Joint pain, what if it was bursitis?

Sometimes bothersome joint pains can be caused by bursitis. Let’s see what it is, what are the main causes and possible treatments.

What is bursitis

The bags present in our body are small sacs filled with liquid. They can be found between bones and tendons but also in the different myotendinous planes of the musculoskeletal system. They have the function to protect the clutches from any painful, wear and trauma, making the movement fluid and cushioned. The bags most exposed to the risk of inflammation are those of the shoulder, elbow, knee and hip.

Bunions are divided into inflammatory bursitis and hemorrhagic bursitis. The former is an inflammatory state caused by repeated movements that subject these liquid bags to stress and rubbing. Some examples of such bursitis are gouty bursitis caused by the deposition of urea crystals (in patients with hyperuricemia) or caused by viral or bacterial infection (septic bursitis). The second type of bursitis, on the other hand, generally occurs after a trauma with extravasation of blood due to rupture of the vessels and consequent blood collection inside the bag.


Among the many causes of bunions, of course, there are repeated movements that lead to friction and various mechanical stresses. Other factors that can interface with the composition of the bag synovial fluid are systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Other causes of bursitis can also be bacterial or viral infections. Other times it can happen that due to trauma, accidents and falls is exerted a violent pressure causing the bag irritation or rupture. Finally, other causes of bunions can be both aging and weary jobs that lead to repeat the same movement for a long time (such as for craftsmen, musicians, etc.).


The main symptoms of bursitis are pain in the affected area, amplified by movement or pressure. Other symptoms may also be redness, swelling and bruising (ecchymosis or hematomas) in the presence of small blood spills. Another symptom of bursitis can be skin rashes. In cases of infection or major bloodshed, fever may also occur.


It’s essential to act before the onset of bursitis to prevent acute forms of pain. Acting on this type of inflammation is also essential for those patients who have already suffered it and need to keep this problem under control to prevent it from arising again. Among the possible actions there is to avoid putting pressure on the elbows when leaning on the desk. Another trick to use, especially during repeated and heavy work activities, is to use specific protective pads for example for the knees and remember to bend the legs when lifting a weight. It’s essential to try to avoid overexertion and too heavy loads. As far as physical exercise is concerned, is fundamental the muscle warm-up phase, to run on suitable surfaces, to exercise the body balance and the correct body posture. Being overweight is also a factor to keep under control. It would be desirable not to hold the same position for too long and to avoid repeated movements, changing posture and motions.

Diagnosis and Risks

A specialist visit allows you to identify the symptoms of the problem and in the event of bursitis to proceed with the diagnosis. Clinical diagnosis can be accompanied by instrumental tests by the specialist recommendation (radiography, ultrasound, nuclear magnetic resonance, blood tests, synovial fluid analysis). A correct and timely diagnosis allows to avoid the following risks: bacterial superinfection, chronicity of the picture, ulceration, contiguous and/or pauciarticular joint involvement and unrecognized systemic etiology.

Cures and Treatments

The treatment of bursitis must be defined on the basis of the specific case considering the severity of the clinical picture and the presence of any complications. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, if the bursitis is mild, the ice pack can be applied to the affected area along with a rest period. To reduce inflammation and pain, an anti-inflammatory drug can be taken or elastic-compressed bandages applied. If the clinical picture requires it, antibiotic therapy or corticosteroid infiltrations may be necessary. In the most important cases it may be necessary to proceed with the bursectomy surgical treatment.

One way to treat bursitis and get relief without taking drugs is with the magnetotherapy action. In fact, it act on inflammation and pain thanks to electromagnetic fields. Low frequency electromagnetic fields (LF) stimulate tissue regeneration and have a vascularizing and anti-inflammatory effect. The high frequency fields (HF) have antalgic efficacy because they act on the peripheral nervous system.

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Magnetotherapy medical devices are indicated for the treatment of numerous diseases. Find out more