musculoskeletal system.
When the bursae become inflamed, joint movement becomes painful and difficult. And the more the joint is used, the worse the inflammation becomes.
Although this condition most commonly affects knees and elbows, it can occur in any part of the body with a bursa. Symptoms include severe, localized joint pain and stiffness, both of which worsen during and after use.
Causes & Treatment of Bursitis
Repetitive motion is one of the most common causes of this condition. However, it can also develop after an injury — a condition known as impact bursitis — or from an infection.
Playing sports and suffering sports injuries are common causes of bursitis, typically related to overuse and poor biomechanics. Jumping, running, swinging a racquet and throwing overhead (pitching a baseball, shooting baskets) are commonly associated with the development of bursitis.
Work-related repetitive movement and strain also frequently lead to this painful condition. But even seemingly benign activities like knitting, painting and gardening can inflame the bursae.
Left untreated, calcification (bone growth) inside the bursae can occur, increasing pain and disability.
Some of the more common treatments used for bursa inflammation include taking anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers, applying heat or ice, wearing a brace, getting physical therapy or cortisone injections, losing weight and wrapping the joint with kinesiology tape.
Unfortunately, despite the availability of these many types of treatments, this condition does not resolve easily for most patients.
Laser Therapy for Bursitis
Bursitis laser therapy offers hope for many patients who believed they were doomed to a life of pain and disability.
Laser therapy relieves pain and reduces swelling and inflammation. It restores mobility, boosts the immune system and accelerates the body’s metabolic processes and self-healing capabilities. By increasing blood flow and improving nerve function, laser treatments for bursitis provide significant relief.